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PITTSBURGH, PA - Tunnel boring under the Allegheny River began in late-2007 for the North Shore Connector. Trucks carrying the largest components of the tunnel boring machine (TBM) arrived in Pittsburgh on August 4th from Herrenknecht AG in Schwanau, Germany.

North Shore Connector tunnel
Image: Port Authority Transit

The 1.2 mile extension connects the existing Pittsburgh light rail transit system (the "T") from downtown Pittsburgh to the North Shore, home to PNC Park, Heinz Field, Rivers Casino, the Korean War memorial, the Vietnam War memorial, the Mister Rogers memorial and the Carnegie Science Center.

The contractor for the tunnel project was North Shore Constructors, a joint venture of Trumbull Corp., and Obayashi Corp. of San Francisco. Completion of the $435 million project was originally scheduled for 2011, with actual completion occurring in Spring of 2012.
Once assembled, the TBM was 200 feet long and weighed 350 tons. Approximately 35 feet of tunnel could be bored daily. Twin tunnels were bored under the Allegheny River. The first tunnel was bored from the North Shore to Pittsburgh. The TBM was then hoisted and turned around so it could bore the second tunnel back to the North Shore.

Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM)
Tunnel Boring Machine
Photo: Port Authority Transit


Three new transit stations were constructed for the North Shore Connector:

Gateway Station
June 3, 2012

Gateway Station in Pittsburgh
Completed Gateway Station at
The Point in Pittsburgh, Pa
Ceramic Mural in Pittsburgh's Gateway T Station
T arrives at the Gateway Station
enroute to the North Shore
Construction details of how PITTSBURGH RECOLLECTIONS ceramic mural was moved
Details of how the Romare Bearden ceramic mural
was removed and reinstalled following construction
Romare Bearden ceramic mural Pittsburgh Recollections
Pittsburgh Recollections
by Romare Bearden, 1984
Ceramic tile mural composed of 780 tiles
Dimensions: 60 feet x 13 feet

July 4, 2011
Gateway Station begins to take shape
Gateway T station in Pittsburgh


T station near Gateway Center

February 3, 2009
Work on the Gateway Station area proceeds
Gateway Station in Pittsburgh

North Side Station
June 3, 2012

North Side Station

Allegheny Station
June 3, 2012

Allegheny Station


Allegheny Station near Carnegie Science Center


T passing Heinz Field


Video of a 'T' ride from the Allegheny Station
to the Gateway Station in Pittsburgh



Pittsburgh North Shore Connector map
Image: Port Authority Transit



Lowering the TBM
November 29, 2007 photo

A Barnhart modular lift tower is used to lower the tunnel boring machine into the ground. Barnhart had a similar tunnel project in Atlanta.

Construction near PNC Park
September 23, 2007 photo

Pittsburgh tunnel project by PNC Park
Separation plant for excavated material created by boring

North Shore Connector
construction photos
August 12, 2007

Subway construction near Heinz Field
Subway construction near Heinz Field
S.R. 65 bridge piers
Underpinning S.R. 65 bridge piers

Source: Port Authority Transit
Drilling caisson next to bridge pier
Drilling a caisson next to a bridge pier
Site of future North Side Station
Site of future North Side Station
Forward shell of Tunnel Boring Machine
Forward shell of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM)
Tunnel Boring Machine parts
TBM components awaiting assembly
Receiving pit for TBM
North Shore receiving pit for the TBM
PNC Park near North Shore Connector construction
PNC Park and Pittsburgh in the background


North Shore Connector News

Port Authority of Allegheny County
Press Release
August 3, 2007

Pittsburgh, PA – Trucks carrying the largest components of the tunnel boring machine (TBM) that will construct tunnels under the Allegheny River as part of Port Authority’s North Shore Connector project are expected to arrive at West General Robinson Street and Mazeroski Way on Saturday, August 4, 2007, at approximately 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
Shipments of smaller components of the TBM from the manufacturing plant in Schwanau, Germany, via Belgium and Baltimore, began to arrive in Pittsburgh last week. Most of the TBM’s components are expected to arrive in Pittsburgh by Friday, August 10.
The TBM will be assembled on the construction site at West General Robinson Street and Mazeroski Way and lowered into the launch pit over the next two and a half months, with tunneling expected to begin in late October or early November.


Other bored tunnels:



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