Trenchless Tunneling

Published: September 30, 2017 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Trenchless Tunneling Mean?

Trenchless tunneling is the practice of digging an underground passage without disrupting the surface above the excavation. It is a way of installing pipes or utilities without the need for convetnional open trenches. While tunneling has a history that goes back for centuries, the methods and technologies for trenchless tunneling have matured considerably in the past few decades.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Trenchless Tunneling

Conventional trenching of streets, yards and neighborhoods to lay pipes and utilities is becoming less abundant. That practice has been replaced by advanced methods for boring holes through the earth called trenchless tunneling. This is a technology that is more convenient, less disruptive and can protect the environment in ways that open trenching never could.

Advancements in the trenchless industry include complex horizontal directional drilling techniques and powerful tunnel boring machines. Microtunneling uses remote guidance, and pipe ramming provides the thrust to move pipes and casings through the ground. Auger boring is a corkscrew-like method for drilling, and large diameter tunnels make use of robust tunnel boring machines.

Trenchless technology is used to install or replace sewer pipes, to install casings for utility cables, and to construct highway tunnels. It is used to build passageways under lakes, streams, roads and neighborhoods, and a tunnel can even extend for hundreds of yards. The tunnels made using trenchless methods represent a major advancement in construction technology.


Share This Term

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Related Reading

Trending Articles

Go back to top