Grand Paris: Building under the city

Grand Paris: Building under the city

Population growth, migration, urbanisation and climate change are all factors that are driving an increased demand for infrastructure globally, but there are challenges the industry needs to overcome in order to execute the delivery.

A lot of Europe’s critical infrastructure was built post war and has either reached or is approaching the end of its originally intended design life. But each of these structures are integral to the infrastructure network across Europe and as a result, it’s a huge challenge for the industry to present solutions to these fundamental problems. This is leading to a higher focus than ever on both the creation of new assets and extending the life of existing infrastructure.

Across Europe the amount of space available for building work is decreasing, particularly in urban. As a result, the number of critical infrastructure projects being built underground are increasing.

One of the most exciting large scale underground infrastructure projects in Europe is the Grand Paris extension to the metro, which is using innovative autonomous technology to create over 200km of newly constructed tunnels beneath the famous Parisian structures which we’re all familiar with.

This specific project is due for full completion by 2030, although elements have been pushed through to be usable for Paris’ 2024 Olympics. At Topcon, we’re working to bring smart monitoring and added security to the project which will cost around €22bn to complete at the expense of the Paris tax payer.

Led by Société du Grand Paris (SGP), the project will see the construction of four new automatic metro lines and the expansion of two existing lines which will ensure Parisians and tourists alike can move freely around the city via train, almost like a French edit of the M25, opposed to the existing network which largely brings people either in or out of one of the world’s great capitals. 

Our monitoring system which is being used on the project needs to deliver on a large scale and the workflow includes the MS series of robotic total stations. The MS Series is a high-precision device which continuously measures the angles and distance of prisms fixed to a structure. Any change in the measurements indicates structural movement and this is immediately reported to engineers.

Find out more about intelligent monitoring here:

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