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To meet the demands of economic growth, urbanisation and increased mobility, tunnels and underground spaces are increasingly required to provide vital links that are fast, efficient, resilient and sensitive to the environment. Our tunnels team holds extensive experience in underground space design and construction, and can produce solutions which effectively meet these growing demands.

Drawing on our depth of international and Australian experience, GHD is well positioned to provide routine design as well as expert services for all phases of tunnel and underground space projects.

Our people have worked on some of the most iconic tunnel projects in Australia and around the world. We continue to push technical boundaries and have achieved key milestones and optimum outcomes in soft soil to hard rock environments. Our experience has grown through the delivery of award winning technical solutions to both contractors and client organisations in Australia and internationally.

GHD offers comprehensive services throughout the project and tunnel lifecycle. We collaborate closely with our clients, partners and stakeholders to challenge design and construction practices and seek opportunities to save time, money and resources. We apply these services to the benefit of many clients within the transport, water, mining and power sectors and also to existing asset owners.

Our capabilities include:

  • Constructability reviews
  • Cut-and-cover, drill-and-blast, NATM, TBM, pipejacking, HDD and microtunnelling
  • Design of launch chambers, temporary shafts, manholes and caverns
  • Expert advice
  • Fire life safety
  • Geotechnical investigations and assessments
  • Ground-structure interaction analysis including numerical modelling
  • Identifying and mitigating environmental issues
  • Inspection, assessment and remediation of existing tunnels
  • ITIG JCOP compliance/due diligence reviews
  • Materials technology
  • Mechanical and electrical systems
  • Noise, vibration and air quality modelling and analysis
  • Project procurement advice
  • Risk assessments
  • Road, rail, sewerage, water supply, hydropower, desalination plant and utility tunnels
  • Structural design and analysis
  • Ventilation systems

Our services include:

  • Commissioning and decommissioning
  • Construction phase supervision
  • Detailed design
  • Expert witness
  • Feasibility studies
  • Inspections
  • Planning
  • Project management
  • Tender phase design

For further information, contact:

Matthew Norbert
Service Line Leader, Tunnels – Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East
T: +61 7 3316 3411
E: Matthew Norbert  

Khaled Elnabolsy
Service Line Leader, Tunnels – North America
T: +1 416 752 4332
E: Khaled Elnabolsy

Alphington Sewer Project


The Alphington Sewer Project aims to eliminate the risk of asset failure and provide capacity to reduce sewage overflows to the environment. GHD has been involved through all phases of the project, being responsible for design project management, geotechnical investigation, sewer design and rehabilitation, tunnel and temporary works design and construction phase assistance.

The Alphington Sewer Project, consists of the North Yarra Main Replacement (NYMR) and the Kew North Branch Sewer Upgrade (KWNU) projects. The North Yarra Main sewer is a severely deteriorated 100 year old brick ovoid sewer (approximately 1200 cm x 825 cm) over a length of 1.7 km, which was assessed for number of different replacement and rehabilitation options. The preferred option involves open trenching replacement of 0.7 km and pipe-jacked microtunneling of 1 km, both with nominal internal diameters of 1.5 m.

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Cable Tunnel Litigation


GHD provided Expert Witness Services over a period of three years, in response to a summons filed in the Supreme Court of NSW. GHD received instructions from lawyers acting on behalf of one of the co-defendants and their insurers.

The matters involved alleged defects in the design of a partly unlined tunnel in the Hawkesbury Sandstone, with regards to permissible water inflows, drainage, rock support and the accumulation of iron “sludge” (ferric oxy-hydroxide precipitate) deposits in the tunnel over time. The case was concluded successfully by a negotiated settlement at mediation and Notices of Discontinuance were filed in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in May 2014.

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Curtis Island Horizontal Directional Drilling


GHD played key roles in the construction of three 2 km long directionally drilled pipelines beneath Gladstone Harbour.

Curtis Island, which forms the eastern side of Gladstone Harbour, will be home to a number of LNG gas liquefaction plants. Accommodating such large construction operations on the island required the development of work camps and facilities that need to be connected to the mainland water and sewerage networks operated by the Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB).

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East-West Link


GHD was the client's engineer for the East-West Link tunnel project and provided innovative advice on concept design, traffic modelling and all environmental approvals.

We also provided services in the fields of geotechnical investigation and interpretation, road/highway design, tunnel engineering, constructability and environmental engineering.

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Elan Valley Aqueduct – Bleddfa


The Elan Valley Aqueduct (EVA) was constructed in 1904 to provide drinking water to the city of Birmingham, UK. The aqueduct is operated and maintained by Severn Trent Water.

