Urban Utility Tunnels in China: Experience, Problems and Suggestions

YOU Xinhua1 QU Lianfeng2 LUO Chaohong2

(1.China Construction Industry Technology Institute Co., Ltd., Beijing 103100)
(2.China Construction Xi’an Utility Tunnel Investment Development Co., Ltd., Xi’an, Shaanxi 710000)

【Abstract】In this paper, the development history of utility tunnels in China is summarized. From the first utility tunnel under Tian’anmen Square in Beijing in 1985, China’s utility tunnels went through the conceptual stage, the controversial stage, rapid development stage, large-scale construction and innovation stage, and entered an orderly proceeding stage. Rich experience has been gained in the construction of urban utility tunnels, for example, policies and regulations have been continuously improved, the standard system has been gradually established, the pilot cities have fanned out, the PPP mode has yielded unusually brilliant results, useful attempts on green construction have been made, waterproofing measures have been adjusted to differing conditions, innovative technologies have achieved reduced costs and increased efficiency, prefabrication and assembly have begun to take shape, intelligent technologies have been applied with emphasis, and unified platforms have been basically finalized. However, due to various reasons, there are also many problems, such as lack of regulations, standards and other systems, disorder of planning and construction, and lack of operation management system, which hinders the construction and development of the urban utility tunnels. The following suggestions are put forward: (1) Continuous promotion should be made to promote the construction of urban utility tunnels, especially in the construction of new districts, the reconstruction of old urban districts, the construction of new roads (renovation and expansion), and important sections and areas with dense pipelines; (2) The operation conditions of the built utility tunnels should be evaluated comprehensively, and if feasible, favorable conditions should be provided for the built utility tunnels to ensure their smooth operation; (3) For cities at all levels, the dedicated planning of urban utility tunnels should be revised, and the construction of the required urban utility tunnels should be pushed ahead in an orderly way; (4) Great attention should be paid to the operation management of urban utility tunnels, and the sound operation of urban utility tunnels should be propelled from the aspects of laws and regulations, qualifications and professional talents; (5) Overall coordination should be enhanced to push forward the planning, construction and management of urban underground space.

【Keywords】 urban utility tunnel; construction experience; operation management;


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This Article


CN: 44-1745/U

Vol 40, No. 05, Pages 621-628

May 2020


Article Outline


  • 0 Introduction
  • 1 Development history of utility tunnels
  • 2 Construction experience of utility tunnels
  • 3 Problems in construction of utility tunnels
  • 4 Conclusions and suggestions
  • References