Construction of main sewer using directional drilling for new public transport debot

Van Boekel GmbH was comissioned by Ruhrbahn GmbH in Essen to divert the main sewer by means of directional drilling. The work was carried out on the site of Essen’s bus and tram depot (Germany).

We were awarded this project after we explained our plan to the client and submitted the Most Economically Advantageous Tender. We used a method called ‘microtunneling’, which involves inserting concrete pipes into the soil through a pre-drilled tunnel. Together with ARS, we got started on the preparatory work in March 2018.

  • Essen (Germany)
  • Ruhrbahn GmbH

Excavating and building while the buses and trams keep running


The existing Ruhrban depot was undersized and a new extension had been planned on the same site. Before this new-build project could be started, the current concrete sewers had to be diverted and their capacity had to be increased. As the sewers were situated 8 metres below ground level, we opted for directional drilling and concrete pipes with a steel core and a diameter of 800 mm. Part of the pipes were made of Polyethylene with an inner diameter of 300 mm. The various sewer pipes were connected to each other with precast concrete wells.

Excavating and building while the buses and trams keep running.

Every evening and night, the buses and trams were cleaned, serviced, refueled and prepared for the next day.  The work was also hindered by the presence of overhead lines above the planned route of the sewer. To avoid damaging the overhead lines and to safely perform our work, the overhead line grid was temporarily disconnected and diverted. The main challenge in this project was to schedule the work in such a way as to affect the bus and tram depot as little as possible. The continued drainage of wastewater from existing buildings was guaranteed by diverting it through a pumping station.

How can we help?

ClientRuhrbahn GmbH
LocationEssen (Germany)
Contract formStabu
CategoryCivil engineering
Executed byVan Boekel GmbH
TimeApril 2018 – November 2018
Curious to find out more?

Van Boekel Bouw & Infra changed its course a few years ago, shifting our focus to multidisciplinary concrete projects in the civil and non-residential construction sectors. We started to emphasise Best Value Procurement (BVP) projects, which enabled us to escape the low-cost market. This change of course has netted Van Boekel Bouw & Infra new clients, whilst enabling us to specialise in new types of projects and contracts, such as UAV-gc, and expanding our work area in the Netherlands and abroad.  Our organisation and employees worked hard to make this transition into a success, focusing on acquiring new clients and completing new projects.