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Underground civils work to start on Large Hadron Collider site

The European Laboratory of Particle Physics (Cern) has announced that the civil engineering work for the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is to start.

The civils works, at sites in Switzerland and France, include the construction of new buildings, shafts, caverns and underground galleries.

Implenia was awarded a €58M (£51M) contract in April this year to build an underground network of galleries connected to the existing tunnels at Cern’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Access to the galleries will be provided by a new 60m deep shaft, at the foot of which a cavern will be created for technical infrastructure.

The new tunnels and underground halls will house new cryogenic equipment, the electrical power supply systems and various plants for electricity, cooling and ventilation.

According to Implenia, this tunnel and foundation engineering project is made challenging by the geology and by the proximity of ongoing Cern operations.

During the civil engineering work, the LHC will continue to operate, with two long technical stop periods that will allow preparations and installations to be made for high luminosity alongside yearly regular maintenance.

After completion of the upgrade, the LHC is expected to produce data in high-luminosity mode from 2026 onwards. By pushing the frontiers of accelerator and detector technology, it will also pave the way for future higher-energy accelerators.

Implenia is leading the contract as part of a consortium, and is the technical lead and lead manager. It has a 60% stake in the consortium, while its partner Baresel has the remaining 40% share.

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