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Insights Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai tunnelling project

Heung Yuen Wai Highway (HYWH) is an approximately 11 km, two lane carriageway connecting the Fanling Highway and the new Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point (BCP). HYWH includes the 4.8 km Lung Shan Tunnel, 0.7 km Cheung Shan Tunnel, 4.5 km viaduct, and 1 km of at-grade roads. Four interchanges along HYWH give Sha Tau Kok, Ta Kwu Ling and Ping Che communities access to Fanling, Sheung Shui, Tai Po and Kowloon.

The role of Atkins has been Design Consultant – responsibilities and services have included Tunnelling & Underground Space, Site Formation and Building Foundation Works.

Designing solutions

Creating a lining that would be strong enough to safely support the enormous, 14 m diameter twin tunnels excavation was enough of a design challenge. What made it even more demanding was the extremely complex geology – much of it within the bored tunnels section and at the portals was soft ground / extremely weathered rock with high groundwater levels, beneath a hilly landscape. Our experienced tunnellers understood the challenges and solutions for the Lung Shan Tunnel, despite the difficult ground conditions. Through careful planning and design, using the latest analytical techniques, our approach delivered the best, sustainable design for our client and end users.

The contractor and our teams planned excavation using the Drill-&-Blast tunnelling technique as well as an Earth Pressure Balance Machine (EPBM), a type of TBM. We put forward this approach as the most cost effective for the project. TBM tunnelling offered the most efficient way to achieve such a large tunnel – the machinery would support the ground quickly and safely, allowing for faster progress. This method would also reduce the pollution, environmental impact and disruption associated with construction.

A multiple record setting project

We're proud to be setting records for tunnel design in Hong Kong. The 4.8 km Lung Shan Tunnel is the longest twin tube land-based road tunnel in Hong Kong. The project engaged the largest Earth Pressure Balance (EPB) Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) in Hong Kong, with a diameter of 14.1 metres. It was also the first time in Hong Kong that a TBM has completed a U-turn in a specially designed rock cavern – the normal practice is to dismantle the TBM and transport it back to its original launching position. Our teams’ innovative thinking saved time and costs for our client, as well as reduced environmental impact.

Boosting our economies

Through work on the Liantang/Hueng Yuen Wai project, our teams are creating more prosperous communities across Hong Kong and the mainland. HYWH will link up with the northern Heung Yuen Wai BCP – a crossing key to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. By enhancing cross-boundary traffic connections it will enhance the development of Hong Kong’s “one-hour living circle” while promoting economic development, regional cooperation and connections between these areas. The resulting smoother, more effective cross-boundary flow of people and goods, will cement our new border crossing’s strategic role in Hong Kong’s long-term economic development.

Excited about how Atkins is using infrastructure to shape a better future? Join us here.