Instrumentation and Monitoring in Mina Zayed Tunnel l United Arab Emirates

Project summary

Service provided:  Instrumentation and Monitoring during urban excavation activities
Location:  Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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Client:  Itinera & Agility
Period of the service:  2019-2022
Duration of service:  3 years

Images of the project

The Mina Zayed Tunnel Project

The Department of Transport of Abu Dhabi has launched the first phase of the development of the road network in the Mina Zayed area, in Abu Dhabi.


The 1.3km-long tunnel aims at improving the road connection from Sheikh Khalifa bridge to the Sheikh Zayed Tunnel and the Corniche Road.


With five lanes in each direction, the new transport infrastructure is expected to accommodate 10,000 vehicles per hour and per direction. The project also includes several ramifications to/from the main tunnel.


Instrumentation & Monitoring around an urban excavation


The tunnel is built following the “open-cut” method. As the road network passes around existing buildings or transport infrastructure, the retaining elements, the structures around and the ground between the buildings and the excavation need to be instrumented and monitoring activities must be performed. Sixense was contracted to carry out those activities, after conducting an extensive pre- condition survey of the structures in the vicinity of the excavation.


The deformations of the retaining wall are assessed by means of optical prisms and total station survey campaigns, as well as using inclinometer equipped with In-Place-Inclinometers sensors, datalogged to provide data in real-time.


Ground anchors are equipped with load cells, datalogged for automatic data acquisition and transmission in real-time.


Ground and buildings settlements are surveyed using settlement markers and digital levelling activities. Vibration monitoring activities were punctually carried out.


Monitoring activities have been carried out on a daily basis from project inception, while weekly reports are provided to the different stakeholders.

Project Key figures

500 Optical prisms
100 Settlement markers
10 Datalogged anchor load cells
36 Months of monitoring activities

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