Tunnels are underground artificial passages which are constructed without disturbing the ground surface.
The methods involved in underground operations are known as tunnel driving. Tunnels may be constructed through hills, below ground, rivers etc. for various purposes. Following are the advantages and disadvantages of tunnels.
Advantages of Tunnels
- Tunnels allow rapid and unobstructed transport facilities in big congested cities.
- Tunnels protect the system (railway track, highway, sewer line or oil line etc.) for which it is constructed from weather effects such as snow, rain etc. Thus tunnels reduce the maintenance cost of the system.
- Tunnels avoid troubling to surface life and traffic during construction.
- Tunnels protect the system from destruction due to bombarding during wartime.
- In a certain place, tunnels have proved cheaper for crossing the mountain or river than open cut or bridges.
- In the most congested urban area, underground railways or highways is the best alternative to provide means of transportation.
- In soft-rocked hill, construction of the tunnel has proved cheaper than open cut due to a large number of the slips etc.
- It avoids the long circuitous routes around a mountain or spur.
- Tunnel avoid the dangerous open-cut very near to the structure.
- Tunnels have proved cheaper to carry public utility service like water, gas, sewer etc.
- Tunnels if provided with easy gradient, the cost of hauling is reduced.
- The safety of tunnel construction has considerably increased due to the improved modern method of construction.
- Due to shortening in distance tunnels have proved economical.
- It diverts water for power generation.
- It permits easy gradients in mountainous terrain resulting in high speed of vehicles.
Disadvantages of Tunnels
- The initial cost of tunnel construction is more.
- Tunnel construction requires skilled labour and technical supervision of high order.
- The construction duration of tunnels is more than bridges or open cuts.
- The construction of tunnels requires advanced and specialized equipment.
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