Dragages builds Sheung Wan – Sai Ying Pun Tunnels for West Island Line

23 October 2009

Dragages Hong Kong Limited, in joint venture with Maeda Corporation and Bachy Soletanche Group, has been awarded a contract by the MTR Corporation (MTR) for the construction of the Sheung Wan to Sai Ying Pun section of the new MTR West Island Line. When complete in 2014, the new line will extend the current MTR Island Line by three kilometres from Sheung Wan to Kennedy Town. By heralding a new era of accessibility and convenience, the new line is expected to transform the economy of the Island West community.

Scope of works includes the construction of two tunnels of up to 770 metres between Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun Stations, two passenger entrances at Sai Woo Lane, demolition of the existing overrun tunnel at Sheung Wan Station and associated works.

“The West Island Line will redefine the communities that it serves,” remarked Nicolas Borit, Managing Director of Dragages Hong Kong Limited. “We are honoured to have been awarded such an important role on this challenging project, which is without doubt one of the most sophisticated MTR tunnelling projects to date. We look forward to witnessing the benefits that the completed line brings to both the Island West community and Hong Kong as a whole.”

In addition to interfacing with an operational MTR station, Dragages’ section of the West Island Line will pass under the densely populated Western District and must negotiate a large number of piling obstructions.

To cope with these complex geological conditions, a tailor-made slurry Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) will be used for the construction of both the eastbound and westbound tunnels. The TBM will be equipped with stringent safety features, including double man locks which minimise the adverse impact of compressed-air working conditions. A Cutter Head Monitoring System will likewise be another distinct feature of the machine, which will help to reduce the risk of machine breakdown and facilitate the detection of obstructions. For the demolition of the existing overrun tunnel at Sheung Wan Station, a unique Tunnel Dismantling Machine (TDM) will also be used. Collectively, these innovative solutions will prevent surface settlement and enhance workers’ safety, while also ensuring the day-to-day operation of the current MTR Island Line remains unaffected. More