The trenchless challenge in urban Hong Kong
Dec 07, 2007
The underground environment in Hong Kong Installing and maintaining underground utilities can be a challenge anywhere, regardless of whether conventional open trench or trenchless methods are adopted. However, every location and environment imposes specific constraints and difficulties, and Hong Kong is a particularly difficult environment in which to work underground.
Some trenchless methods, such as pipe jacking and tunnelling have been used in Hong Kong for a number of years. For example, many kilometres of large diameter (up to 5.6 m in diameter) sewer tunnel have been constructed using Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) at depths of up to 150 m below ground level.
Although the use of trenchless methods in Hong Kong is difficult and subject to a variety of constraints, the benefits are recognised and its use is on the increase. There have already been a number of achievements and local contractors are gaining experience in a variety of trenchless methods. Hong Kong faces some even greater challenges ahead including the rehabilitation of many large diameter water mains located under heavily trafficked roads in a congested urban environment. In spite of these difficulties, there continues to be a huge commitment to using trenchless methods, and engineers throughout Hong Kong are rising to meet this challenge.
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