Five construction sites are currently in operation, three in Austria and two in Italy. You can see the details of the construction lots by clicking on our interactive route plan. The excavation progress reports of the individual tunnel structures in the various construction lots are updated weekly. Work progress is shown on a graph.

Sill Gorge

GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE CONSTRUCTION LOT

The ongoing works on the construction lot H21 "Sill gorge" - scheduled to run from August 2020 to the end of 2024 - will provide the link between the Brenner Base Tunnel and the central station in Innsbruck.
A stretch of approx. 600 metres and several different works will be built within this lot. River engineering works will be also carried out. The estimated construction costs for this stretch are 64 million Euro and Porr Bau GmbH Kematen will be in charge of the works.

Compared to other construction sites in Austria, whose works are mostly underground, the works in this construction lot are largely performed above ground.
The "Sill Gorge" stretch basically includes the following construction works: a supporting wall (200 metres long), a cut-and-cover tunnel (130 metres long), 2 railway bridges over the Sill, the northern portal of the BBT, as well as a subsequent tunnel stretch (approx. 140 metres long). In spite of the relatively short stretch, this construction lot comprises very complex construction activities.

The stretch leads through the narrow and thus logistically challenging Sill Gorge. The area is characterized by several infrastructural facilities such as the A12 Inntal highway, the A13 Brenner highway, the "Tirol Panorama" museum, the "Untere Sill" power plant of the municipal undertakings "Innsbrucker Kommunalbetriebe", as well as the existing ÖBB railway line with the Berg Isel tunnel.

The narrow brook gorge - which is mostly in its natural state - is an important recreational area for the people of Innsbruck and can be reached via several hiking trails. In order to ensure the access to the Sill gorge while construction works are ongoing, an alternative hiking trail will be built. In addition, for easier orientation, a system showing the various trails will be installed and interesting spots near the construction site will be provided with information boards.

Planned works

From north to south, the planned works for this construction section include:

  • A supporting wall, roughly 200 metres long and 9 metres high, built on drilled piles
  • the “Silltal” tunnel through the Bergisel mountain (approx. 130 metres long), partly constructed using the cut-and-cover method and with a pile foundation
  • Two railway bridges (both 50 metres long) over the Sill for the east and west tracks: one will be built as an open steel trellis bridge and the other one will be enclosed.
  • Northern portal of the BBT, including slope stabilization with over 80 prestressed anchors up to 80 metres long
  • Two tubes of the “Viller Berg” tunnel stretch, both 140 m long.
  • Stressed ribbon bridge over the Sill (55 metres with long) as part of the hiking trail network of the Sill Gorge
  • New access bridge over the Sill (lenght: 42 metres)
  • River engineering works 

An important part of the “Sill Gorge” construction lot is the restoration of upstream fish passage in the Sill. The AGA weir, located at the entrance to the Sill gorge with a drop height of approx. 8 metres, will be therefore removed and replaced by a roughly 350-m long fish ladder with an in-set low-lying meandering channel. As part of these river engineering works, the riverbed will be moved about 8 metres eastwards in order to have enough room for the supporting wall and the two-track line on the western side. Flood-proof and long-lasting embankments will be constructed.

At the end of the works, revegetation measures will bring about an upgrade and improvement of the popular recreational area.

Galerie

Tulfes-Pfons

GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE CONSTRUCTION LOT

This construction lot, worth 670 million Euro, was awarded to the Strabag/Salini-Impregilo bidding consortium in Summer of 2014.
Construction time: Juli 2014 - 2021
Section of the tunnel to be driven: 53.3 km

It consists of several structures:

  • Tulfes emergency tunnel
  • Innsbruck emergency stop
  • Main tunnel tubes
  • Connecting tunnels
  • Ahrental-Pfons exploratory tunnel

CURRENTLY ONGOING CONSTRUCTION WORK

Emergency tunnel

The emergency tunnel was being driven parallel to the existing Innsbruck railway bypass. It is 9.7 km long and the excavation cross-section is 35 m². The drill-and-blast excavation work on this tunnel started from three points at the same time: from Tulfes westwards, from the Ampass access tunnel eastwards and again westwards. The emergency tunnel was completed in Summer of 2017.

Main tunnel tubes

The main tubes have been excavated by blasting according to the so-called New Austrian Tunnel Construction Method. The ceremonial first volley was set off on 19/03/2015 in the presence of EU Commissar Violeta Bulc and the Ministers of Transportation of the 7 Alpine countries (Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France, Liechtenstein and Slovenia. This stretch includes about 6 km of main tunnels with an excavated cross-section of about 70 m2 .

