Albania’s first ever highway tunnel has partially collapsed only four months after opening.
A 50m tunnel section in the Thirre area collapsed on 5 November in the south bore of a twin tunnel excavated as part of a new 61km motorway between Rrëshen and Kalimash in the north of the country.
Contractor Bechtel-Enka JV had finished excavating the area and was completing lining and civils work at the time of collapse. No injuries or damage to equipment occurred during the incident.
The 5.5km twin bore tunnel was one of the trickiest parts of the 61km motorway. During construction difficult ground conditions have caused the cost of the project to spiral from £375M to over £900M.
Despite a grand public opening in June, work continued on the twin-bore tunnel, which was due to open in the Spring. Following the collapse this has been put back to June 2010.