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Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong

Wilson Mok

Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong

Wilson W.S. Mok
Atkins China Limited

This paper discusses the performance of trenchless techniques, in the form of slurry and earth pressure balancing pipejacking and free air and compressed air hand tunnelling, for trunk sewer construction in Hong Kong. Particular reference is made to case studies of three projects which involved execution of large scale of these works in different geological conditions with success. Details of each method adopted are also focussed. Keywords : Open Trench, Slurry Balancing Pipejacking, Earth Pressure Balancing Pipejacking, Compressed Air Hand Tunnelling, Free Air Hand Tunnelling, Heading Construction, Boulders, Line and Level of Pipeline, Ground Settlement

Introduction It is a worldwide trend today to adopt the tunnelling method rather than the open trench method for constructing large pipelines. This is true especially in urban areas where the open trench method causes disruption to traffic and affects normal operations of existing underground utilities and services. Such public nuissances are intolerable to the people, even for public works construction which will surely result in a better living to themselves. Like most major cities, the roads of Hong Kong are underlain by an extensive network of utilities and services. Due to the aging or decay leading to leakages and ultimately collapse and the rapid growth of population, replacement or continuous installation of new and larger capacity of these features is to be required. The majority of such installations are carried out in conventional open cut trenches. In many instances, a clear unobstructed route for the sewer cannot be found and numerous utilities and services need to be permanently diverted or temporarily supported. In these cases, trench excavation at some locations has to be carried out carefully with hand tools to avoid damaging the utilities and services. This invariably leads to long and costly delays to the overall programme and results in increased and prolonged inconvenience to road users, pedestrians and the general public as a whole. Construction of trenches involves sheetpiling and excavation, which will generate problems associated with noise, dust, hot air, odour, solid waste and safety. Since groundwater level is generally 1.5 to 2.5m below existing ground level, control of groundwater level is of particular importance to prevent damage to adjacent roads, utilities, services and structures. Sheetpiling installation would face obstruction of boulders and require their removal by preboring, possibly causing ground settlement or heaving. In the past, the public has accepted such inconvenience as a way of life. However, over the last few years, a growing respect for environmental control has taken place, giving rise to more difficulties in execution of the works by open trench. Their construction by means of -1trenchless techniques, on the other hand, has become increasingly popular. Geological Conditions in Urban Areas The majority of Hong Kongs urban areas are located on a narrow strip of land along the seafront adjacent to very steep slopes. This land has been formed by cut and fill techniques in the terrain over the years and gives typical geological conditions which generally consist of a thin layer of fill underlain by colluvium and completely to highly weathered granite near the hills to a variably thick layer of fill overlying marine deposits, alluvium, colluvium and completely to highly weathered granite towards the sea. Depth to bedrock ranges from 1 to 2m to 10 to 30m below ground in a downslope direction. Reclamation has been carried out in Hong Kong since 1841 and has mainly been accomplished by end tipping or placing of materials by barge directly onto the seabed. Fill materials for recent reclamation have been screened for boulders up to a specified size whilst many of the older fill materials were less closely controlled. There has been virtually no removal of seabed sediments except where required for the construction of seawalls. There is a wide range in particle size between materials in different areas. Alluvium may contain a high proportion of gravel and cobbled sized material to fine sand whereas marine deposits range from silty sand, clayey silt to silty clay. Very large boulders could exist in colluvium and in weathered granitic and volcanic soils due to corestone formation. Metallic objects, anchors and cannons may also be expected in the old filling areas and in marine deposits. In general, many of the materials in reclamation areas have a fairly high permeability due to the general absence of clay fraction. Groundwater levels tend to be high, and tidal response affects much of the area.

July 2001

Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong

Wilson Mok

Trenchless Techniques for Hong Kongs Sewer Construction The history of pipejacking and hand tunnelling in Hong Kong has been extremely short to-date. Dated back to before the mid-1980s, pipejacking has only been used for short railway and road crossings. The first major pipejacking with track record was for construction of 370m of 1350mm diameter sewer on the Fanling Trunk Sewer project for the Territory Development Department in 1989. This was followed by the East Kowloon Sewerage Improvements Stage I project in 1992, which comprised a 104m long sewer of 1950mm diameter and the North and South Kowloon Sewerage Improvement project in 1996 for construction of 2km long 1500mm diameter sewer. Starting from this time onwards, more and more contracts used pipejacking in a large scale, with the length of pipeline being increased to a few kilometers. It was also such time that hand tunnelling was first used for constructing pipelines crossing old seawalls and artificial obstructions. Some of the notable sewerage projects like the West Kowloon Reclamation Hinterland Drainage Package 2 (Northern Portion), the Central, Western and Wan Chai West Trunk Sewers, and the Aberdeen, Ap Lei Chau and Pok Fu Lam Sewerage Stage 1B, using different trenchless techniques, carried out between 1996 and 2001 provide the case studies as discussed later in this paper. Case Study West Kowloon Reclamation Hinterland Drainage Package 2 (Northern Portion)

on top in the west, a filling zone above the MTRC tunnels in Nathan Road, to a ground with 2m thick fill overlying very dense completely weathered granite in the east. A 1650mm diameter Iseki Unclemole slurry pipejacking machine with an articulated shield (see Figure 1) was used. The shield houses the cutting head which is powered by electric motors, the hydraulic steering cylinders and an indicator panel showing machine functions and guidance information. This is relayed to the surface monitor by a TV camera mounted in the shield (see Figure 2). The cutting head had 4 spokes with 21 nos. of tungsten carbide bits on the surface and was mounted on a cone shaped rotor. Bentonite was mixed with water at the slurry tank and pumped to the cutting head through the by-pass unit installed in the jacking shaft. The front part of the shield is conical so that the spoil is progressively crushed down into fine materials as it passes through the space around the eccentrically rotating cone rotor. It is capable of crushing and handling boulders up to 20 to 30% of the shield outside diameter to a maximum size of 50mm. The crushed material then passes into the slurry chamber and is pumped into the sedimentation tank on the surface through the slurry discharge pipe (see Figure 3). Since the disposal of excavated material is by method of pumping through a pipeline system and it can be extended to the same length of the jacking pipe, the excavation rate of the machine is maintained in high efficiency even up to a very long distance of jacking.

This was part of the West Kowloon Reclamation Project administered by the Territory Development Department to upgrade the existing storm drainage systems and to construct new systems where necessary in the hinterland from Cheung Sha Wan to Mongkok, for connection to the newly constructed systems within the West Kowloon Reclamation area. Mott MacDonald Hong Kong Limited was the Engineer for the project, and Contract UA19/93 was awarded to Aoki Corporation in September 1993 for carrying out the respective works. In order to resolve the complicated TTA schemes required in a number of major junctions in the Mongkok area, which would involve many stages and be ineffective in terms of progress, the contractor proposed to construct two sections of pipeline using the pipejacking method under a supplementary agreement; the first one, with a length of 110m and a maximum depth of 5.8m, started in Mongkok Road from the west of Canton Road crossing the junction of Tong Mei Road to Fuk Tsun Street, whereas the second one, with a length of 227m and a maximum depth of 5.3m, started in Arran Street from the east of Reclamation Street crossing the junctions of Shanghai Street, Lai Chi Kok Road and Nathan Road and stopped in Nullah Road to the west of Sai Yeung Choi Street. Based on the site investigation works, the geological formation for the first pipeline consisted of a 2.5m thick fill overlying alluvium with the thickness being increased to 4.5m in a westerly direction, whereas the second pipeline had to pass through a layer of alluvium with 3m thick fill

Figure 1 - Appearance of 1650mm Diameter Iseki Unclemole Slurry Pipejacking Machine

Figure 2 - Configuration in Unclemole Slurry Pipejacking Machine


July 2001

Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong

Wilson Mok














Figure 3 - General Arrangement of Slurry Pipejacking System

Slurry was constantly injected to the face of the cutting head to maintain a pressure balance with groundwater. An electromagnetic flow meter was used to measure the slurry flow. The machine operator adjusted the pressure and mix of slurry to avoid causing settlement or heaving in the ground. Bentonite based lubricant was pumped outside the pipeline through the two holes at the crown of every third pipe during the course of pipejacking to minimize ground friction. Intermediate jacking stations were only installed in the pipelines with a length exceeding 50m. In each station, 10 nos. of 50 tons hydraulic jacks with a 300mm stroke were provided (see Figure 4).

