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Cemex helps construct underwater tunnel in Latin America

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

Cemex has participated in the construction of the Coatzacoalcos Underwater Tunnel in Veracruz, Mexico. Because of the dimensions of the complex construction, the company needed to design and deliver special concretes to build the different structures that shaped the tunnel and its points of access.

Because the construction was underwater, the company managing the project, Constructora Túnel de Coatzacoalcos, needed Cemex to design specific concrete for the structural elements and the agents to which they would be exposed.

“Through its quality department, CEMEX worked with us to design the concrete mix used in the tunnel to meet the durability requirements specified by the needs of this project and international standards,” explained Darwin Hernandez, Technical Manager of the construction project.

Cemex supplied 48 000 m3 of special products, from concrete for the different structural elements to the design and placement of concrete pavement inside the tunnel and the toll area. Cemex supplied concrete in separate massive pouring of 600 – 800 m3 for the slabs of the access ramps to the tunnel.

CEMEX offered its know-how and ability to solve construction challenges. Additionally, it followed up very closely with both the needs prior to the design of the project and the concrete formulations to proceed with the castings,” added Jose Armengol Notario, Production Superintendent of Producción de Constructora Túnel de Coatzacoalcos. The chosen construction method provided the least impact on urban areas, and utilised large prefabricated reinforced concrete modules produced in a dry dock that were later transported to their final position and installed under water. For this project, five concrete blocks were built in a dry dock on the banks of the Coatzacoalcos River and later transferred and placed at the bottom of the river.

The tunnel, comprising four lanes—two in each direction, is expected to ease vehicle traffic between the Coatzacoalcos urban area and the petrochemical industrial area of Villa Allende, while reducing commutes between these population centres from 30 to three minutes.

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