Sika and the Gotthard Tunnel

Kaspar Winkler was driven by his entrepreneurial spirit when he laid the cornerstone of our company in 1910. He was born into a modest cobbler family and emigrated quite early from Austria to Switzerland. There he invented Sika-1, a quick-setting waterproofing admixture for mortar, which was used to waterproof the Gotthard Tunnel, enabling the Swiss railway company to electrify this important connection between Northern and Southern Europe. Innovation met demand! Kaspar Winkler recognized an upcoming global need for his “trailblazing” admixtures and launched subsidiaries around the world. Already in the 1930s, 15 Sika subsidiaries in Europe, USA, Argentina, Brazil and Japan established new construction chemicals markets.

Today the new Gotthard Tunnel (NEAT: New European Alp Transit) again is an important project for Sika. Although Sika-1 is still part of our product range, today much more advanced products are being used. High-tech admixtures for shotcrete and tailored waterproofing systems are needed to build this 57 km tunnel – the longest tunnel on earth – through the Swiss Alps. We can be proud of our history and look to the future with optimism, as our know-how, our service and our products are needed more than ever.