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Bund road project finishes key stage

THE Bund road tunnel builder said yesterday that it completed a critical part of the project on Sunday, successfully digging past Metro Line 2, just meters above the railway tunnel.

The Metro tunnel will be monitored closely for any effects from the ongoing road tunneling work.

The thousands of passengers who traveled past Nanjing Road E. on Line 2 over the weekend were blissfully unaware that a 3,000-ton tunneling machine was passing only meters above their heads.

Line 2, the key cross-river subway, services 700,000 people daily.

The tunneling machine was working on the Northern Bund Vehicle Passage as part of the Bund traffic renovation project.

"About 6am on Sunday, the digging shield finally ran past the Line 2 tunnel, just 1.5 meters above," said Ji Qiang of Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co and a chief engineer on the project.

The engineering team didn't announce the success of the operation until yesterday after further monitoring.

Ji said as a result of the road tunneling, the Line 2 tunnel near Nanjing Road E. Station has moved up a couple of millimeters. The change was smaller than predicted and well within safety levels, Ji told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

Engineers will still monitor around the clock the Line 2 tunnel between Nanjing Road E. and Lujiazui stations, Ji said.

If problems arise, Line 2 trains will be ordered to slow down and in a worst-case scenario service will be temporarily shut down, according to project plans.

Tunneling for the Northern Bund Vehicle Passage started in January from Tiantong Road. Yesterday, it was operating underground by the Nanjing Road E. pedestrian underpass.

Ji said yesterday that the tunneling machine is expected to reach the end of the passage at Fuzhou Road on August 6.

The main construction work has already been completed for the Southern Bund Vehicle Passage.

The project is designed to shift traffic underground so a river-front promenade can be built between the historic buildings and the river.

The 5 billion yuan (US$731.6 million) project, which also includes the renovation of other public facilities, is scheduled to be completed before World Expo starts next year.


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