Research targets and organization

The objective of the TUNNEL STABILITY project is to improve the safety of rock tunnels through improved design procedures and equipment and methods to identify potential weak rock zones, and also to develop methods to monitor the tunnels during their lifetime in operation.


Research objective
The objective of this research is to improve the safety of rock tunnels through:

  • development, implementation and verifications of design procedures, equipment and technolo¬gies to ensure that potential failures are identified prior to or during construction and that sufficient, durable and cost-effective rock support is installed
  • provision of an additional safety barrier by the development and implementation of technologies to continuously monitor the tunnel and forewarn of any incipient failure.

The specific targets of the project to reach this objective are:

  • investigation of rock mass quality and incorporate in the planning of tunnel support systems
  • automated equipment and technologies to obtain data on rock mass quality during construction
  • methodologies to relate rock mass quality data to support requirements
  • automated technologies to document and verify the installed support
  • monitoring systems to warn against incipient failure after construction and during operation of the tunnel
  • a full scale pilot study of a tunnel to test the technologies and equipment.

Project organization
The project is organized as a consortium of one research institute (NGI), five private companies (Skanska Norge AS, Atlas Copco AS, Bever Control AS, Leonard Nilsen & Sønner and 3D Scanners Norden), four state organisations (Directorate of Public Roads - Vegdirektoratet, Public Roads Department Region East Lørentunnelen - Statens vegvesens prosjektorganisasjon for Lørentunnelen, Norwegian National Rail Administration - Jernbaneverket Utbygging and the Municipality of Aurland - Aurland kommune).

Other participants are Geologisk institutt ved Århus universitet, Queens University Canada, Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, and SkyTEM, Denmark.

The project organisation is presented schematically below.