GHD is playing a key role in helping the Barhale North Midland Construction Alliance (BNMA) construct four sections of new aqueduct, reinforcing sections of the original structure that are showing signs of structural distress. Bleddfa was the first site to be addressed, with a regulatory output date of March 2017.This tight deadline was achieved through a fast track design process undertaken in close collaboration between Severn Trent Water, BNMA and GHD.

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Fish Creek Raw Water Tunnel


The Fish Creek Tunnel is approximately 1.6 km long and was hand mined through interbedded sandstone and shale in the early 1900s. The tunnel has significantly deteriorated and is in need of remediation. GHD has been involved in site inspection, geotechnical investigation, tunnel relining design and will provide construction phase services.

The tunnel is an integral part of the water supply chain for the City of Rome (New York State), providing 34 ML/d - 60 ML/d to the residents of Rome, Lee, Floyd, Westmoreland, Stanwix and parts of Westernville. Over the years the unlined section of the tunnel has deteriorated with several rock falls noted along its length. GHD’s solution involves lining the tunnel with fibre reinforced shotcrete to prevent rock falls and potential collapse for a further 100 year design life.

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Grosvenor Mine TBM drifts


GHD is delivering detailed design services and Owner's Engineer services to Anglo American's Grosvenor Mine located at Moranbah, Queensland, Australia.

The project includes two mine access drifts (conveyor and transport drifts) from the surface to the coal seam. After completion of the design of the conveyor drift to be excavated using conventional tunnelling techniques (roadheader, bolts, shotcrete and precast invert in poorer ground), the methodology switched to Tunnel Boring Machine with precast segmental lining. Both drifts have been excavated for the first time in Australia using an 8 m diameter Earth Pressure Balance TBM.

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Legacy Way


 GHD delivered detailed design services to the construction joint venture for Brisbane’s AUD1.8 billion Legacy Way road tunnels over a period of five years. The tunnels link the Western Freeway at Toowong with the Inner City Bypass at Kelvin Grove.

By completing a missing link in Brisbane’s road network, Legacy Way will distribute traffic from local and arterial roads onto motorway standard roads. The project includes 5 km long twin tunnels that will be bored by two 12m diameter Double Shield Herrenknecht Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM). The twin two lane tunnels are supported by a permanent segmental fibre reinforced concrete lining which was installed within the tail shield of the TBM.

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Wynyard Walk pedestrian tunnel tender design, Sydney


Wynyard Walk is a pedestrian walkway in the Sydney CBD linking Wynyard Station and the multi-billion dollar Barangaroo waterfront development. The project comprises a pedestrian tunnel (110 meters in length), a multilevel entrance building, underpinning of two large buildings, a pedestrian bridge across Sussex Street and a new public plaza at the corner of Kent and Napoleon Street. GHD was Technical Advisor to Transport for NSW, providing technical review and support across all engineering disciplines for the design and construction phases of the project, including: geotechnical, tunnelling, demolition, structure, building and tunnel services, fire engineering, noise and vibration, and project management, including support for commercial negotiations, as well as Building Code of Australia (BCA) and disability access advice.

The 9 m wide tunnel (initially valued at AUD284M) is at shallow cover within the Triassic Hawkesbury Sandstone. Complex interactions with existing high-rise tower foundations and congested overlying services corridors were a critical aspect of the project.

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Water Systems

Matthew Norbert

Matthew Norbert

Matthew has more than 20 years’ civil engineering experience both as a contractor and a consultant. He has specific experience in hard rock excavation, tunnelling and grouting works using both tunnel boring machine or drill and blast excavation methods. In addition, he is also experienced in soft ground tunnelling methods, segmental tunnel lining design and detailing, geotechnical analysis and structural design.

Matthew has been involved in design and construct roles for projects that incorporate close cooperation with the designers and constructors of other disciplines to arrive at an acceptable, efficient and safe design solution. He has a proven track record of delivering design solutions for difficult projects that do not compromise the project performance criteria.

Service Line Leader, Tunnels – Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East
+61 7 3316 3411
E: Matthew Norbert

Khaled Elnabolsy

Khaled Elnabolsy

Khaled has more than 11 years’ experience in civil engineering and construction. A member of the Professional Engineers Ontario – EIT, Khaled was part of the construction teams that worked on the high-profile Southeast Collector and Eglinton Crosstown projects in Canada, as well as other smaller scale infrastructure projects with multiple regions and clients.

He has been involved in the planning, design, and construction of different project elements of linear infrastructure, including open cut pipe installations, earth-pressure balance tunnelling, horizontal directional drilling, jack and bore pipe installations, as well as various shaft sinking techniques.

