Hong Kong’s system engineering – ZHUHAI MACAO BRIDGE PROJECT – Assignment Help


Hong Kong’s system engineering – ZHUHAI MACAO BRIDGE PROJECT

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Table of Contents

Introduction. 3

Stakeholders need. 3

Conceptual Design Process. 5

Planning and associated designing. 5

Alignment and General Link Arrangement 6

Associated viaducts to the design of HZMB.. 7

Structural Design of the Tunnel 9

Transport and Immersion Aspect 9

Design of the Artificial Islands. 10

System requirements. 11

Detail evaluation and ecological planning. 11

Evaluation of the constraints of the site. 12

Aspects of sustainability. 12

Geological investigations. 12

Conclusion. 13

References. 14



The colossal project on infrastructure is the biggest ever bridge under the brand name of the HONG KONG Zhuhai-Macao located at mainland china on both sides of Pearl River estuary is indeed a major linking project in the midst of Zhuhai city within the province of Guangdong, macro special governmental regions and Hong Kong special. This bridge is made up of a twin 3 narrow road by the side of hard- shoulder dual carriageway of approximately around 42 kilometres, out of which 12 kilometre area will be within the terrain of Hong-Kong and the remaining 30 kilometre area will be in mainland province. The operation of building the bridge was started back in 2009 and is being completed by 2018. The official inauguration ceremony was held on October 24th, 2018 (Chan et al., 2018). One of the prime motives to execute this huge engineering project was to avail a fast and safety proof transportation network to the international airport of Hong Kong along with the shipping trunk workstations spread all around the city.

Other than this working on to avail effective link for transportation in between the eastern and western banks of the Pearl River was also one of the major objectives of the project. There was an inclusion of around 7 sections of geotechnical engineering into these entire engineering work sections of the project, which has enhanced the importance to this structure of engineering mission exertion. The purpose of this assignment is to portray an abstract scrutiny the Zhuhai –Macao bridge project of Hong Kong from diversified standpoints.


Stakeholders need

While protecting the wide areas of confidentiality of the bridge project of Zhuhai-Macao in Hong Kong, it was also important to enable the stakeholders with detailed facts and figures regarding the project focusing majorly focusing on the financial growth, investments and future possibilities. Executing an in depth scrutiny of the expectations and need of the stakeholders along with other accountable elements for the involvement of the community was also a matter of extreme insinuations. From the pool of the vital most stakeholders of the bridge project the municipal administrators of HONG KONG, Macau and Guangdong. According to various studies enabling risk free usability of harmonizing benefits of the engineering works in these major three sections by the province specific governments was one of the vital requirements of the stakeholders (Wang et al., 2018). Therefore making sure of the scopes of mutual accessibility of resources and services by these three provincial areas is a major focus of stakeholder’s necessity.

Spaced out from this, making sure of the rectifying the persistent gaps in the development of the economy and further transport connectivity in the midst of the eastern and western banks of greater pearl river delta was also a concerning zone of interest of the stakeholders which was another vital aspect in order to allow for even awareness sharing in the context of technology, skill of labours and total fund invested in the mega engineering project. Moreover the development possibilities of the communities and their engagement in the project through attaining the scope of liberalisation of  trade in great pearl river delta was one of the noteworthy area to focus on for the needs of the stakeholders and hence, this precise element gained its appropriate importance. On the other hand, becoming conversant with the project for achieving the high held reimbursements of the community without any negative effect on the biodiversity was a prime need of the stakeholders involved as the ministry of ecology and environment of the country was also a vital stakeholder of the project (Zeng  et al., 2018)

Conceptual Design Process

Planning and associated designing

While constructing the formal design of the bridge, some of the important facts to be considered were its unique view, where it could be visible from land, sea, and air. Estimating the near and distant view and ensuring proper visibility were also considered. While constructing the bridge, application of immersed tunnel was crucial along with maintaining a viaduct structure of the bridge, as this construction was meant to narrow a gap of nearly 1,000 meters to mitigate the navigation channel between Lingding, and Tonngu. During the process of constructing the bridge, engineering application of complete span launching process through floating cranes was considered important in the overall conceptual design of the HZMB (Li et al., 2016). Moreover, it was also crucial to determine the structural design of the immersed tunnel that is to be used for developing a 3-lane carriageway within a short distance of 14.55 meters. In order to ensure seamless passage of the shipping vessels weighing around 300,000 tons, the tunnel was placed quite deeply (Hu et al., 2018).

Figure 3: Project detail and conceptual plan of the project

(Source: Li, Zhang and Li, 2016)

Implementing the system design process, the immersion trench was filled with sedimentation till the sea-bed, which actually acted as the tunnel’s ground cover for 20 meters. Geothermal conditions were considered for limiting the settlements trough sans replacements and the immersed tunnel constitutes healed in developing a cross-sectional dimension of 11.5*97.95meters thus making this the world’s largest concrete tunnel (Song et al., 2018).

Alignment and General Link Arrangement

From the conceptual design, it is derived that through orientation of the designing alignment, the normal flow of water has been ensured and similarly, application of horizontal curves have provided a catchy view of the bridge among the people (Hu et al., 2018). The designing commenced from Boundary Crossing Facilities situated opposite to Zhuhai & Macao that runs within the open waters and ending at the north-eastern tip of the Hong Kong Airport. The general alignment of the HZMB within the mainland waters comprised of the following span measurements:

  • 110m long span viaducts of approximately 14 km length
  • 75m viaducts (short-span) of approximately 7km length
  • Jianghai Navigation Bridge of approximately700 m length
  • Qing Zhou Navigation Bridge of approximately 900 m length
  • Jiuzhou Navigation Bridge of approximately 500m length

Figure 4: Alignment of Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macao Link

(Source: Li et al., 2016)

Associated viaducts to the design of HZMB

The viaducts placed at Macao and Zhuhai crosses the shallow water and over the increasing water depth at Lantau, where the span of the investigated range between 60-80km and the investigated span range was 90-120m over the deep water. Single column piers have been used along with girder desks and concrete box while developing bridges in China (Song et al., 2018). Therefore, considering the environmental perspectives, the HZMB project has also used single-column piers for supporting the separate desks and the single wide deck for lest obstruction in water flow (Zhang, and Qiu, 2018).