Jacking shafts, in the size of 7m x 6.5m, using sheetpiles, were formed. Each shaft was supported by three layers of strutting system and the base was paved with a 300mm thick concrete. The construction of a shaft took about 4 to 6 weeks for completion. Existing utilities across the shaft were temporarily supported. A 600mm thick reinforced concrete thrust wall, in the height of 4m, was constructed at the rear of the shaft perpendicular to the pipejacking drive. The jacking equipment consisted of 4 nos. of 200 tons hydraulic main jacks with a stroke of 1000mm. These were installed complete with pressure plate, space blocks, thrust ring and guide rails which provided the initial directional control of the jacking machine and the pipes. The control room was located on the ground surface linking with cables to remotely control the machine and power pack. The size of the receiving shafts was 6.5m x 5.5m. All the jacking and receiving shafts were later used for constructing manholes. A 4m x 4m grout plug was provided outside each launching eye and receiving eye to prevent loss of ground due to sudden change of groundwater pressure and to provide a stiff matrix in soil for maintaining the position of the machine during the launching operation so that it would not tilt down due to its own weight if soft ground existed adjacent to the jacking shaft, getting rid of the level problem, in which correction would be extremely difficult in such an early stage of a drive by virtue of the likely contact between the machine and the launching eye. A hole was drilled in the sheetpiles to ensure the effectiveness of grout before the pipejacking machine was launched into ground. A works area of 7m x 40m was provided at each jacking shaft location for placing mobile crane, auxiliary plant and materials and mucking spoil. Jacking for the Arran Street pipeline commenced in July 1994 and was completed in slightly more than 4 weeks, averaging to a production rate of about 9m per day. The Mongkok Road pipeline commenced thereafter and was completed within 2 weeks. Due to the presence of residential blocks nearby, the jacking could only be carried out between 7a.m. and 7p.m.. Occasional boulders were encountered for both pipelines, and they were successfully ground into small pieces for transportation to the ground surface through the slurry discharge pipe. After completion of each pipejacking drive, the damaged or worn out cutting bits were replaced. The torque pressure applied was in the range of 100 150 bars and increased to 200 bars when boulders were cut through. The jacking force deviated from 200 to 350 tons for most of the length of pipeline, depending on the ground condition. Ground settlement monitoring was carried out at 5m intervals along the centre of the pipeline and 7m offsets at both sides. The maximum settlement was 8mm whereas the average magnitude was 6mm, which was within the estimated 10mm. Movement monitoring had also been conducted in the MTRC tunnels at locations agreed with MTRC when the pipeline was being jacked across Nathan Road at 3m above the tunnels and no movement detected. -3July 2001

Figure 4 - Typical Details of Intermediate Jacking Station

Concrete jacking pipes complying to BS5911, manufactured by Doran (Hong Kong) Limited, were used, with a standard length of 3m and 1.5m long short pipes were provided at the two ends of a pipeline for connection with manholes to increase flexibility. These pipes had a minimum concrete strength of 50MPa and could resist an axial load of 945 tons. An embedded steel collar formed the pipe socket and each pipe had two grout holes for lifting and injection of lubricant during the course of pipejacking and bentonite cement grout around the pipes on completion of pipejacking. A 18mm thick soft board packer was placed on each pipe joint to avoid build-up of high stress. A rubber seal was also provided at each pipe joint to ensure watertightness.

Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong

Wilson Mok

Another supplementary agreement was signed to change the section of the twin cell box culvert in Mongkok Road crossing the junction of Tong Mei Road by 3 nos. of 2600mm diameter pipelines. A Komatsu Semi Slurry Shield (See Figure 5) was chosen as it demonstrated a satisfactory track record in soil conditions similar to those anticipated in this contract. The cutting head consisted of an open spoke type cutting wheel, and a center cutter excavated and removed spoil into the disposal chamber, which was carried by the screw conveyor along to the belt conveyor (see Figure 6). High water absorbent polymer was used as the admixture. When strong, cohesive silt or clay was encountered, no mixture was required and water was used as fluid in the pressure control system.

This shield is capable of crushing and handling boulders of up to 500mm diameter. The machine is controlled remotely from the operation board situated at the rear of the setup. Boulders which cannot be dealt with by the machine have to be removed by hand means. Access to the face is gained through the machine chamber and removal of the boulder will be effected using hand breakers to reduce it to a size which can be removed by hand or crushed by the cutting bits. Prior to entry by any worker into the machine chamber, ground treatment using chemical grout will be carried out from ground level to protect against soil collapse in front of the shield. During driving, the operator monitored and controlled the jacking speed, the torque of cutting head, the disposal volume of the screw conveyor and the inclination of the shield on the control panel. Adjustment in the alignment of the pipeline was carried out by differential extension and retraction of the 4 nos. of steering jacks located between the front shield and the rear shield. While the pipejacking operation was carried out, Subelu lubricant was pumped continuously to the periphery of the pipeline through the grout holes in every 3rd pipe behind the machine to reduce the jacking friction. This lubricant is a one-pack type anti-friction solution which saves the time and labour for formulation and preparation required by the traditional bentonite based lubricant, and minimizes blockage in the feed pump and hose due to coagulation. In total, 1500 litres of lubricant was used. On completion of such operation, the overcut in the annulus of the whole pipeline was filled up with grouting material which was mixed with cement, fine sand, bentonite, fly ash, dispersing agent and water.

Figure 5 - Appearance of 2600mm Diameter Komatsu Semi Slurry Shield













Figure 6 - Configuration in Komatsu Semi Slurry Shield


July 2001

Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong A specially designed jacking system MOLEMEISTER was installed in the jacking shaft, which had a stroke of 3000mm and was capable of handling 3000mm long pipes. General arrangement in the shaft was similar to the one discussed in the foregoing paragraph. The type of precast concrete pipes used was identical to those used for the previous two sections but had a length of 2300mm and was able to sustain an axial load of 2226 tons. The jacking shaft, in the size of 14m x 8m and 6m deep, was sunk in Anchor Street near the junction of Tong Mei Road. In view of its size which almost occupied the entire width of footways and carriageway, the front and rear of the shaft was made of sheetpiles, and its two sides were formed by steel pipe piles to account for the limited space adjacent to the buildings in the proximity and the head room problem due to the projection of advertisement boards. Two layers of strutting system were provided and a 3.5m high, 400mm thick reinforced concrete thrust wall was constructed. The shaft was completed in 6 weeks. During the period of constructing the shaft and carrying out the pipejacking works, the traffic was diverted to the adjacent streets. This was in line with the TTA scheme should box culvert be constructed at this location. The receiving shaft, in the size of 14m x 6m, which was located at Mongkok Road about 20m to the east of the junction, required the construction in two stages with one stage being completed and decked over before commencement of the next stage of work so as to maintain two traffic lanes at all times. Due to the width of the jacking shaft being constrained by the width of the road, the clearance between each pipeline was only 560mm. The jacking commenced in mid-May 1996 and each pipeline took about 7 days for completion with good control of line and level, averaging to 7m per day. Only isolated boulders were encountered and these did not have a significant effect on the performance of the machine. The torque pressure used was generally less than 150bars and the jacking load was in a range of 150 to 300 tons. Settlement monitoring points could only be installed at suitable intervals along the centre line of the drive and offset by 10m at both sides to suit the busy traffic in the junction area. Additional monitoring points were set up on all adjacent buildings and columns of flyover. The maximum settlement recorded was 4mm and was significantly less than the estimated 8mm. Case Study Central, Western and Wan Chai West Trunk Sewers Following EPDs CW3SMP study, Maunsell Consultants Asia Limited was appointed by the Drainage Services Department under a design and construction supervision assignment to implement the sewerage improvements recommended in the SMP. Contract DC/95/05 which was awarded to Gammon Trafalgar House Joint Venture (later changed to the name Gammon Kvaerner Joint Venture) in August 1996 in the sum of HK$520.83 million involved the construction of deep trunk sewers, by

