From June 16 to 19, more than 1,400 tunneling and underground construction professionals gathered in Chicago, IL for the bienial Rapid Excavation and Tunneling Conference (RETC). There, they were greeted by a full technical program and an exciting exhibit hall that provided a comprehensive look at the world’s bustling tunneling and underground construction industry.
The successful conference was a reflection of the industry itself, which is to say, busy. As much of the world has begun to focus on creating a cleaner and greener environment, the global tunneling industry has seen an uptick in infrastructure projects move from design-build to construction phase. With a global shift away from the use of fossil fuels, major cities around the world are looking to increase public transportation options, which leads to the need for more transportation tunnels. And as urban populations continue to grow, the need for clean water calls for more tunnels, and as urban footprints continue to expand, the need to increase and update combined sewage overflow tunnel grows with them