Shield tunnel for extension project

Shield tunnel for extension project of Hengqin Line connecting Macao with Zhuhai completed by Global Times Nov 25 2022

The shield tunnel for the extension project of the Hengqin Line connecting Macao Special Administrative Region to Zhuhai in South China’s Guangdong Province was completed on Friday, marking a further step in making Macao part of the “one-hour living circle” in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).

The extension of the Hengqin Line is a cross-border light railway transport route. Namkwong Real Estate Co, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Railway 16th Bureau Group Corporation are carrying out the project.

The project used the Aoqin No.1, the largest shield tunneling machine, which has a diameter of 7.98 meters and a length of 87 meters.

In order to ensure smooth excavation during the shield tunnel construction, CCECC told the Global Times on Friday that the project team adapted to the natural environment by using the double hinge design and an intelligent system to improve the adaptability and reliability of the shield tunneling machine.

As the first shield tunnel to cross the sea in Macao, the project fills the gap in Macao’s rail transit construction through using the shield tunneling method, CCECC said.

The line is 2.2 kilometers long, starting from the elevated station HE1, located near the Lotus Bridge in Macao, which is connected to the Lotus Checkpoint Station, part of the Taipa Line. It runs along the Lotus Bridge and crosses the Shizimen Waterway before entering Zhuhai’s Hengqin Island through an underwater tunnel, and then arrives at the underground HE2 station in front of Hengqin Port.

In March 2021, construction was launched to extend Macao’s light rail transit line into Hengqin. It is planned to operate as a shuttle between the two sides upon completion, which is scheduled for 2025.

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