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trenchless techniques to minimize traffic impacts, to remove the effects of tidal influences and other flow constraints. These sewers had two sections; the first one being the 3.3km long trunk sewer for the Central Trunk Sewer with diameters ranging from 1350mm to 1800mm and depths up to 17m; whereas the second one being the 2.3km long trunk sewer for the Wan Chai Trunk Sewer with diameters ranging from 1050mm to 1800mm and depths up to 18m. The Central Trunk Sewer starts from Sai Cheung Street to the east of the junction of Kennedy Town Praya, crossing the road to the Belcher Bay Reclamation Area (about 200m long sewer within this area was constructed by open trench) and turning to the east. It then goes north to the Western District Public Cargo Handling Area and runs to the east along Fung Mat Road, until passing through Water Street that the sewer goes back to the southern side of Connaught Road West and continues in a easterly direction. At the junction with Des Voeux Road West, this sewer enters Western Fire Services Street and terminates in the Central Pumping Station and Screening Plant. A branch of the Trunk Sewer starts from the southern side of Connaught Road Central near Gilman Street and goes to the west. It crosses the road to the north near Man Wah Lane and continues towards the west joining the main section at the junction of Connaught Road West and Western Fire Services Street. The length of pipelines is in the range of 47m to 212m, with a total 25 manholes. The Wanchai Trunk Sewer originates from the southern side of Connaught Road Central to the east of Ice House Street and turns to the north to Star Ferry from a point outside Mandarin Oriental Hotel. It then goes to the east along Edinburgh Place, Lung Wui Road and Harbour Road, and makes a south turn to Tonnochy Street with the junction of Gloucester Road where the sewer passes through below the Wan Chai Sports Ground before entering the Wan Chai West Pumping Station and Screening Plant. A branch of the Trunk Sewer is also provided from the service road of Gloucester Road, across the network of the Canal Road Flyover, to the Pumping Station, for connection with another section of trunk sewer to be undertaken by a separate contract which is scheduled to commence in early 2002. The pipelines have a length ranging from 45m to 246m, and there are 19 manholes in total. The alignment of the Central Trunk Sewer predominantly passed through a layer of loose to dense fill with isolated boulders in most of the area to a boulder zone of 4 to 5m in thickness at certain locations, whereas the Wanchai Trunk Sewer crossed a ground of fill in the west to marine deposits or alluvium in the east with boulder content being significantly reduced. Both Trunk Sewers encountered a number of old seawalls either across or parallel to the pipeline, and some left-in sheetpiles for the foundations of existing flyovers. A number of pipelines also ran between the piles supporting the box culverts and the underground structures like existing pedestrian subways and cooling main chambers. The groundwater level was 2.5 to 3m below ground.


July 2001

Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong Having assessed the risk, three different types of methods were selected by the contractor for constructing the trunk sewers. The first one was to employ slurry pressure balancing pipejacking machines in recent reclamation areas where the fill materials were under proper control. The second one was to use earth pressure balancing machines in old reclamation areas where the fill materials were unpredictable. The last one was to cross seawalls or left-in sheetpiles by hand tunnels. A M396 AVN1200C slurry pipejacking machine and a M377 AVN1800D slurry pipejacking machine, both manufactured by Herrenknecht, a French CSM Bessac machine, a 1800mm diameter handshield and a 2440mm handshield were ordered. The AVN 1200C slurry pipejacking machine, with an external diameter of 1450mm and a total length of 2970mm, was used to construct the 1350mm diameter sewer. This necessitated the 1050mm diameter sewer to be changed to 1350mm at the contractors cost. This machine consisted of an articulated cutting head section, a cutting wheel fitted with a circumferential rim with replaceable carbide tipped tools, a machine can complete with 3 nos. of steering cylinders, fresh water feed and slurry discharge lines and bypass, a hydraulic system, and an ELS laser target guidance system. The cutting wheel was of four spoke type with 32 nos. of chisel type, tungsten carbide bits on the surface, and was mounted to a drive shaft within the cutting head section, which in turn was connected to the machine can by the steering cylinders. These steering cylinders had a stroke of 60mm and, by differential extension and retraction, the line and level of the pipeline could be adjusted. Excavated material was removed by a centrally mounted discharge pipe at the invert of the cutting head for discharging into a sedimentation tank at ground level. Advance of the machine was effected by 2 nos. of push cylinders, each with a 1550mm stroke, installed in the jacking frame within the bottom of the jacking shaft. The allowable jacking load and torque pressure was 500 tons and 200 tons respectively. Appearance and details of the machine are shown in Figures 7 and 8 respectively.
3 000MM

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Figure 8 - Configuration in Herrenknecht Slurry Pipejacking Machine

Openings within the cutting wheel, which accounted for approximately 60% of the cutting wheel area, allowed excavated material to pass through the cutting wheel and into the crushing cone chamber. This chamber reduced the material to a size not more than 40mm for conveying to the surface sedimentation tank by the slurry pump located at the rear of the machine, with slurry and, in the case of clayey material, water being injected through the slurry charge pipe through the feed nozzles into the crushing cone chamber to assist the mixing of discharge without blockage. Sometimes, a high pressure water needed to be injected through the nozzle nearest to the slurry discharge pipe to force the excavated material accumulated at the inlet, usually clay or cobbles, into the pipe for pumping to the ground surface. To ensure an efficient system, an additional discharge pump was installed at the bottom of the shaft for a long pipeline. The cutting wheel speed was infinitely variable operated in either direction of rotation in order that wear on the cutting bits could be kept balanced, and that any tendency for the machine to roll due to reaction of the cutting torque could be corrected. A 2500mm long back-up can (also known as tail can) was mounted to the rear of the machine can. It was equipped with halogen lighting and 3 nos. of lubricant injection holes spaced at 120o intervals. To prevent rotation between these two cans, two torque reaction bars were provided between them. The machine was remotely monitored and controlled in a control room located adjacent to the jacking shaft, where a monitor screen showed a full visualization graphical representation of the machine, slurry and feed pump speed / pressure and the cutting head in relation to a fixed reference point for the given coordinates of a drive.
-6July 2001

Figure 7 - Appearance of 1350mm Diameter Herrenknecht Slurry Pipejacking Machine

Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong An electronic laser system (ELS) was provided on the machine to monitor its position. It was a sensor target unit located within a rugged metal box, and filled with an inert gas at slight positive pressure to assist in combating moisture. Mounted in the upper rear / front section of the machine, the ELS system was connected to the monitor in the control room and stored in the computer, which could print information as and when required, either as printed data or graphically. The horizontal and vertical displacements of the machine were recorded by a sensitive optical array, which determined the location of the laser beam spot emitted from the laser device installed at the rear of the jacking shaft. A length encoder was set on the crown of the pipeline for continuous measurement of the length of chainage. Jacking shafts, in the size of 6m x 6m, were constructed using sheetpiles. A 500mm thick curtain of treated soil, by injection of bentonite cement grout followed by chemical grout, was formed outside the shaft to prevent ingress of groundwater. The thickness of the treated soil was increased to 4m at locations of launching and receiving eyes. A 500mm thick concrete launching eye and a 800mm thick, 3.5m high reinforced concrete thrust wall were provided at the front and rear of a shaft respectively. Where the shaft was used to jack the pipelines in opposite directions, a recess was formed in the thrust wall to protect the as-constructed pipeline of the first drive. The alignment of the pipelines passing beneath the existing nullahs and box culverts between piles was confirmed by horizontal probing before the jacking commenced. The transfer of survey control underground was carried out by means of steel brackets welded to the sheetpiles on the line of the drive and at 900. A dot punch was set out on each bracket which had been post drilled to accept a plumb bob. This method was used to control the pipejacking alignment for 20m. From this point onwards, a GYRO theodolite was used to avoid any small error in the plumb bob positions propagating over the length of the drive. The position of the laser device was checked in each shift. Manual checking of the pipejacking alignment was conducted in every 30m in length or in every week, whichever is shorter. The first drive started in the Western District in October 1997. The progress was slow since the machine had left the jacking shaft with timber, metal and cobbles being encountered. The slurry discharge pipe was always blocked by these materials resulting in the frequent disconnection of the pipe for cleaning. When the machine was not in function, the bypass unit was opened for circulation of the slurry in both the charge and discharge pipes to prevent settling. The machine was eventually stuck in ground after leaving the jacking shaft for about 50m. A rescue shaft was opened in the carriageway. It was found that all the cutting bits on the cutting wheel were completely worn out by the surrounding boulders. Remedial work was immediately carried out in the rescue shaft by changing the spoke type cutting wheel to the dome type with both 305mm diameter alloy metal cutting discs and scraper bits at suitable locations. The work then resumed for the

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remaining length of the drive, and this dome type cutting wheel was used to complete other drives. After the incident, the contractor also changed the cutting wheel for the 1800mm diameter machine to the same type of configuration before use. The AVN 1800D machine, with an external diameter of 2140mm, was 10100mm long (see Figure 9). It was designed for use in water bearing grounds with a head of up to 30m of groundwater. Its basic configuration was similar to that of the AVN1200C machine but with 4 nos. of steering cylinders, each with a diameter of 100mm and a stroke of 100mm, and with an airlock attached to the rear of machine can incorporating two pressure bulkheads. The forward bulkhead was fitted with a pressure door which, when closed, allowed the machine can and rear shield to be pressurized to form an airlock. The rear bulkhead was also fitted with a pressure door which, when closed, allowed the tail can to be pressurized to form the main airlock chamber. The airlock chamber was equipped with seating, heating and emergency lighting. The air regulation equipment and airlock attendant station was located on the outside of the rear bulkhead at the rear of the machine. Such arrangement (see Figure 10) enables the personnel to replace the cutting discs in the cutting wheel through the manhole provided in the front shield section of the machine during the course of a drive, if necessary.

