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Design of Shallow Caverns in an Urban Environment


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Author H Lagger, A Amon and S Pollak


This paper describes the current and finished design work which has been
performed for shallow rock station caverns for New York City’s first new subway
construction in 60 years. A new robust, sophisticated, design procedure has been
developed for two up to 30 m wide caverns, with overburden of less then 12 m,
and rock cover to span ratios (C/S) in the order of 0.25. The design is based on
empirical input parameters like the Q-value, rock mass rating (RMR) values, rock
mass class after Cording (1984), cover to span ratios, which have been validated
by the use of structural computer models as well as two- and three-dimensional
numerical discontinuum models. The design approach is a staged approach using
first principles, empirical models and non-linear FEM and DEM models.

In addition, the paper describes the factors and circumstances why shallow
caverns have been selected instead of cut-and-cover structures and why all the
underground station structures have been developed as drained