Connecting tunnel between the BBT and the Innsbruck bypass

The connecting tunnels were also excavated by blasting, with a cross-section of about 115 m2. Excavation work was completed in Spring of 2017.

Exploratory Tunnel

The construction lot includes the construction of the 16.5-km stretch of exploratory tunnel between the Ahrental junction point and the town of Steinach. Since its start of operations on September 26th 2015, it has moved southwards excavating 16,7 km until July 6th, 2020.

EXCAVATION DATA

Emergency tunnel (completed)
Excavation
9,700 m
Length
9,700 m
Cross-section
35 m²

Main tunnel (completed)
Excavation
5,960 m
Length
5,960 m
Cross-section
70 m²
Connecting tunnels (completed)
Excavation
6,840 m
Length
6,840 m
Cross-section
115 m²
Exploratory Tunnel Ahrental - Steinach (completed)
Excavation
16,627 m
Length
16,627 m
Cross-section
49 m²
Safety and logistic tunnels (completed)
Excavation
3,850 m
Length
3,850 m
Cross-section
115 m²
Overview map
Gallery

Pfons-Brenner

GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE CONSTRUCTION LOT

The “Pfons-Brenner” construction lot H51 is the biggest and at the same time the southernmost stretch of the Brenner Base Tunnel in the Austrian project area. Around 50 kilometres of tunnels will be excavated as part of this construction lot. The project area extends from the township of Pfons to the border at the Brenner Pass.

The construction lot includes the construction of 37 kilometres of main tunnel tubes, around 7 kilometres of exploratory tunnels and the emergency stop at St. Jodok am Brenner.

The work on this construction lot began in late autumn of 2018. Construction is expected to last 74 months. The contract amount is about 966 million Euro. The joint venture comprising the Austrian construction groups PORR Bau GmbH and G. Hinteregger & Söhne Baugesellschaft m.b.H., the Italian construction groups Società Italiana per Condotte d’Acqua S.p.A. and Itinera S.p.A. is responsible for the tunnel section.

The construction lot includes:

  • Stretches of the main tunnels
  • Cross passages between the two main tunnels
  • Stretches of the exploratory tunnel
  • The St. Jodok emergency stop

Current construction work

Main tunnels

In this construction lot, 37 km of main tubes will be excavated. Several tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will excavate the main tunnel tubes.
Assembly of the machine will take place in large chambers. The TBMs are moved forward in the start tunnels after assembly and start driving from there. The other stretches will be built by blasting.

St. Jodok am Brenner emergency stop

European safety standards provide for emergency stops at a maximum distance of 20 kilometres for tunnel structures, such as the Brenner Base tunnel. A total of three emergency stops are planned in the BBT.

In the area of the St. Jodok emergency stop, the two main tunnel tubes will be driven with a slightly larger cross-section in order to offer better chances of rescue. A middle tunnel runs parallel between the two main tunnel tubes in the area of the emergency stop. This middle tunnel can be reached from both main tunnels via cross-connections and fire doors. In order to improve the chances of rescue for passengers in the area of the emergency stop, the standard distance between the cross-connections will be reduced from 333 metres to 90 metres.

Data for the St. Jodok emergency stop:

  • Main tunnels emergency area: 590 metres
  • 1 central tunnel, length: 900 metres
  • 1 pressure relief tunnel
  • 6 exhaust extraction cross-tunnel
  • 6 connecting tunnels
  • 1 turning niche

Wolf Exploratory tunnel

The exploratory tunnel lies between the two main tunnels and about 12 m below them. Approximately 1.2 km of exploration tunnels had already been excavated as part of the preliminary lot “Wolf 2”. The further 9 kilometres of exploratory tunnel will be excavated by blasting.

 

Excavation data (September 22nd, 2020)

Main tunnel
Excavation
2,848 m
Length
37,000 m
Cross-section
85 m²
Exploratory tunnel
Excavation
4,528 m
Length
7,262 m
Cross section
61 m²
Safety and logistics tunnels
Excavation
2,093 m
Length
6,200 m
Cross-section
20-350 m²
Overview map
Gallery

Mules 2-3

GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE CONSTRUCTION LOT

The construction lot “Periadriatic seam”, carried out between October 2011 and the summer of 2015, comprised the excavation of 3.7 km of the main tubes and 1.5 km of the exploratory tunnel. The crossing of the Periadriatic fault line, one of the biggest geological fault lines in the Alps, was accomplished without a hitch.

