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Lam Tin Tunnel, Hong Kong

Aurecon uses digital engineering to handle complex data for the blast engineering analysis on Lam Tin Tunnel

As Hong Kong’s population grows, the scarcity of land poses challenges for transport and city planners alike. The utilisation of underground space plays an ever more important role in the sustainable development of Hong Kong.

Numerous transport tunnels now weave their way under the Hong Kong landscape and Lam Tin Tunnel will be the latest. The drill and blast excavation for Lam Tin Tunnel will navigate through the fourth most densely populated country in the world; it is critical that the operation’s effects on the environment and Hong Kong’s citizens be thoroughly assessed and minimised.

Aurecon’s use of a geographic information system (GIS) for the project’s blast assessments avoided the need to manually engineer vibration contours and produced accurate 3D visualisations of blast plumes. Learn more in the case study below:

The power of GIS

Many of the world’s most useful tools are brought about by incremental improvements rather than a single new idea. This was the case with using the digital engineering tool GIS on Lam Tin Tunnel.

At the beginning of the project the drill and blast calculations were being managed in Excel spreadsheets, and the vibration contours were manually generated by CAD drafters.

Upon learning of this manual process, Aurecon’s Auckland-based GIS specialist Steven Haslemore knew that a spatial solution would bring better results. Aurecon’s solution was a GIS platform which primarily managed large quantities of geological and engineering data within a single database, while efficiently completing extensive calculations and outputting two dimensional (2D) contours for drafting.

To design a suitable GIS platform for Lam Tin Tunnel, Steven noted the collaborative team effort that was required between Aurecon’s Auckland and Hong Kong teams. The result was a platform that was more efficient and much easier to use.

Using 3D to tell the drill and blast story

Besides presenting clients with clearer data quicker and more accurately, while the GIS platform was in development, it was clear there were other potential benefits of the application such as stakeholder and community consultation.

Modern-day drill and blast is nothing like the evoked vision of workers hammering away in tunnels with chisels, mechanically tapping holes and filling them with unpredictable dynamite. Some stakeholders and communities are not familiar with the new methods of excavation by drill and blast and are rightfully protective of their assets as there are thousands of historic buildings in Hong Kong.

Thus, the 3D visualisations produced from the data in GIS may help to educate stakeholders about the drill and blast process and alleviate concerns over the project. 

The new strategic network for Hong Kong

The Lam Tin Tunnel will be a dual two lane highway connecting the districts of Tseung Kwan O and East Kowloon. To improve transport accessibility around Tseung Kwan O Aurecon is also working on the Lam Tin Tunnel – Tseung Kwan  O Interchange. This elevated interchange over the sea will connect the district to Lam Tin Tunnel. These two projects are a vital part of forming a new strategic route network for the citizens of Hong Kong.

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