On 8 November, the First Rectangular tunnel boring machine (TBM) supplied by CREG for Thomson Line Contract T221 Havelock Station breaks through. As the first Construction of Trenchless Underpass using Rectangular TBM in Singapore, the great achievement in applying such CREG innovation technology to Singapore with highest demand for productivity and construction safety and little disturbance to dedicated Singaporean has laid a solid ground for the future promotion of Rectangular TBM in Singapore as well as in Southeast Asia.
The rectangular TBM is used to bore a 150m underpass with an overburden of 6m which will connect into Havelock station on the new Thomson-East Coast Line. The job site is located at the congested central area and close to the Singapore River, which adds to the construction difficulty. The Rectangular TBM has encountered frequent cutterhead blockage and dense boulders at the beginning of its drive. To deal with these problems, the on-site service team dispatched by CREG remains active in coming up with coping strategies despite the numerous differences in language, mental set and management. This innovative method of using Rectangular TBM has been employed for the first time in Singapore for the underpass construction and is therefore of great significance to similar construction projects in Singapore for which Rectangular TBM is suited. For that reason, the project has drawn wide attention from various sectors in Singapore.
Advantages of Rectangular TBM are such as reducing disruption and construction impact on Roads and preventing adverse impact to the underlying utilities and services. It will also greatly improve the productivity of underpass construction and reduce the duration required for the completion of the underpass structure. Compare with the circular TBMs, the space utilization rate can be increased by 20%, making it an ideal choice to ease traffic pressure in inner cities. The application scope of this innovation is now being further expended to underground facilities like common utilities and parking lot by CREG.