Published On: 11/24/2015

Megaprojects tunneling conference to be held in Seattle, WA

Attendees will visit the world’s largest tunnel boring machine

Sponsored by the Underground Construction Association of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (UCA of SME) and the North American Tunneling Journal, the 2013 Cutting Edge: Megaprojects conference will feature some of the largest and most complex tunneling projects from around the world. The conference will be held Nov. 3-5, 2013 at the Westin Hotel in Seattle, WA. Also featured will be a special field trip to the Alaskan Way state route 99 viaduct replacement project.

“The UCA of SME provides critical engineering and technical knowledge to industry professionals across the globe,” said SME Executive Director David L. Kanagy. “Current trends addressed in the program provide insight to the unique challenges associated with the tunneling and underground construction industries in North America and the rest of the world.”

A site visit to the world’s largest tunnel boring machine – a five-story-tall, 7,000-ton Hitachi Zosen EPB – promises attendees a walking tour of the $3.1-billion project, which is replacing the state route 99 double-deck highway with a two-milelong tunnel. After the tunnel opens to traffic in late 2015, the former viaduct will be converted to public open spaces dotted with landscaping along the waterfront.

Program topics include: political risk and financial cost control, logistics and construction challenges, and international megaprojects. Presentations from industry experts will draw on the challenges of current and future multi-billion dollar tunneling projects. Showcasing megaprojects for rail, highway, water and waste water will be relevant to engineers, suppliers, contractors and government representatives from around the world.

​For more information about the conference, please visit and click on the 2013 Cutting Edge Conference.

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is a professional society (nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation) whose more than 15,000 membership represents all professionals serving the minerals industry in more than 100 countries. SME members include engineers, geologists, metallurgists, educators, students and researchers. SME advances the worldwide mining and underground construction community through information exchange and professional development. SME's staff is located in Englewood, Colorado.

For more information contact John Hayden, Deputy Executive Director - Public Affairs and Government Relations, at (303) 948-4250 or