China’s Latest Engineering Plan

27 Feb

The most recent planned engineering project to emerge from China is nothing short of astonishing, even by their own high standards and expectations. Under the plans, a tunnel will be built underneath Bohai Bay, and, incredibly, at 76 miles long, will be more than twice the length of the Channel Tunnel.

The tunnel will link the city of Dalian, in the north, with Yantai, which is situated on the east coast. It will reduce the current journey between the two locations by 800 miles, and it is hoped that this will fuel further development in the north, post deindustrialisation. Whilst this northern area suffers from nowhere near as much underdevelopment or poverty when compared with the west of China, it still slightly lags behind the more prosperous east coast.  

However, there are several engineering challenges associated with the proposed construction of this tunnel. The tunnel will be built 100ft below the sea bed and will have to be carved through hard rock. It is also not just one, but three tunnels which will have to be built – one for cars, one for trains and one for maintenance. Nevertheless, the biggest challenge is the fact that the tunnel will traverse two major tectonic fault lines in an area which is prone to earthquakes. Consequently, extreme caution needs to be taken with the work and, luckily, the government has realised this and many research teams have been examining the proposal for the past twenty years.

Despite the huge scale of the project, there is no doubt that if any country could achieve it, it would be China. Starting with the construction of the Great Wall, China has a history of astonishing engineering projects including the Three Gorges Dam, the Shanghai Tower (the world’s second largest building), the world’s largest high-speed rail network and the world’s longest sea bridge – the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge. Therefore, as work could potentially begin next year on this latest project, it will surely not be long until we see another engineering feat added to China’s list.


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