Cave Drill at Neibaum/Coppola

Wine Cave Tunneling: Itís Not Boring

Picture a tank with a giant boom with a rotating cone of spikes at the end and youíve got a roadheader, the machine used to bore through the earth in wine cave construction.

The roadheader can grind away at a rate of two to 15 feet a day. The excavated material is transported to the rear of the machine and then removed from the tunnel with a rubber tired skid loader or a load-haul-dump mining machine.

At the end of each dayís digging, the freshly excavated tunnels are sprayed with at least a six inch coating of shotcrete, a concrete mixture that adds structural support as well as waterproofing. More support may be needed so welded wire fabric reinforcement may be added and additional layers of shotcrete with steel fibers may be applied on subsequent days.

After excavation is completed, utilities are installed and then a final coating of shotcrete is applied before drains, floors and doors are installed.

(Quotes from Nordby about the process would be good)

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