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Scientific and Technological Innovation and Operation-related Issues for Island-Tunnel of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Fixed Link Project

SUN Jun1

(1.Tongji University, Shanghai, China 200092)

【Abstract】The author explains why a giant undersea immersed tube tunnel was selected for the sea area of the main channel of the east side of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Fixed Link Project, instead of employing a bridge or shield tunnel; and summarizes several domestic and international leading innovative technologies applied in the island-tunnel construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Fixed Link Project, including the use of huge self-stabilized steel cylinders as retaining structure of foundation pits for constructing the artificial islands, the large-area and ultra-deep “sand compaction pile (SCP) composite foundation” reinforcement technology, “semi-rigid segment joints”, “sandwich” steel-RC combined inverted-trapezoid closure joints, and crack control and anti-corrosion/durability design for RC tube structure. All these technologies reflect Chinese wisdom and Chinese speed. The author also points out some technical issues to which attention should be paid after the immersed tube tunnel of the project is put into operation: (1) Will the post-construction settlement and differential settlement of the immersed tube tunnel further develop after the project is open to traffic? How much is the final convergence value? If it exceeds the limit, what control measures should be taken? (2) How to deal with the issue that the joints of large/small elements or segments are open? How to ensure that all the large and small joints between segments of the tube are “watertight”? Furthermore, the author presents some suggestions and control measures: (1) For excessive post-construction settlement (especially differential settlement) spotted on large joints, it is suggested to incorporate “micro-disturbance grouting” for post treatment. (2) If a joint opens under the excessive positive bending moment at the floor slab, it is believed that the open joint on the floor slab can be closed again by cutting off some prestressed tendons in the roof slab of the segment to reduce the positive bending moment of the section.

【Keywords】 Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Fixed Link Project; immersed tube tunnel; island-tunnel works; huge self-stabilized steel cylinder retaining structure; “8-hammer synchronous vibration-sinking” technology; “SCP composite foundation” technology; semi-rigid segment joints; steel-RC combined inverted-trapezoid closure joints; concrete crack contro; anticorrosion/durability design; post-construction settlement; differential settlement; joint leakage and treatment;


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This Article


CN: 41-1448/U

Vol 38, No. 10, Pages 1592-1602

October 2018


Article Outline


  • 0 Introduction
  • 1 Why choose a huge undersea immersed tube tunnel to cross the sea area of the main channel on the east side of the project?
  • 2 Several domestic and global leading innovative technologies for island-tunnel construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Fixed Link Project
  • 3 Technical issues and considerations for the operation of immersed tube tunnel in the future
  • 4 The “Island-Tunnel Spirit” of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Fixed Link Project assists the construction of major national infrastructure
  • References