Figure 9 - Appearance of 1800mm Diameter Herrenknecht Slurry Pipejacking Machine

The cutting wheel, which was driven by a hydraulic motor and gearbox, operated in a fluid filled chamber with an air cushion pressure balance system located on the other side of the wheel bulkhead. Excavated material was removed by circulation of the supporting fluid, and advance of the machine was effected by 4 nos. of hydraulic cylinders, each with a 1550mm stroke and a capacity of 250 tons, installed in the jacking frame. The maximum torque which could be provided by the cutting wheel was 250 bars.


July 2001

Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong


Wilson Mok










Figure 10 - Configuration in Herrenknecht Slurry Pipejacking Machine

In the front shield, there were two bulkheads. The rear bulkhead separated and sealed the rear section of the shield from the pressurized bentonite slurry in the face of the machine and the compressed air bubble which was trapped between the shield bulkhead and the wheel bulkhead. The only connection between the bubble chamber and the face was the cut-out at the bottom of the wheel bulkhead through which the excavated material had to pass. The pressure of the bubble was adjusted by the machines inbuilt air system to suit the pressure required to provide adequate support to the face. During excavation, water was pumped into the excavated chamber through nozzles which were articulated to direct jets to prevent blockage of the grill that covers the entrance to the discharge pipe at the front of the wheel bulkhead. When the face was pressurized and the bubble was formed in the bubble chamber, the level of the bubble was maintained by controlling the flow rates of the slurry charge and discharge pumps. When the face pressure changed due to the depth of drive, the bubble was also controlled by venting air into and out of the air bubble chamber using the air control equipment.

Construction of the jacking shafts was carried out by means of sheetpiles but pipe piles had been used at some locations due to the headroom being constrained by flyover structures. The size of shafts was generally 7m x 8m and reduction was made for those in areas of congested utilities to avoid the timely diversion. Grout curtain and plug were also provided outside the shaft to ensure watertightness. Escape of grout was observed through the rubble mounds of existing seawalls at shafts located near the seafront. The situation was improved by adjusting the grout mix and limiting the injection pressure. A 7m x 60m works area was provided for the jacking shaft, where mobile crane, compressor, generator, bentonite plant, separation plant were placed and space for muck away lorry and storing materials was provided. At sensitive locations where traffic turning, loading / unloading activities or access to adjacent properties might be a problem, the length of the works area had to be reduced, with part of the plant being placed in a nearby satellite site. Typical arrangement of a works area is shown in Figure 11.


Figure 11 - Typical Arrangement of a Works Area for Slurry Pipejacking Work


July 2001


Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong The setup in the jacking shafts was basically similar to the one for the 1350mm diameter machine. In view of its length, the 1st part of the machine was lowered into the shaft and pushed into the ground. The same procedure was repeated until the whole machine was almost within the ground. Then the 1st jacked pipe was lowered down, connected to the machine and pushed into the ground. The exercise was repeated until jacking of the pipeline was complete. Ten drives, in a total length of 1.3km, were completed by the AVN 1200C pipejacking machine. The production rate for a 10 hours shift per day, apart from the first drive as highlighted earlier, was 3 to 5m. The progress for most of the drives had been affected by the presence of boulders, steel and timber resulting in frequent stoppage of work for cleaning the blockage. To account for such a ground condition, the jacking load was maintained in a range of 250 470 tons whereas the torque pressure used was generally above 150 bars. Installation of intermediate jacking stations, in a maximum number of two, was only recorded for two drives. 2 nos. of AVN 1800D pipejacking machines were deployed to construct the pipelines under the two trunk sewers simultaneously during the period from June 1998 to December 1999, completing a total length of 3.43km. Due to insufficient works area being available at three locations (one at Connaught Road Central outside Shun Tak Centre and two at Harbour Road), the shafts thereat were used as an intermediate shaft with the length of drive being increased to 338m, 243m and 211m. Intermediate jacking stations were installed at an interval of 100m in these pipelines to ensure sufficient jacking load. For other pipelines, intermediate jacking stations were generally installed if the length exceeded 80m. The daily production rate deviated significantly from 3.5 to 5m in rock which strength was 250 430MPa to 8.5m in sandy material. The jacking load fluctuated from 400 to 700 tons when cutting through boulders to 150 to 300 tons for excavation in soil, whereas the corresponding torque pressures were 180 to 240 bars and 110 to 150 bars. Typical arrangement in jacking shafts is shown in Figure 12.

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The line and level of the pipelines constructed by the AVN 1800D pipejacking machines had better control than those completed by the AVN 1200C pipejacking machine. Marked deviation in line and level at pipe joints, with a maximum value of 180mm, was observed in several drives when the pipelines were crossing variable ground conditions, particularly in a matrix of boulders, soil, steel and timber. The magnitude of deviation was dependent on the locations, sizes and extent of these materials. The correction to steering in a pipeline was made over a long distance, under lower jacking forces so as to give a smooth transition and to avoid building up of kinks. Hydraulic checks were carried out to those pipelines with the alignment exceeding the tolerated 75mm for line and 50mm for level. The obvious, depressed sections in the pipelines were rendered by epoxy grout to provide a smooth surface in prevention of trapping sewage. To ensure proper control of the alignment, a section of pipeline near Edinburgh Place, which needed to pass through a vertical seawall in a skew direction, was constructed by the compressed air hand tunnelling method, in that a temporary tunnel using precast concrete segments was formed from the jacking shaft to inside the seawall before the AVN 1200C pipejacking machine was pushed into the tunnel for completing the remaining section of pipeline. An example showing the asconstructed lines and levels of a pipeline, the jacking load and torque pressure used, with regard to the ground condition, is shown in Figure 13.

Figure 12 - Typical Arrangement of Jacking Shaft for Slurry Pipejacking Work

Figure 13 - Example Showing As-built Records of Slurry Pipejacking Work


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Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong Dorans precast concrete pipes with 270o and 359o PVC lining were adopted for the pipejacking works. The 1350mm diameter pipe has an axial strength of 624 tons and an allowable angular deflection at joint of 64 and the one for the 1800mm diameter can substain an axial load of 1109 tons and an angular deflection of 48 at joint. Spalling of concrete in pipes had been recorded in two occasions during the course of jacking through boulder zones. The situation was rectified by increasing the thickness of soft board packer from 18mm to 27mm on the pipe joints so as to reduce the possibility of developing high stress. Settlement monitoring was carried out along the centre line of the sewer and at its two sides like the previously discussed project. The nail markers installed on concrete carriageways were changed to sub-surface markers later on, by inserting steel bars into the ground through the holes being cored in the slab, after the occurrence of a road subsidence which was not accurately detected by the nail markers in advance. The measured ground settlement for pipelines encountering soil was generally less than 10mm but its magnitude increased rapidly when boulders were cut though. When the settlement had exceeded the triggered value with respect to the calculated settlement, the work stopped immediately. The contractor adjusted the pressure and mix of the slurry and / or conducted ground treatment to the problemed areas, whichever was appropriate, to remedy the situation. Ground subsidence had been encountered in three pipejacking drives. A review on the site records did not indicate any abnormality in the pipejacking operations or over-excavation. It was believed that cavities existed in ground for some time prior to commencement of the pipejacking works, and that such works only triggered the incidents. Attempts had been made to detect similar cavities in suspected grounds using the geophysics survey method but without success due to the constraints of the concrete carriageway with fabric reinforcement and the congested utilities and services underneath, affecting the transmission of signals. A CSM Bessac air pressurized open face tunnelling machine (see Figure 14) was used to construct the pipelines through areas of pre-war reclamation. This shield is 5400mm in length with an external diameter of 2220mm, comprising two main parts. The first part is the shield which is built of heavy gauge steel and is advanced into the ground by hydraulic jacks. The shield includes a stiff bulkhead which acts as the support for the boring unit and seals the front chamber for pressurization. There are several openings in the bulkhead : the machine operators portholes, a hatch providing access to the face through an airlock, the spoil conveyor part, and air ducts. The second part is the telescopic tailskin which can extend 700mm to provide sufficient jacking pressure and is used for connecting the precast concrete pipes behind. The tailskin fits onto the shield with an articulated joint in between. Because the shield and the tailskin are articulated, the shield can be steered for adjusting the line and level of the pipeline.

