One of the Brazil’s most significant infrastructure projects is its first immersed tunnel project at Santos Port in São Paulo. Currently 40,000 people cross the channel each day by passenger ferry. When it opens in 2018, the tunnel will make a vast difference to the lives of commuters, reduce traffic congestion and pollution, and boost Brazil’s economy.Infrastructure projects in Brazil have increased steadily since the government announced its Growth Acceleration Programme in 2007. One of the country’s most significant of these is Brazil’s first immersed tunnel project at Santos Port in São Paulo - the largest harbour in Latin America. We are leading the 800 m tunnel design, working together with Witteveen + Bos under our permanent joint venture Tunnel Engineering Consultants (TEC).
The tunnel will link the two cities of Santos and Guarujá, which are located on opposite sides of the main harbour channel. Currently 40,000 people cross the channel each day by passenger ferry. The alternative, and only option for freight vehicles, is to take a 50 km detour.
Speaking from Royal HaskoningDHV’s new office in São Paulo, project manager Harald Franke said: “The tunnel is one of Brazil’s most significant infrastructure projects to date. We were contacted by DERSA, São Paulo’s government Agency for highways, to help them find a solution to connect the two cities."“A bridge option was ruled out due to cost and impact on the city and nearby airport. However a feasibility study we carried out indicated that an immersed tunnel was a real option. Once the tunnel has completed it will provide lanes for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, which will improve the lives of commuters, relieve the burden on passenger ferry services and reduce driving time for freight traffic.”
Other immersed tunnel projects we are involved in include the Fehmarnbelt between Denmark and Germany, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Link in China, the Busan-Geoje Link in South Korea and the Coatzacoalcos tunnel in Mexico. TEC will also design two immersed tunnels for the iconic Sharq Crossing in Doha, Qatar.