Ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy played role in con­struc­tion of un­der­sea tun­nel

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By XIE CHUANJIAO in Qing­dao, Shan­dong xiechuan­jiao@chi­

China’s first un­der­sea tun­nel for a sub­way em­ployed ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies and ma­chin­ery to com­bat com­plex ge­o­log­i­cal con­di­tions.

The cross-sea tun­nel — an 8.1-kilo­me­ter seg­ment, 3.49 km of which is un­der­wa­ter — spans Jiaozhou Bay in Qing­dao, Shan­dong prov­ince, and links the coastal city’s down­town area in the east with the Huang­dao dis­trict in the west.

It is the coun­try’s deep­est un­der­sea tun­nel, with its deep­est sec­tion ex­tend­ing 88 me­ters be­low sea level. It bears wa­ter pres­sure stress of at least 8.8 kilo­grams per square cen­time­ter. Other un­der­sea tun­nels have been built for ve­hi­cles, but this is the first for a sub­way.

Com­ple­tion of the tun­nel, which is part of the city’s sub­way Line 1, was an­nounced on Tues­day. Con­struc­tion started in Septem­ber 2015.

Work­ers faced com­plex ge­o­log­i­cal con­di­tions and high risks, such as tidal surges and the col­lapse of sur­round­ing rocks. They used the most ad­vanced sur­vey­ing and fore­cast­ing meth­ods to elim­i­nate mis­judg­ments and iden­tify risks.

“More than 90 per­cent of the work was done by mod­ern ma­chin­ery with in­tel­li­gent func­tions, which re­duced man­ual la­bor and im­proved ef­fi­ciency,” said Yin Xian­feng, gen­eral man­ager of Line 1.

“The drilling rig they used is mul­ti­func­tional, with a high-def­i­ni­tion cam­era at the front of its drill to help them ob­serve ge­o­log­i­cal con­di­tions — like doc­tors us­ing en­do­scopes.”

The tun­nel is set to be part of a 60-km sub­way line con­nect­ing the eastern and west­ern parts of Qing­dao. The full line is ex­pected to open to traf­fic at the end of 2020 and to sig­nif­i­cantly cut travel time from one side to the other.

It is es­ti­mated that pas­sen­gers will need only 6 min­utes by sub­way to travel be­tween the two parts of the city, ac­cord­ing to Qing­dao Metro Co, the line’s fu­ture op­er­a­tor.

The line will be the third ma­jor cross-sea trans­port route, fol­low­ing a cross-sea bridge and an­other un­der­sea tun­nel built for cars, both of which opened to traf­fic in July 2011. They have greatly en­hanced the city’s eco­nomic growth. The Huang­dao dis­trict has be­come a new en­gine for the city’s devel­op­ment.

The State Coun­cil, China’s Cabi­net, ap­proved the es­tab­lish­ment of Qing­dao West Coast New Area in the Huang­dao dis­trict in June 2014, the ninth such area in China. The dis­trict’s GDP ranked third of all new ar­eas, be­hind Shang­hai Pudong and Tian­jin Bin­hai.

Lo­cal res­i­dents are for­ward to the new op­er­a­tion.

“I can’t wait to ride the sub­way line. It will save me look­ing tun­nel’s a lot of time and money,” said Xiao Jie, a 34-year-old com­muter who drives be­tween the two ar­eas ev­ery day.

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