Connecting Antioquia And Its Capital Medellin City

As part of the 4th generation highways currently being built in Colombia, the Mulatos Tunnel is a portion of highway called Pacifico 2, which will connect the Department of Antioquia with the Coffee Triangle and the southwest of the country. With a length of 1.5 miles (2.4 km). and two vehicular passages, it constitutes a milestone of Colombian engineering. Its location, in the rocky massif between the Mulatos and the Cauca Rivers, makes it the most critical segment of the project. The tunnel lining was awarded to Consorcio Suroeste, formed by two large construction companies in Colombia: Latinco S.A. and Estyma S.A., with more than 50 years of combined experience in civil works.

The Best Rentable Solution: REDI-RADIUS And SUPER STUD

Consorcio Suroeste chose EFCO to supply two, 29′-6″ (9 m) travelers to add to the in-progress lining works. The travelers were constructed of all leasable components and capable of building approximately 2,300’ (700 m) of tunnel lining each, with an uninterrupted high production rate.

When looking for a formwork supplier, they wanted a company that could deliver a solution quickly, provide supervision on site for assembly and cycling activities and offer formwork that produced an excellent concrete finish. These were important factors to consider when choosing a supplier.

The solution was a combination of EFCO SUPER STUDS® and REDI-RADIUS® forms. To adjust to the geometry of the tunnel with its different slopes of up to 7.4%, both JUNIOR and SENIOR REDI-RADIUS® forms were placed on top of the frames made of SUPER STUDS®. Hillman rollers, placed on the bottom of the frames, made them into movable travelers capable of rotating 360 degrees to traverse the tunnel rail. The all-steel face sheets provided the required concrete finish.

Allowance For Site Traffic

At the same time the tunnel lining was carried out, other critical activities of the project had to follow their normal course within the tunnel. For this reason, EFCO designed the travelers not only to support the formwork weight and the concrete loads, but also to provide an open clearance that allowed trucks and machinery to go through the tunnel.

Training At The Jobsite

This project was the first time the contractor worked with the REDI-RADIUS formwork system. EFCO field service worked closely with the crew to teach them how to assemble and cycle the forming equipment. This on-site training proved to be of value to the project with respect to productivity and safety. The crew was able to cycle the traveler every 18 hours.

Adaptability Of EFCO Systems

Because of the versatility of SUPER STUDS and REDI-RADIUS, the contractor reused much of the same equipment for the connection tunnels once the road tunnel work was complete, taking full advantage of EFCO systems and the engineering service.◊

My satisfaction and gratitude to the EFCO team because they have been a great support.

-Edgar Parra, Project Director

Mulatos Tunnel - Bolombolo, Antioquia, Colombia
Mulatos Tunnel - Bolombolo, Antioquia, Colombia
Mulatos Tunnel in Bolombolo, Antioquia, Colombia
Mulatos Tunnel - Bolombolo, Antioquia, Colombia
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