Hand tunneling is the excavation and installation of fixed conventional tunnel supports at the tunnel heading by tunnel miners. This method allows for a variety of size, shape or length tunnel. The method’s adaptability is exceeded only by its flexibility when encountering unexpected conditions, such as buried utilities or unknown or difficult soil conditions. While the hand tunneling method may be the oldest of methods, the excavation tools, tunnel support materials and engineering are 21st century state-of-the-art. Hand tunneling can be very effective in soils below the water table when combined with ground stabilization methods, such as dewatering, chemical and cement grouting and/or compressed air tunneling.

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