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Figure 14 - Appearance of 1800mm Diameter CSM Bessac Pipejacking Machine

The machine can be operated in either the closed mode or the open mode. In closed mode, only the boring chamber is pressurized. The operator works in normal atmospheric pressure, except when dealing with obstructions. Excavation is effected by a boom cutter connected to an articulated telescopic arm mounted on a fully rotating turret, and the mucking chamber is under compressed air to balance groundwater and to reduce settlement to a minimum. In this mode, the excavated material is transported through a screw conveyor to the rear of the machine, where it is loaded into a muck bogie and pulled to the jacking shaft along a railing system (see Figure 15). It is then lifted up to the ground surface. In order to prevent loss of compressed air, the excavated material in the screw conveyor is always kept full. When the machine is operated in open mode, a chain conveyor is used. A glass screen in the bulkhead allows the operator full control of the mucking process.

Figure 15 - Mucking Process for Air Pressurized Open Face Tunnelling Work

In the event that an obstruction is identified in the face, the shield can be converted into an airlock. Access to the face is through a door in the front bulkhead. Before the door is opened, the 3 nos. of triangular steel panels hinged to the leading edge of the shield, which act as shutters, are extended by hydraulic jacks operated from the drivers cabin. In the closed mode, these shutters fold into the shield so that the digging arm can operate freely.
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Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong The size and configuration of the jacking shafts were basically same as those for the slurry pipejacking method (see Figure 16). The size of works area was 6m x 40m, inside which mobile crane, generator, compressor, precast concrete pipes, electrical equipment and grouting equipment were placed and space for muck away lorry was allowed.

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required. The length of these drives was 134m and 195m respectively, in which the second drive passed through an intermediate shaft. A 1830mm internal diameter steel handshield (see Figure 17), with a length of 2820mm, incorporating a pneumatic powered hydraulic pump, hydraulic controls, 6 nos. of shove rams, hood and roll ploughs, was adopted. Each ram had a diameter of 100mm and a stroke of 700mm. The tunnel formed by the handshield would be of sufficient diameter to allow sleeving with the 1350mm diameter sewer on completion of the drive. To provide a face support and to prevent water ingress, a compressed air pressure of 0.45 to 0.85 bars was used for the two tunnels. The second shaft was situated outside Tamar for tunnelling through a seawall about 40m away, which existed in an oblique direction. Details of a typical compressed air setup are shown in Figures 18 and 19.
2820MM SHOVE RAM 711 610


Figure 16 - Typical Arrangement in Jacking Shaft for Air Pressurized Open Face Tunnelling Work


The jacking started in late April 1998. During the course of work, bentonite based slurry was used to spray onto the excavated face to improve soil stability. Lubricant was constantly injected to the periphery of the pipeline to reduce soil friction. After the pipeline had been carried out for about 110m, the machine and the two pipes behind were found inundated with soil when the workers came back after a holiday. It was later found that a valve in the front bulkhead was opened but the cause was unknown. Due to busy traffic, opening a rescue shaft on the road surface was impossible. A 2440mm internal diameter rescue tunnel, about 30m in length, equipped with a horizontal airlock, was constructed from the receiving shaft to retrieve the machine, details of which will be included under the section of hand tunnelling. In view of the uncertainty of time required for rescuing and repairing the machine, the contractor ordered another AVN 1800D slurry balancing machine to complete the remaining pipejacking drives. Apart from the above, the line and level of the length of pipeline completed by the CSM Bessac machine were well within the tolerated values and the ground settlement recorded was only in the range of 2 to 5mm. Hand tunnelling method was used to construct 556m long sewers crossing old seawalls and below several underground structures and services, of which 403m used compressed air and 153m was carried out under a free air environment. The compressed air tunnelling work involved three drives and required the setup of a vertical air lock on top of a steel air deck at the jacking shaft location by turn. The first shaft, with a similar size like those for the pipejacking works, was situated outside Star Ferry. Two drives were excavated one by one from this shaft at a depth of 4.5m and 8.5 below ground level, due to different pressure
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Figure 17 Appearance of 1830mm Diameter Handshield

Figure 18 - Details of a Typical Compressed Air Setup


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Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong

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the gap. The same procedure was repeated until the tunnel had reached the receiving shaft. The precast concrete segments, each with a size of 450mm x 600mm and a rebate joint, were connected with each other in the same ring and to the preceding segments by bolts immediately after they had been pushed in place (see Figure 23). This was followed by the grouting in the overcut between the ground and the segments to ensure watertightness. Due to the slower rate of tunnelling, the excavated material was stored in suitable gantry until it was sufficient for mucking away by a lorry in full load. Steering of the tunnel was controlled by differential extension and retraction in the shove rams.

Figure 19 Plant Arrangement of a Typical Compressed Air Setup

For both jacking shaft locations, a works area of 6m x 35m was provided for placing mobile crane, generator, diesel compressors, diesel bowser, electrical equipment, precast concrete segments and muck gantry. After the handshield had been lowered to the bottom of the shaft, the steel air deck was erected by bolting it onto the concrete corbels projected from the sheetpiling wall for air tightness. Before commencing the tunnelling work, the vertical muck lock and the man lock were tested in compliance with the Boilers and Pressure Vessels Ordinance Cap. 56. Since the plant for the compressed air work, when operated, cannot be switched off to avoid the tunnel from being flooded or inundated, 3 nos. of compressors, each capable of delivering 23m3/min, were placed; two on duty and one on standby, to supply the quantities of air required. The compressors were powered by 2 nos. of 1000kVA generators. The excavation was conducted in 12-hour shifts for 6 days per week. When no work was to be carried out, the work face was protected by timber plankings and, in addition, by a thick layer of slurry for long holidays to prevent collapse. To reduce noise emission levels, both generators were housed in acoustically lined containers. The method statement in the safety aspect was forwarded to the Fire Services Department (FSD) for comment, and recommendations were followed. Persons who entered the compressed air shaft needed to have a medical check-up certificate for fitness, and were closely monitored by a permit-to-work system. A horizontal cylindrical medical air lock (see Figure 20) was also placed in the nearby area to account for emergency situations. During the course of tunnel excavation, a rescue drill had been arranged with FSD (see Figure 21). A launch eye similar to that of the pipejacking works was constructed. A launch cradle installed at the correct grade and alignment was placed in the shaft bottom for accommodation of the handshield. After the handshield had been set in position, a steel frame was provided behind acting as a thrust support. Excavation was by means of hand tools (see Figure 22), and the handshield was advanced into the ground by extending the shove rams which used the precast concrete segments erected within the tailskin as reaction. The rams were then retracted and new precast concrete segments were put in
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Figure 20 - Appearance of Medical Air Lock

