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Crossing the Suez Canal: Tunnels for Ismaïlia

Arabic Republic of Egypt Ismaïlia, Egypt, Africa
On 5 August 2014, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced the launch of a new mega-project: A new canal parallel to the Suez Canal with several tunnel crossings between Sinai, Ismaïlia and Port Said. This would be accompanied by new ports and industrial estates to intensify international trade through Egypt and stimulate the country’s economic growth.

The new Suez Canal was opened just 1 year later, but that isn’t the end of the pro­ject. An ad­di­tional 76,000 km² on ei­ther side of the canal are to be de­vel­oped for in­dus­trial and tech­nol­ogy es­tates, which will be supported by cross­ings under the canal to transform the re­gion around the Suez Canal into a world-class eco­nomic zone.

km
tunnel length (each, without ramps)
m
tunnel diameter
m
tunnel depth below ground

The Engineering Authority of the Armed Forces of the Arab Republic of Egypt commissioned CDM Smith with design review and approval and construction supervision for the tunnels in Ismailia, including a factory for the precast segmental lining. Two road tunnels with two lanes each connecting Ismailia with the new eastern trade area in Sinai are to be constructed at a depth of 60 m.

Together with our local partner, ACE, we help ensure a safe, high-quality and fast connection from North Africa to Asia via the Sinai Peninsula to last a century.
Michael Löffler, Project Manager

We provided tunnel planning, design and supervision, as well as applying our ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in tun­nelling equip­ment ma­chines and open tun­nelling, during this mega-project's 4-year con­struc­tion pe­riod and first year of op­er­a­tion.  

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It takes shared commitment and teamwork to achieve a successful outcome in a large project.

Did you know?

For 10 cross passages (5m di­am­e­ter each) between the two road tunnels, soil samples were tested from +20 to -20 °C at our frost lab­o­ra­tory. The re­sults were used for the de­sign pa­ra­me­ters for tem­po­rary ground freez­ing in the salt-rich local clay and sand lay­ers.

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