Lafarge North America supplies major tunnel project


Updated Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:24:11 GMT

Lafarge NewCem® slag cement and Agilia® self-consolidating concrete are being utilised in the construction of the new Midtown Tunnel under the Elizabeth River in Hampton Roads, Virginia. When the tunnel opens in 2016, it will double traffic capacity between the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth.

A Lafarge team is working at a large dry dock in Sparrows Point, Maryland, to build the 4800 ft, two-lane tunnel's 11 reinforced concrete elements. Each element comprises five sections requiring separate concrete pours – 55 in all. Two portable onsite plants are producing 72 000 yd3 of Agilia concrete, which contains NewCem slag cement.

Agilia self-consolidating concrete reduces construction time and cost by eliminating the need for vibration due to its fluid and stable properties. Engineered for high strength and long-term durability, NewCem slag cement helps achieve greater strength potential and helps control shrinkage, creep and cracking in mass concrete structures.

The first six concrete tunnel elements arrived at the project site this summer, after being towed one at a time by a tug fleet 220 miles down the Chesapeake Bay from the Sparrows Point docks. The remaining five tunnel elements are scheduled to arrive at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal in spring 2015. On 10 October, the Elizabeth River Tunnels Project Team put in place the first section of the new Midtown Tunnel, which will eventually serve as the westbound exit to Portsmouth.