RS&H was retained to provide design services in developing a design-build criteria package for the Cargo Service Road Tunnel and related work. This project provided Tampa International Airport with a shorter, more direct roadway linking the Air Cargo Facility to the terminal. Creating the shortcut required a 502-foot-long, two-lane roadway tunnel under Runway 18L-36R’s runway safety area. Other elements of the project included roadway and grading design; airfield lighting modifications; tunnel structural, electrical, ventilation, drainage, and fire protection design; and coordination with permitting agencies having jurisdiction.
Tunnel structure and ventilation alternatives were presented to Hillsborough County Aviation Authority (HCAA) early in the design phase. The tunnel presented unique design challenges to construct and waterproof a cut-and-cover, cast-in-place concrete tunnel 20 feet below the groundwater table at the end of an existing runway. RS&H coordinated with the Federal Aviation Administration to receive deviations from standards, where applicable. Innovative drainage design techniques were successfully implemented to meet site condition challenges, including high water tables. To accommodate future tunnel expansion, RS&H performed a comprehensive analysis to include certain safety elements into the design that would be required by the National Fire Protection Association when the tunnel is expanded. Another critical element of the criteria development was the construction phasing and schedule. Every effort was made to minimize disruptions to Runway 18L-36R, coordinating tunnel construction with other planned runway project schedules.