Figure 21 - Rescue Drill for Compressed Air Tunnelling Work

Figure 22 - Excavation in Compressed Air Tunnel

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had enough room for placing the permanent pipeline. A maximum of 18mm ground settlement was recorded during the tunnel drives, whilst the average value was 12mm. A 2440mm diameter handshield, with a length of 2990mm and 8 nos. of shove rams, was used to construct a tunnel to rescue the CSM Bessac machine. Prior to launching the handshield, horizontal grouting was carried out from the receiving shaft as space for vertical grouting on ground surface was not available. The excavation was initially conducted in free air but, due to the ineffectiveness of grout, the rate of seepage in the work face increased with length, affecting the progress of work. The contractor then changed the methodology by building a 1830mm diameter segmental tunnel inside the already completed section of the 2440mm diameter tunnel, utilizing the handshield winch system. 38mm diameter, 200mm long high tensile bars were inserted into every grout hole of the precast concrete segments of the small tunnel before application of the sleeve grout by bentonite cement. Three bulkheads were formed with doors at the locations as shown on Figure 25 to provide a horizontal air lock. Door nos. 1 and 2 were always closed and door no. 3 was left open at all times whilst workers were underground as this door was designated as an emergency escape door for tunnelling personnel. Tunnelling was continued using a compressed air pressure of approximately 0.8 bar. After the 2440mm diameter tunnel had sleeved around the CSM Bessac machine, the shove rams in the handshield were removed and a double lip eye seal was fixed. Concrete screed was cast in the invert acting as a running deck and the CSM Bessac machine was pushed within 3m of the horizontal air lock installation from the jacking shaft. The compressed air was subsequently reduced to atmospheric pressure and the horizontal air lock, including the small tunnel and thrust frame, was removed. The machine was then pushed into the receiving shaft. Four sections of sewers, in the depth from 8 to 15m, were constructed by the free air hand tunnelling method for crossing old seawalls and removal of other known obstructions. These sewers, apart from one in Central District which has a diameter of 1200mm and a length of 46m, are located at Sheung Wan and of 1800mm diameter with a length ranging from 30m to 46m. 1830mm diameter and 2440mm diameter handshields were used for such purposes. Extensive horizontal grouting in designed pattern was carried out throughout the length of each tunnel to ensure watertighness. Grout in the form of bentontie cement followed by sodium silicate was injected under an applied pressure of 1.2 x overburden pressure. The pressure at the injection point was almost equal to the overburden pressure due to frictional loss. Sign of grout was observed on road surface near a receiving shaft location, possibly being a result of porous ground as referred to the high consumption of grout during the injection operation.

Figure 23 - Connection of Precast Concrete Segments in Tunnel

During the course of tunnelling, horizontal probing was carried out to determine the ground condition ahead. Loss of air was noted occasionally. This was detected by the sign of fluffing up of waste grout bags and straw in the work face. The situation was rectified by ground treatment by injection of bentonite cement grout into the ground through the horizontal grout pipes drilled in the tunnel. In porous grounds, it was necessary to add polymer in the grout to effectively fill up the voids. High frequency of the muck lock operation also caused loss of air, but the air pressure in the working chamber was automatically responded and corrected by the air control unit. When the tunnel had encroached into the grout plug of the receiving shaft, the air pressure was gradually reduced. On completion of the tunnel drive between shafts, the permanent sewer was installed by pushing the precast concrete pipes into the tunnel after its bottom had been rendered by cement and sand to provide a smooth surface, and the annulus was filled up with bentonite cement grout. After the first tunnel drive had been completed, its entrance was sealed off to prevent loss of air before the second tunnel drive commenced. Condition of a tunnel after construction is shown in Figure 24.

Figure 24 - Condition of a Tunnel After Construction

The daily production rate ranged from 0.8 to 1m for different tunnels, depending on the material encountered. The tunnels generally appeared in an irregular profile due to variable ground condition along the length, but it still

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Figure 25 Typical Arrangement of a Rescue Tunnel Equipped with Horizontal Air Lock

The sequence and details of the tunnelling were same as the compressed air tunnelling, except that a mini backhoe was used to assist excavation in the work face (see Figure 26). Since the stability of the road above the tunnel depended on the effectiveness of grout, horizontal probing was carried out at three locations within the tunnel alignment, namely, the middle and the two shoulders, prior to launching the handshield into the ground. 10 hour shifts (8.00a.m. 6.00p.m.) in 6 days per week had been programmed to cater for the no construction noise permit due to the presence of residential blocks. The average production rate was 0.5m per day. The alignments of the as-constructed tunnels were of good control with minor deviation in the designed profile. The ground settlement recorded was generally in the range of 5 8mm.

Figure 27 - Sleeve Grouting for Pipeline After Being Pushed into a Tunnel

Figure 26 - Excavation in Free Air Tunnel Using Mini Backhoe

On completion of the tunnel, the permanent pipeline was pushed therein and the sleeve was filled up with bentonite cement grout with a strength of 20MPa (see Figure 27).

Another form of free air hand tunnelling was to install a short section of 1350mm diameter sewer near the Electric Sub-Station in Western Fire Services Street, originally under open trench method, by means of horizontal pipe piles. A manhole was designed to be built adjoining an existing manhole but, due to the presence of a bundle of high voltage cables spreading across the road at a depth of about 1.5m below ground level, the new manhole location had to be shifted about 10m apart to avoid conflict. After the shaft for this manhole had been completed, contiguous pipe piles, in diameter of 273mm, were drilled by a rotary percussion rig to reach the existing manhole below such cables. Bentonite cement grout was used to fill the cased holes. This grout followed by chemical grout was injected along the perimeter of pipe piles to prevent ingress of groundwater before commencement of excavation. Portal frames were erected as excavation proceeded using a minibackhoe. Upon completion of the excavation, the permanent pipeline was pushed into the tunnel by a winch system and the annulus was filled up with foamed
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Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong concrete. The as-constructed condition of the tunnel is shown in Figure 28.

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of fill overlying insitu soil within a short length in Aberdeen and high rockhead near Wong Chuk Hang and Tin Wan. The groundwater table was about 2.5m below ground level. The contractor, based on the borehole information and other site constraints, selected the slurry pressure balancing pipejacking method for constructing the trunk sewer, except for a 35m long section beneath an existing decked nullah that heading construction was to be carried out. A Herrenknecht AVN1500 machine was used in the contract. The appearance of the machine is shown in Figure 29. The machine was 8799mm in length and basically consisted of four sections.

Figure 28 - As-constructed Condition of Tunnel Using Horizontal Pipe Piles

The entire tunnel was completed in 3 weeks, in which 8 days, 5 days and 5 days were used to drill 30nos. of pipe piles, to construct the grout curtain and to carry out excavation respectively. No ground settlement was detected during the course of this work. Case Study Aberdeen, Ap Lei Chau and Pok Fu Lam Sewerage Stage 1B Following the recommendations made in the Aberdeen, Ap Lei Chau and Pok Fu Lam Sewerage Master Plan Study, Atkins China Limited was appointed by the Drainage Services Department to undertake the design and construction supervision of the captioned project. This project mainly involved construction of 2.2km of trunk sewer from Wong Chuk Hang, via Aberdeen Praya Road and Tin Wan Praya Road, to Aberdeen Sewerage Screening Plant by trenchless techniques, associated manholes, side connection sewers and a sewage pumping station. The contract no. DC/98/06, in the sum of HK$258.9 million, was awarded to Bilfinger + Berger Bauaktiengesellschaft in May 1999. The section of trunk sewer, with a diameter of 1500mm, lies in a depth range of 5.5m to 12m, running along the two fast lanes in both bounds of the road to avoid conflicting with major utilities and services. The length of a pipeline between two manholes varies from 50m to 120m, depending on the locations and directions of the side connection sewers, the topography and site constraints such as foundations of existing box culvert and nullah. There are totally 20nos. of manholes. In the initial stage of the contract, boreholes were drilled by the contractor at all shaft locations to determine ground and groundwater conditions for design of the temporary works and the pipeline in between. These locations were also used for manhole construction later on. The borehole records indicated that the ground where the trunk sewer would pass through was highly variable, comprising loose to medium dense fill material with occasional boulders to a boulder zone to a thin layer