In May 2016 the biggest construction lot of the Brenner Base Tunnel project, known as “Mules 2-3”, with a contract volume of 993 mln euro, was awarded to the bidding consortium Astaldi S.p.A., Ghella S.p.A., Oberosler Cav Pietro S.r.l. (until June 2018), Cogeis S.p.A. and PAC S.p.A. Works started in September 2016.

This lot reaches from the construction lot “Isarco river underpass” up to the State border with Austria. In the course of a 7-year construction period, 39,8 km of the main tubes and 14.8 km of the exploratory tunnel will be excavated, including the emergency stop in Trens and its access tunnel as well as the bypasses which connect the main tubes every 333 m. A total of approximately 65 kilometers of tunnels will be excavated. 

Once this construction lot is finished, all excavation activities in the Italian project area will be complete. 

CURRENT CONSTRUCTION WORK

Access to emergency stop in Trens
The blasting work to connect the Mules access tunnel with the future emergency stop in Trens started in December 2016. The excavation works on the 3,8 km long tunnel with a cross-section of approximately 80 m2 were finished by June 2020.

Exploratory Tunnel
The drill and blast excavation works on the exploratory tunnel northwards resumed on 13.02.2017. After approximately 600 m drill and blast excavation, the rest of the stretch, all the way to the border, is being excavated with a tunnel boring machine (TBM). The driving operations are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Main tunnels
The drift of the main tubes northwards resumed on the 13th of march 2017. The excavation for the first 0.8 km was carried out by drill and blast, followed by two tunnel boring machines heading north in spring 2019. The TBM in the west tunnel will probably reach the state border at the end of 2021, the TBM in the east tunnel will arrive at the Brenner slightly later, at the beginning of 2022. 
The first blast of the southwards drift took place on the 3rd of april 2017. The southern end of the construction lot is expected to be reached in fall 2020.

EXCAVATION DATA (September 28th, 2020)

Access tunnel to the emergency stop
Excavation
3,805 m
Length
3,805 m
Cross-section
80 m²
Main tunnels
Excavation
21,982 m
Length
39,856 m
Cross-section
85 m²
Exploratory tunnel
Excavation
10,501 m
Length
14,757 m
Cross-section
35 m²
Safety and logistics tunnels
Excavation
1,463 m
Length
6,930 m
Cross-section
26-56 m²
Overview map
Gallery

Isarco river underpass

GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE CONSTRUCTION LOT

The southernmost construction lot of the Brenner Base Tunnel, worth 301 million Euro, was awarded to the bidding consortium Isarco s.c.a.r.l. composed of Webuild S.p.A. (formerlySalini-Impregilo), Strabag AG, Strabag S.p.A., Consorzio Integra and Collini Lavori S.p.A. bidding consortium in October of 2014. This lot links the Brenner Base Tunnel with the existing Brenner line and the railway station in Fortezza. The work is scheduled to be completed in 2022.


Since in this section the tunnel tubes are just a few meters below the surface, a portion of the activities pertaining to this construction lot is be carried out building artificial tunnels. Furthermore, as loose fluvioglacial materials and the groundwater layer will be crossed, it is be necessary to adopt specific ground consolidation procedures including ground freezing and the so-called jet grouting

CURRENT CONSTRUCTION WORK

As part of the preparatory work, by the end of 2016 the state road SS12 was re-routed and two bridges, an underpass under the Brenner railway line and a direct highway access were built. This means that both supply and removal transports can take place while avoiding traffic through the surrounding towns.

The current phase (main construction phase ) provided for the construction of four shafts, 20-25 metres deep, to access the rock faces of the Isarco River Underpass. Furthermore, it includes the excavation - already completed - of the access tunnel on the right side of the valley using drill and blast, and of part of the main tubes and the connecting tunnels, to be built with the drill and blast method.

As a preparatory measure for the relocation of the existing line, slope stabilization and earthmoving measures are being  implemented.

EXCAVATION DATA (September 28th, 2020)

Main tunnels
Excavation
3,213 m
Length
4,478 m
Cross-section
60-150 m²
Connecting tunnels
Excavation
917 m
Length
1,569 m
Cross-section
60-80 m²
Connecting side tunnels
Excavation
128 m
Length
170 m
Cross-section
35-45 m²
Access tunnel (completed)
Excavation
164 m
Length
164 m
Cross-section
65 m²
Overview map
Gallery