The PIORA: Blessing in Disguise

The trans-alpine deep tunnels (The Alptransit Scheme) can justifiably be hailed as the tunneling project of the 21st century even though the century is still young. It is a triumph of European and international cooperation; even South African shaftsinkers, mining and geotechnical engineers were part of this project. Last but not least the Swiss people have to be congratulated for their patience and trust they placed in their tunneling engineers. The project is not just a 57km dual railway tunnel, the longest in the world, but an extensive tunneling system totaling close to 155km including access shafts, ventilation and safety shafts and tunnels. Of particular significance within this project is the PIORA zone, a funnel-shaped syncline consisting of running formations of sugary dolomite. At one point it was believed that the PIORA had the potential to "sink" the entire base tunnel project. Now almost forgotten, it is the authors opinion that the "warning signals" sent out by the PIORA contributed to the cautious, possibly conservative but professional and meticulous approach of the engineers which ultimately contributed significantly to the success of the project, hence the title: "The PIORA: blessing in disguise".


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 1901-1911
  • Monograph Title: Grouting and Deep Mixing 2012

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01526819
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784412350
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Nov 12 2013 2:27PM