Figure 29 Appearance of 1500mm Diameter Herrenknecht Slurry Pipejacking Machine

Section 1 contained the cutting head and the slurry bypass unit. The cutting head had 8 nos. of double discs and 2 nos. of single discs for cutting, totaling to 10 cutting discs. These discs were 305mm in diameter, and the 4 nos. of double discs in the centre were equipped with rollers to enhance its capacity in rock cutting. Scraper bits were also installed at selected locations for soil removal. The cutting head assembly consisted of two sections which were articulated to allow movement in any direction to enable steering of the thrust. Prior to the delivery of machine to Hong Kong, samples of rock core were forwarded to the machine manufacturer by the contractor to ensure the configuration in the cutting head being compatible. At the rear of this section, a torque reaction mechanism was provided to prevent the machine from rotating. The valves for the slurry by-pass unit were also located in this section. Section 2 contained the cutting head drive, the cooling system and the whole hydraulic system for the machine. An electronic laser system was also installed in this part of the machine. This section was connected with the above Section 1 by 4 nos. of steering cylinders. Section 3 contained the hydraulic pump and the electric motor which served to the hydraulic system located at the Section 2 of the machine.
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Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong Section 4 was called the Telescopic Station, in which four jacks, each with 100 tons capacity and a stroke of 1000mm, were located. These jacks will provide sufficient pressure for the cutting discs to cut through rock. In order to allow changing the worn out cutting discs during a drive and looking at the ground conditions at the front of the machine if necessary, a 450mm diameter access gate was provided at the front part of the machine. The machine and the lubrication system was remotely operated and controlled in the control room located adjacent to a jacking shaft, through a computerized, visible control panel. The ELS guidance system and the method of checking position of the cutting head were basically same as those for the CW3 project. Sheetpiles were used to construct the jacking and receiving shafts. Their sizes were 7.2m x 7.2m and 5.8m x 5.8m respectively. A 4m high reinforced concrete ring with an internal diameter of 6.2m was constructed inside the jacking shaft. After completion of the concrete works, the sheetpiles which clashed with the location of the soft eyes were pulled up to the top level thereof and then cut off. The soft eye was 2m in diameter within the ring from where the pipe was jacked. Within the soft eye area, there was no reinforcement, and the concrete thickness was 150mm. To account for the ingress of groundwater and soil into the shaft through the gap between the pipe and the sheetpiles, a launch seal with a double layer of neoprene was installed in the shaft where the soft eye opening was located.

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A similar arrangement was provided for the receiving shaft when the machine arrived and cut through the soft eye, but with the reinforced concrete wall at its two sides being a straight section. A special jacking frame had been designed for this project which made the installation operations easy and quick. Two jacks each with 425 tons capacity and a stroke of 1830mm were built into this frame. The jacking frame operated in stages so that the pipes with 3000mm length could be jacked. The backside of the frame had a curvature suitable to the shape of the reinforced concrete wall which also acted as the thrust block. After the jacking frame had been rigidly fixed to the base slab and rear wall, the 1st part of the machine (containing Sections 1 and 2) was lowered into the shaft by using a mobile crane. The machine was then set up and all the necessary survey checks were carried out. Once the level and alignment was confirmed correct, the machine started cutting its way through the concrete eye. After the 1st part made its progress into the ground, the 2nd part of the machine (Section 3) was lowered, adjusted and jacked into the ground and after that the 3rd part (Section 4) would follow. Following the pushing of the whole machine into the ground, the 1st pipe was lowered onto the shaft by 2 nos. of polyester / canvas slings, connected behind the machine and then pushed into the ground (see Figure 30). This procedure was repeated until the machine had reached the receiving shaft. The machine was then lifted up part by part to the ground level for inspection and repair before the next pipejacking drive commenced.













Figure 30 - Configuration in Herrenknecht Slurry Pipejacking Machine

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July 2001

Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong The hydraulically driven cutting wheel turned during jacking. The cutting discs also turned for breaking the rock. The material was then transferred into the crusher area. The crusher worked like a coffee-mill to crush the coarse material. The bentonite slurry was pumped through the charge pipe, by a submersible pump located in the sedimentation tank, and flowed through the feed injection nozzles into the crusher area. From there, the mixture of slurry and soil was transported through the discharge pipe by centrifugal pumps into a desander on the ground surface, which separated the soil for disposal and the slurry for recycling use. The pumps had infinitely variable speed controls to adopt to available ground conditions and balance flow rates. For pipejacking through clayey material, water was used in lieu of slurry. All the excavated materials were disposed off site in dry condition and the surplus slurry was sucked away by a closed container lorry. The pipes used in this project were 3m long for standard pipes and 1.5m long for short pipes. These pipes were manufactured by Doran (Hong Kong) Ltd complying to BS5911 and had an allowable axial strength of 794 tons. The allowable angular deflection at pipe joint was 58. Cast-in steel collar was provided at both ends of a pipe acting as a guide. A 18mm wide soft wood cushion ring was placed on the pipe joint for spreading the load onto the face of the concrete pipe. The rubber seal seated on a recess and provided the watertighiness of the pipeline. The pipes had 360o PVC lining to prevent the concrete from being attacked by hydrogen suphide gas emitted from the sewage. The lining at the joints of the pipes was later welded to each other after the completion of the drive. Also, an inspection was carried out inside the pipeline upon completion and any damaged lining was then repaired. Every third pipe installed had three openings for lubrication during the pipejacking and filling the voids in the periphery of the pipeline by grout. These openings had a diameter of 20mm and were positioned at 120o apart. To maintain proper access from the jacking shaft to the machine, steel rings were mounted inside the jacked pipes to carry the pipes, hose and cables. A lubrication system was developed by the contractor, in that at every three standard pipes, a lubrication station with three ball valves was installed. The station was connected to the main slurry charge pipe with a separate line. Another hose connected each valve on the station to the evenly distributed nozzles on the circumference of the jacking pipe. An electrical signal for the control room activated the individual pneumatically controlled valves. A pneumatic actuator opened the ball valve and enabled the lubricant to flow to the selected nozzle. By installation of an electrical junction box on every single station, the signal could be generated from the control room through the computer, which was converted into a specific signal and transferred to the junction box of the preselected valve. This signal was then converted into a digital signal to activate the individual valve. The reason for using the above system was that, by using conventional technology, it was impossible to control and monitor the lubrication process during pipejacking operations as all the nozzles through which the lubricant

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was pumped were connected to the same pump. In this case, the lubricant would flow to the area with the highest porosity, whereas the areas with opposite properties would get very low or no lubrication at all. When this happened, the lubricant would not flow and surround the pipe along the length. Therefore, no hydrostatic uplift would be formed. The soil would be in full contract with the pipe, resulting in higher jacking force and ground settlement. Nail settlement markers were installed at suitable locations at the four sides of a shaft before the commencement of temporary works and 5m intervals along the centre line of a pipejacking drive and at 6 9m offsets from that line, depending on the depth from ground level to the bottom of the pipeline. Some of the marker locations needed to be adjusted to suit site conditions. Markers were also installed in the nearby Highways structures such as flyovers and footbridges, and DSDs box culverts and nullahs. Monitoring was carried out on a daily basis during the course of a pipejacking drive and 4 weeks after work to see whether the settlement had been completed. The pipejacking work started in early December 1999 and, up to present, 1.95km of the pipeline, representating 15 drives, has been completed. The average production rate was 6m per day (12 hours shift) in soil, with a maximum length of 26m being recorded in a single day, and 4m in rock. This rate was dictated by the time required for repair and maintenance during the course of work such as extension of ventilation duct, disconnection and connection of power cables, extension of slurry charge and discharge pipes, extension of compressed air pipe, connection of pipes and application of lubricant, and the auxiliary works such as change of cutting discs, mechanical fault, electrical fault, unblockage of charge and discharge pipes, broken down of hydraulic system. The jacking force applied generally ranged from 40 to 300tons in soil and from 100 to 650 tons in rock whilst the torque pressure was maintained at 30 250 bars for rock cutting and at 100 200 bars for soil excavation. No intermediate jacking station had been used in any of these drives. Change of cutting discs was, however, required during the course of pipejacking in rock in a number of drives, due to wear. A layer of thick slurry was injected in front of the cutting head to prevent ingress of water before the access gate was opened for such purpose. There had been a stoppage of the pipejacking work for a drive, resulting in the necessity of opening a rescue shaft in the road. The head of the machine was pulled back by about 0.936m by retraction of the jacks in the telescopic section in order to allow driving of sheetpiles. It was later found that a large boulder existed ahead of the pipejacking alignment and the majority of cutting discs were seriously damaged with the 3 nos. in the middle almost completely worn out (see Figure 31). Due to the presence of some metallic objects like metallic sheets, steel bars, etc, outside and near the face of the machine, the contractor considered that some of them were trapped between the cutting discs and the rock, wearing them during rotation and leading to loss of function in
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Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong penetrating through rock. However, this view could not be verified. All the damaged cutting discs were replaced in the rescue shaft prior to resuming the pipejacking work.

