The tunneling industry has seen great advancements in construction methods and technologies over the past two decades.

As a result of these new technologies, tunneling is occurring today in places where it would have once been considered impractical or impossible.  Tunnels are viewed as a “green” alternative in many instances, providing for transportation infrastructure or water conveyance without requiring large disturbances to forested areas or animal habitats.

At RIZZO our early involvement in tunneling came about naturally as a result of our work providing water conveyances schemes for hydropower and cooling water schemes for nuclear power plants.  In recent years our work on tunnels and shafts has expanded to a myriad of applications on projects around the world including Water Conveyance, Transportation, Mine Access, and Pipeline Routing through both hard rock and soft ground.  From mass transit routes below the streets of New York City to vehicle routes through the Andes Mountains, we take pride in the international breadth of our tunneling achievements.

In addition to providing complete tunnel design services, we have experience in developing geotechnical investigation programs and authoring Geotechnical Baseline Reports, evaluating tunnel and underground structure designs against seismic loading criteria, producing hydraulic models for fluid flow through tunnels, and providing construction management services.

RIZZO’s projects have garnered attention and accolades from engineering societies in the U.S. and abroad.  We proudly served as the Engineer-of-Record for the award-winning Taum Sauk Upper Reservoir Rebuild, where our team developed solutions for rehabilitating the tunnels and shafts using the GIN Method of grouting with real-time monitoring.

Our tunneling services portfolio includes:

  • Tunnel Design
  • Shaft Design
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Seismic Engineering
  • Hydraulic Engineering
  • Tunnel Rehabilitation Program Development
  • Construction Management

I. Water Conveyance

RIZZO has in-depth experience in designing tunnels for water conveyance at hydropower sites and for supplying cooling water for nuclear power plants.  Our extensive experience in working with regulatory agencies such as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) ensures our complete understanding of the nuances of designing tunnels for these applications.  RIZZO professionals are skilled in the areas of geotechnical, seismic, hydraulic, and environmental engineering ensuring that we are a valuable addition to any water conveyance tunnel project team.  Our international experience includes water conveyance tunnels in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.


II. Transportation

RIZZO’s expertise in seismic, structural, and geotechnical engineering provides a great foundation for our work on transportation structures.  In 2007 RIZZO acquired the International Civil Engineering Consultants, Inc. (ICEC), and opened our Oakland branch office. ICEC’s engineers and scientists brought decades of seismic and consulting experience to our firm, including years of experience with various types of tunnels, bridges, lightrail and highspeed rail projects.  Their long standing presence in the transportation market complimented and expanded our capabilities.

Our reputation for excellence in providing geotechnical and seismic engineering consulting has uniquely positioned RIZZO to provide specialty engineering consulting for transportation tunnels around the world.  From developing geotechnical investigation programs to evaluating tunnels and underground structure designs against seismic loading criteria, RIZZO personnel have worked on transportation tunnel projects across the United States and in South America, Eastern Asia, and Europe.

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III. Other Tunnels

There are a myriad of applications where an underground solution is necessary or provides considerable advantages to above-ground alternatives.  Tunnels and shafts can be used for pipeline routing, ore conveyance, mine access, pedestrian pathways and even underground storage.  RIZZO houses the expertise to provid tunnel engineering and geotechnical oversight for a network of tunnels and shafts. Our experience includes work performed for a large underground cavern that is integral to ore-crushing operations and material conveyance at the Gualcamayo Mine in Argentina, as well as tunnel design for routing a gas pipeline through the sub-Andes in Bolivia.