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Crossing the Suez Canal: Tunnels for Ismailia

Arabic Republic of Egypt Ismaïlia
On August 5, 2014, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced the launch of a mega-project: A new canal parallel to the Suez Canal with several tunnel crossings between Sinai, Ismailia and Port Said. This would be accompanied with 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.
tunnel length each (km)
tunnel diameter (meters)
tunnel depth below ground (meters)

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

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

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

It takes shared responsibility and teamwork to achieve a successful outcome in a large project.
Project Details

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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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