Wilson Mok

Figure 32 - Appearance of Heading Construction

Figure 31 Condition of Pipejacking Machine When Entering Rescue Shaft

The average ground settlements measured from the pipejacking drives were in the range of 8 to 15mm but a magnitude of more than 40mm had been recorded at several locations in two drives. Heave was also noted at some locations during the course of pipejacking. The contractor closely monitored the settled and heaved areas within the TTA coned-off areas, and carried out reinstatement before the road was re-opened to traffic. For those affected areas in the traffic lanes, the pipejacking works stopped immediately and emergency TTA schemes were implemented for closing the road for inspection of the road condition and the neighbouring utilities and services as to their degree of damage, if any. A mixture of sand and cement was used to fill up the voids and the uneven carriageway was temporarily regraded with bitumen. For heading construction, a 1800mm diameter mild steel sleeve pipeline with open shield type using the pipejacking method was adopted (see Figure 32). The first pipe was a 2.2m long lead pipe with a hood in the front and 4 nos. of shove rams at the rear for adjustment of line and level of the pipeline through an articulated joint separating the pipe into two parts. A subsequent UPVC pipe was then pushed inside the constructed sleeve pipe as a permanent pipeline. The void between the sleeve pipe and the UPVC pipe was filled with cement and PFA grout. Before the jacking operation, 100mm diameter drillholes with designed pattern were drilled horizontally for installation of 40mm diameter Tube-A-Manchette grout pipes along the sewer alignment between the jacking and receiving shafts. Grout mix of bentonite cement was injected into the ground and was followed by chemical grout to stabilize the soil. After completion of grouting, 3 holes were drilled at different locations of sheetpiles to investigate the condition of soil and groundwater ahead. When the condition was satisfactory, the jacking operation commenced.

The setup and application of the jacking system in the jacking shaft was basically same as that of the Unclemole slurry pipejacking. This system had 2 nos. of 500 tons hydraulic jacks with a stroke of 500mm. A 600mm thick reinforced concrete wall, in the size of 4m x 4m, was constructed at the rear of the shaft. After the lead pipe had been pushed into the ground through the launching eye in the shaft, excavation was carried out by using pneumatic breaker at work face, and the excavated material was mucked out by using bucket and trolley out of the pipe by winch. The bucket was lifted up by a lifting gantry to ground level for disposal. When the lead pipe was almost completely inside the ground, the 1st section of sleeve pipe (3m long) was lowered to the guide rail, connected to the lead pipe by welding and pushed into the ground. The same procedure was repeated until the lead pipe had arrived the receiving shaft. Two holes were drilled at the crown of every third pipe behind the lead pipe for application of bentonite lubricant during the course of jacking. During the jacking operation, a 3m long probe hole was drilled in order to determine the soil condition ahead. When the soil condition changed, penetration of the lead pipe would be increased to maintain the face stability. There had been a situation of having heavy ingress of water in the work face, possibly due to the leakage of the existing nullah above, resulting in the necessity of additional grouting inside the lead pipe until the condition had been rectified. At the end of each day, the work face was supported by steel channels and timber planking to prevent collapse. The line and level of the pipeline was controlled by using the target plate set at the lead pipe with reference to the laser device installed at the rear of the jacking shaft. In the event of misalignment being found, the shove rams installed at the rear of the lead pipe was adjusted by removing suitable thickness of steel sheets to bring back the pipeline to its designed alignment. The temporary pipeline commenced on 20 January 2001 and was completed on 22 March 2001, averaging to a daily production rate of 2m. Its constructed line and level

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Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong was within the correspondingly allowable 50mm and 30mm. Upon completion of the jacking, the void in the annulus of the pipeline, formed by overcut, was filled up with bentonite cement grout. The sleeve grout between the temporary pipeline and the UPVC pipeline was carried out after the UPVC pipeline had been strengthened both outside and inside by steel brackets to avid floatation and deformation. Conclusions The sewers installed by various trenchless techniques in the projects under the three case studies have proved to be successful, although some problems not identified previously in the small scale of works have been encountered. Each of these techniques is beneficial when used in a proper manner. Its performance is generally reflected by the daily production rate, capacity in dealing with hard rock, line and level of pipeline, and ground settlement or heaving. It is therefore essential to choose the appropriate method to avoid the timely and costly remedial measures if the work is stopped by obstructions or mechanical failure, which will cause nuisance to the public and in turn lose the spirit of using them. The cost of sewer installation using such techniques does not vary with depth except for the increased cost of providing deeper shafts and manholes. In comparison with the traditional open trench method, the cost of the slurry method, the earth pressure balancing method, the free air handshield with grouting and the compressed air tunnelling method is higher in the order of 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 4.5 times respectively, whereas the construction time is generally 4 to 2.5 times faster. The choice of a technique lies with the contractor and is dependent on the degree of risk that he is willing to accept. This is usually governed by access, ground and groundwater conditions and accurate identification and consideration of all other constraints. Increase in site investigation works would reduce the risk but could not eliminate it. The slurry pressure balancing method has demonstrated its good rate of progress in variable ground, but its use needs monitoring of excavation as the machine advances to eliminate settlement (too much excavation, not enough advance) or heave (too much advance, not enough excavation). Hence, the operators experience, training and response when problem arises is crucial. Change of operator during the course of work should be avoided as much as possible as the new operator would take a long time before he can be familiar with the machine and the ground conditions. The density, viscosity, filtrate water and shear strength of the slurry have to be tested on a regular basis and changed when any of these exceeds the specified upper or lower bound limits to ensure its functionality. The configuration in the cutting wheel must be capable of cutting through extremely hard and abrasive rock and, on the other hand, excavating soil efficiently. The cutting discs provided have to be

Wilson Mok

extremely wear resistant and capable of taking the maximum thrust of the machine. To avoid excessive heat generation, the cutting discs should be equipped with water cooling system. The local made discs are to be used with care due to the difficulty of controlling their quality during the heat treated process. In the event that a boulder zone is identified ahead of the drive, it may be necessary to stablilize the soil above in the affected area to minimize the ground settlement caused by the vibration or over-excavation during the cutting through operation. This would also help to control the line and level of a pipeline. The only obstacle of adopting the slurry pressure balancing method is that irrespective the configuration in the cutting wheel, the machine is incapable of cutting through large artificial obstructions, especially metallic objects, resulting in it being stuck in ground. The earth pressure balancing method, although relatively inexpensive of tunnelling in bad ground, is unable to deal with large boulders. Although access to the face through the airlock chamber is feasible, their removal will be inefficient due to the limited space and the use of only hand tools. Breaking through the unknown thickness of boulders will cause a sudden change of groundwater pressure endangering the worker. The adoption of compressed air tunnelling method will face a problem associated with air loss in porous ground, giving rise to the necessity of carrying out ground treatment to safeguard the tunnel and the personnel working inside. The switch on of the compressors and generators around the clock to maintain the pressure in tunnel also causes noise problem. Although expensive cost and relative low production rate makes this method only being applicable to short drives, the removal of artificial obstructions can be warranted. Free air hand tunnelling method requires the entire length of the drive being grouted so as to maintain the stability of the road above, prior to commencement of work. Vertical grouting appears to be infeasible due to the presence of congested utilities and services in shallow depths. Horizontal grouting will cause drawdown of groundwater during the drilling operation and will blow out the ground or encroach into the ductings of utilities if the pressure is not properly controlled. If the grouting is ineffective, compressed air still has to be used to balance the groundwater. All the above methods have merits and demerits. Their choice should be based on technical compatibility with regard to the ground and groundwater conditions revealed by the site investigation works, and other constraints rather than only the cost. Detailed analysis of the risk, together with the contingency plan, must be given prior to finalizing the decision. Inspection and maintenance of the tunnelling shield, pipejacking machine and their backup plant and equipment by competent personnel at regular intervals would minimize the downtime and maximize the production. Since each project is different in nature, it is advisable to consult with the specialists in the field in the initial stage of a project for ensuring success.

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Performance of Trenchless Techniques for Sewer Construction in Hong Kong Acknowledgements The author wishes to express his gratitude to the Territory Development Department and the Drainage Services Department, both of the Hong Kong Government SAR, for permission of extracting the materials from the relevant projects, to publish this paper.

Wilson Mok

Wilson W. S. Mok Wilson Mok graduated from the University of Windsor in Canada and has over 23 years practical working experience in a wide variety of geotechnical and civil engineering projects in both design office and site. He is particularly experienced in dealing with design and construction associated with geotechnical investigations and instrumentation, deep excavations, tunnels, ground improvements, settlement analysis, reclamation, site formation, slope preventive measures, foundations and sewerage works. He has worked as a resident engineer for Fugro, Mouchel, Mott Macdonald and Maunsell, and is currently employed by Atkins for the same post on a DSD Contract.

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