Firm Named ‘Engineer of the Year’ for Tunneling

Eurasia tunnel project, Istanbul, Turkey


The Eurasia Tunnel Project in Istanbul, Turkey received the “Major Project of the Year” award from the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association.

WSP USA was named Engineer of the Year by the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) during the ITA Tunnelling Awards 2015 in Hagerbach, Switzerland on Nov. 19.

Tunnel Bosphorus Strait, Uskudar Station box

An aerial view in February 2009 shows construction of the Marmaray Project, which now connects the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, Turkey with a rail tunnel under Bosphorus Strait.

One of the firm’s current tunneling projects, the Eurasia Tunnel Project in Istanbul, Turkey, was named “Major Project of the Year” by ITA.

“We are thrilled by this recognition of our design for the Eurasia Tunnel Project as well the ITA’s acknowledgment of our firm’s outstanding tunneling portfolio over 130 years,” said Gregory Kelly, president and CEO of the U.S., Central and South America region of WSP.

Second Midtown tunnel, double traffic capacity across Elizabeth River


Fifty years after designing the Midtown Tunnel between Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia, WSP designed the Second Midtown Tunnel, which when completed will double traffic capacity across the Elizabeth River.

“Beginning with the design of the original New York City subway system in the 1890s, our technical excellence continues today with design services for projects such as the Central Subway in San Francisco, the Second Midtown Tunnel in Norfolk, Virginia, the Airport Link in Brisbane, Australia, the Port of Miami Tunnel, the Waterview Connection in Auckland, New Zealand, and the East Side Access project in New York City,” Kelly said.

Port of Miami tunnel, inside

The Port of Miami Tunnel provides motorists with greatly improved access to Miami’s seaport, the largest and busiest cruise ship terminal in the world.

For the Eurasia Tunnel Project, WSP was the lead designer for a 3.4-kilometer (2.1-mile) tunnel under the Bosphorus Strait as part of a 14.6-kilometer (9-mile) roadway linking Goztepe in Asia and Kazlicesme in Europe.

WSP also played a prominent role in the planning and design of the $4 billion Marmaray Project, which included the first tunnel to cross the Bosphorus Strait and link two continents. That 1.4-kilometer (0.9-mile) immersed tube tunnel, which carries commuter trains under Bosphorus, was completed in October 2013.

Detroit-Windsor tunnel, first underwater vehicular connect two countries

Completed in 1930, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, a 1-mile crossing of the Detroit River between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, was the first underwater vehicular tunnel to connect two countries.

“It’s gratifying to have contributed to these two Bosphorus tunnels, which will significantly improve road and rail travel in Istanbul,” said Kelly.

Other prominent projects in WSP’s tunneling history include:

  • 1930: Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, the first underwater vehicular tunnel to connect two countries.
  • 1933: Scheldt Tunnel, a shield-driven, 1-mile tunnel under the Scheldt River in Antwerp, Belgium.
  • 1952: Elizabeth River Tunnel (also known as the Downtown Tunnel), an immersed tube tunnel between Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia. The firm designed a second crossing of the Elizabeth River (called the Midtown Tunnel), which opened in 1962, and a third crossing, called the Second Downtown Tunnel, completed in 1987. Currently, the firm is working on the Second Midtown Tunnel, which is scheduled for completion in December 2016.
  • 1957: Hampton Roads bridge-tunnel, a 3.5-mile crossing of Hampton Roads, Virginia that included a 1.5-mile immersed tunnel and 2 miles of bridges. The firm designed a second, parallel crossing of Hampton Roads completed in 1976.
Bart Trans Bay tube immersed tunnel crossing San Francisco Bay

In the late 1960s, WSP designed the BART Trans-Bay Tube, an immersed tunnel crossing San Francisco Bay.

  • 1974: 63rd Street Tunnel, a double-decked immersed tunnel between Queens and Manhattan designed to carry the New York City subway as well as trains of the Long Island Rail Road.
  • 1985: Fort McHenry Tunnel, a 1.7-mile tunnel that takes Interstate-95 under Baltimore Harbor, Maryland.
  • 1988: Mount MacDonald Tunnel, a 9.1-mile tunnel through Mount Macdonald and Mount Cheops in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, Canada.
  • 1992: Glenwood Canyon tunnels, which take Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon, Colorado.
  • 2011: East Side Big Pipe, a CSO control tunnel in Portland, Oregon. In 2006, a similar tunnel, the West Side Big Pipe, was completed.


    twitter-icon linkedin-icon  instagram-icon  facebook-icon

    Subscribe to newsletter