Rapid progress on latest Chinese metro 17 Apr 2013
Herrenknecht News Release
- Eight EPBMs have excavated almost 16km of metro tunnels under Wuxi, China, in just 20 months, placing the emerging city on target to open its first two lines next year (2014).
- The Herrenknecht machines completed their latest drives under the 3,000-year-old metropolis, near Shanghai, in March. In all five metro lines are planned.
Celebrating breakthrough at Wuxi
- The EPBMs, with diameters between 6.37m and 6.39m, have been excavating since July 2011. With top performances of 33m/day and 164m/week, the latest breakthrough on a 2.5km stretch of tunnel for metro Line 2 completed a 10-month drive.
- The project has been a challenging one. On an earlier drive one of the EPBMs excavated to within only a few metres below residential and commercial buildings. Ground freezing methods had to be employed at one location where the EPBM passed to within just 3.7m of building foundations. Ground conditions consisted of strongly acquiferous clay.
- Wuxi, with a population of four million, is extending its public transport system to incorporate a new metro. Lines 1 and 2, when completed, will have a total length of 58.5 km. Line 1 will cross the city from north to south, and Line 2 from east to west.
- Herrenknecht received orders for five EPBMs for the construction of Line 1, and three further machines for the construction of Line 2. The machines were assembled by the local branch Herrenknecht (Wuxi) Tunnelling Equipment Co.
- The rapid economic growth of China, and increasing urbanisation, have led to a high demand for underground transportation infrastructure. The country has completed a total of 400km of metro tunnels using Herrenknecht technology since the first project in Beijing in 2000. Approximately 100km are currently under construction using Herrenknecht machines.
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