Service Line Leader, Tunnels – North America
T: +1 416 752 4332
E: Khaled Elnabolsy


Brendan Henry - Brisbane

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Brendan is a civil engineer with more than 20 years' experience working as both contractor and consultant on four continents. He is experienced in the planning, design and construction of tunnels and tunnel systems for mines, road, rail, sewer and water. He has managed delivery for private public partnership; engineering, procurement and construction management; design and construct; and design only projects with multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.

He has significant experience in the construction and design of deep excavations and mixed ground tunnels in high risk ground conditions and urban environments. Brendan is working closely with GHD’s clients to bring Tunnel Boring Machines into coal mining.

Principal Tunnelling Engineer - Brisbane
T: +61 7 3316 3885
E: Brendan Henry

Steve Macklin - Melbourne

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Steve is a geologist and engineer with more than 25 years’ experience in the design and specification for tunnels, caverns, ground investigations and feasibility studies. He has delivered a range of tunnels projects in Australia and internationally, including open cast and underground hard rock mining, rock and soft ground tunnels and caverns, rock and soil slopes, rock and soil foundations and ground-structure interaction analysis.

He has significant experience in design, specification and contract documentation for geotechnical instrumentation on large tunnelling projects. He has written expert reports on geotechnical and tunnelling issues for major clients in the insurance, infrastructure, retail and telecommunications sectors. He has presented technical lectures to the British Tunnelling Society, the Australian Tunnelling Society and the Australian Geomechanics Society (Victorian Chapter).

Principal Engineering Geologist - Melbourne
+61 3 8687 8663
E: Steve Macklin

Andrew Saunders - Melbourne

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Andrew is a civil engineer with more than 11 years' experience in the concept, functional and detailed design, planning and specification of civil works for tunnel projects across Australia. He is based in GHD's Melbourne office. 

He has significant experience in soft and hard ground tunnelling methods, rock support for shafts, and large and small diameter pipe jacks. He has successfully managed large scale design and construct sewer tunnel projects, covering permanent and temporary works, risk, safety in design and third party impacts.

Principal Tunnelling Engineer - Melbourne
+61 3 8687 8198
E: Andrew Saunders

Marcus Weeks - Melbourne

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Marcus is a principal tunnel engineer with more than 16 years’ experience in tunnel, geotechnical, tailings dam and dams engineering. 

He has particular experience in the planning, functional design, detailed design, specification of civil works and construction phase support for sewerage and water tunnels. Marcus has significant experience in both soft and hard ground tunnelling methods, large diameter pipe jacks and segmental tunnel linings. 

Principal Tunnelling Engineer - Melbourne
T: +61 3 8687 8791
E: Marcus Weeks

North America

John Westland

John Westland

John has gained over 30 years’ experience as a geotechnical engineer through his involvement in dozens of challenging projects that included major infrastructure projects concentrated in southern Ontario, but which also included locations across Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. His infrastructure experience includes work with many owners who adopted the use of geotechnical baseline reports as part of their subsurface risk management programs. Through work with owners and contractors, John gained experience in the review and resolution of construction claims. That exposure to the legal side of geotechnical practice has been supplemented by work as a peer reviewer and expert witness on many forensic engineering assignments.

Principal Geotechnical Engineer - Canada
T: +1 289 374 3799
E: John Westland

Allan White

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Allan has 30 years' experience in the industry, and his major career emphasis has been on the design and construction of underground structures. This includes hand tunnelling, mechanized tunnelling, pipejacking, microtunnelling, auger-boring, directional drilling, precast and cast-in-place concrete tunnel and shaft linings, rock support for tunnels and shafts, drop caissons, tremie-concreting, compressed air, ground treatment, compensation grouting, bored piling, sheet piling, dewatering, ribs and lagging primary linings, shotcrete and rockbolt primary linings, surface settlement analysis and monitoring, and protection of major structures.

Group Manager, Tunnelling - Canada
T: +1 905 814 4363
E: Allan White

United Kingdom

Stewart Tennant

Stewart Tennant

With approaching 25 years’ in design and design management, Stewart’s experience ranges from multi storey city centre buildings through to deep shaft and tunnelling infrastructure schemes, with project values ranging from £5m to over £100m. Key technical skills include conceptual design, technical review, geo-technical appraisal, risk management and value engineering. Stewart is a member of the ACE Water Sector Interest Group, the British Dam Society and the Temporary Works Forum. He is an Approved Contractors Responsible Engineer for Network Rail projects.

Director, GHD - United Kingdom
T: +44 161 491 4600
E: Stewart Tennant