UK CONSULTANT Mott MacDonald is part of the team that has won the contract to build a 4.5m diameter, 500m long tunnel under Durban's harbour to carry services for eThekwini Municipality Water and Sanitation.
The tunnel forms part of the $142M expansion of South Africa's busiest container port.
Dredging for widening and deepening the harbour will cut through an immersed tube tunnel. This means that the new, longer and deeper tunnel needs to be in place and fully fitted out before the harbour expansion can begin in 2006.
There are also plans to construct a 'people mover' tunnel across the harbour.
Working with South Africanconsultant GMKS, Mott MacDonald will provide technical assistance on the tunnelling options as well as advising on the people mover and soft ground tunnelling. South Africa has strong experience in hard ground tunnelling, but not as much in soft ground, the firm said.