An 18,000-meterutility tunnel will soon begin construction in Wuyi county of Hengshui city, and itis expected to become the first steel utility tunnel in China when it is completed.
The utility tunnel is a passage built underground to carry utility lines such as electricity, steam, water and sewerage. Communications infrastructure such as fiber optics, cable television, and telephone cables can also be carried.
The utility tunnel in Wuyi county is designed to be 5-meters high and 6.5-meters wide; it will contain water, steam, electricity and communication pipelines, as well as a passageway for maintenance workers.
The utility tunnel is expected to help solve the traffic congestion caused by digging up roads for underground piping as well as save money.
In addition, compared with the traditional utility tunnels made by reinforced concrete, the steel type will save 30 to 50 percent of construction time and over 10 percent of costs due to its characters such as uniform texture, stability, as well as being easy to transport and install, according to Liu Bo, the head of the utility tunnel technology research institute at the Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd.
The equipment and materials for building Wuyi county's utility tunnel will be provided by a local business, as Wuxi county has a national-level utility tunnel technology research institute and a manufacturing base.
The local government claimsthat the newly-built utility tunnel will play an important role in upgrading Wuyi county's infrastructure.
An interior view of a steel utility tunnel in Wuyi county of Hengshui city. [Photo/hebeinews.com.cn]
A utility tunnel production line in Wuyi county. [Photo/hebeinews.com.cn]