The types of short-span viaducts used are:

  • Twin prestressed concrete box
  • Twin composite box girders
  • Single wide composite box girder
  • Single wide orthotropic steel box girder

Pile caps, pier columns were used for making the viaduct substructure and on the contrary, the application of 3 different types of Long-span viaducts involve

  • Prestressed concrete-box girders with twin variable depth
  • Orthotropic steel-box girder with Single-wide constant depth
  • Twin constant-depth composite-box girders (Huang et al., 2019)

Figure 5: Plan of the HZMB Link

(Source: Li, Zhang and Li, 2016)

Structural Design of the Tunnel

In the entire design of the tunnel, the longitudinal and transverse direction were quite crucial and the transverse direction of the structural design includes specialised features such as three-land dual carriage in the tunnel, with a relative larger span of 14.5m distance between the walls and placement of the tunnel 29m below the sea-level that will allow passage for oil takers with 3, 00,000 tonnes capacity (Hu, Deng and Ren, 2016). The longitudinal structural design direction comprises of segmental and monolithic tunnels and in monolithic tunnels separate and continuous tunnel element. Monolithic and monolithic segmental options were used as it comprised of benefits and disadvantages in the entire Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Project. Foundation design was also important including foundation bed in the tunnel structure and the soil.

Transport and Immersion Aspect

Application of immersed tunnel elements has been applied in the HZMB project, which is presently the largest in the world and transporting these tunnel elements involved afloat and immersed offshore conditions and in the immersion and transportation stage, seemed to be crucial for designing the tunnel element along with identification of the risks involved (Lin and Lin, 2018). Immersion and transportation of the tunnels required clear concept related to design forces along with accommodation of the same, which further required dependence on factors like shape and dimension of the elements of the tunnel, considering wave and wind condition and depth of water during transportation and the location of immersion (Zhou, Wang and Zeng, 2018). In addition, transition between the bridges along with the immersed tunnels could be achieved through artificial islands, which possessed the dimension of 625m in length and 160m in width.

Design of the Artificial Islands

Constructing the artificial island was conducted in a two-stage process, which helped in avoiding delay in constructing tunnel. The construction phase comprised of island development during the first stage with part of cu and cover tunnel, which was capable of receiving the first immersed tunnel element, followed by constructing the larger part of the tunnel (Zhang and Qiu, 2018). The cast island construction, especially the island in the eastern part comprised of single-phase activities meant for development of the last immersed tunnel element. The operations of the construction involved the following stages:

  • Development of sea-defence walls, which includes layers of stone and rock and revetment of doloses
  • Mud excavating with soft top-layer
  • Wind wall installation with piles of circular-sheet and diaphragm walls for retaining the structure of the tunnel
  • Construction of cut and tunnel covers (Lin and Lin, 2018)

Figure 6: The Connectivity of HZMB

(Source: Li et al., 2016)


System requirements

The system precisely required by the bridge project of Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao needs the approval of the involved stakeholders before commencing the functional operations.

Detail evaluation and ecological planning

The bridge project has the active involvement of the ministry of ecology and environment of china as one of the major stakeholder and hence, the detailed analysis of the possible affects both positive and negative on the biodiversity has been a gruesome element of the project’s system requirement. This also has included the evaluation of the statement of impact on environment mandatory by the side of making sure of safety and security in workplace by protecting the labours and staffs involved with the bridge projects. In addition, the delta of Pearl River has a unique habitation of pink dolphins which are in danger of extinction. It was also significant to make sure to decrease the amount of impact on the environment surrounded by the project area along with putting constraining of water and noise contamination (Zhou et al., 2018).

Evaluation of the constraints of the site

The system needed by the project had the necessity of the following analysis:

  • existence of soft marine collection divisions
  • Backfilling of rocks was not feasible practically
  • Search for huge proportion of soft marine collections and its unfavourable effects on ecology

Aspects of sustainability

Forthe concern of sustaining, the bridge project was required to fulfil the below mentioned requirements:

  • Cutting down the amount of materials required (Song, 2018)
  • Cutting down the carbon hoofmarks by limiting use of power in structuring materials such as required concrete, and cement
  • Scope of utilising recyclable resources than making use of concretes

Geological investigations

The major requirement was of facts and figures on the component structure of the soil and its integration with the tunnel being immersed. Generating an unmistakable notion of conditions on geotechnical aspects as significant for generalising the possible threats and ability of modification of design was important as well. Moreover, evaluation of the probability of the reach of seismic activities was also persistent over there (Song et al., 2018).


The above analysis proves that the bridge project of Hong Kong was indeed a highly exclusive one in the context of the applicability of the features of engineering, technical depths and deep skills of engineering. The bridge is supposed to have a life span of 120 year by the side of the geothermal elements. Precisely the concept of immersion of tunnel was in requirement of thorough evaluation in the sections of sustainability, geological impacts and site restrictions. However in the above context being sure of immense skills and awareness at all the levels of staffs was of prime significance of efficient completion of the project.




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Hu, Y., Le, Y., Gao, X., Li, Y. and Liu, M., 2018. Grasping institutional complexity in infrastructure mega-projects through the multi-level governance system: A case study of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge construction. Frontiers of Engineering Management5(1), pp.52-63.

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