Drilling on Zhuhai Tunnel to start in August
Installation of the cutter head on the super-large-diameter slurry balanced shield machine "Kaituo" began May 28, which will be used to start drilling of the Zhuhai Tunnel by the end of August.
"Kaituo" was jointly customized by Zhuhai Communication Group, China Railway Tunnel Group, and China Railway Engineering Equipment Group with world-leading technologies and customized for Zhuhai's sludge formation.
Installation of the cutter head of "Kaituo" [Photo courtesy Zhuhai Daily]
The 4,200-metric-ton machine was completed for delivery in March this year and its 600-ton cutter head is divided into seven parts, while its core part weighs 220 tons. It has a drilling diameter of 15.01 m (49.2 ft).
The other shield machine "Fenjin" will be delivered soon. It will work together with "Kaituo" to drill under the Modaomen Waterway from west to east to finish the 2.93-km (1.82-mile) tunnel drilling.
The shield work shaft completed slab casting on May 27. The well is 26.8 m (29.3 yd) in length, 50.8 m (55.5 yd) in width, and located close to the Xijiang River estuary area. Problems like high confined level and silt weakness were overcome during its construction.
The 5-km (3-mile) Zhuhai Tunnel is able to stand extreme weather, such as typhoons and rainstorms, relieving traffic pressure on Zhuhai Avenue.
Upon the tunnel's operation and expansion of Zhuhai Avenue that connects east and west Zhuhai, motorists driving on the middle lanes of the avenue will have direct access to the Zhuhai Tunnel, while those on side lanes will be able to access Zhuhai Bridge.
A key link in constructing the Zhuhai Bridge Tunnel – a concrete slab floor of a huge shield launch shaft -- was poured Dec 21 in preparation for 15.01-m (49.25-ft) diameter machines to begin boring 35 m (115 ft) below the riverbed next year.