Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Second Tunnel Boring Machine Initiates Metro Rail Phase-2 Underground Line Construction

The construction of the underground line for the metro rail’s phase-2 network is progressing rapidly with the initiation of tunneling activities by a second tunnel boring machine (TBM) from Lighthouse to Thirumayilai (Mylapore).

Tunneling is set to commence shortly in various locations, including Panagal Park in T Nagar and Chetpet. The launch of the second TBM in Lighthouse occurred last week, approximately four months after the initiation of tunneling by the first machine.

The first TBM has successfully completed a 140m-long tunnel, while the second machine will be responsible for building tunnels from Lighthouse to Kutchery Road, covering a distance of around 1.96km at a depth of 30m. The anticipated completion date for this section of the project is October 2026.

An official highlighted that Lighthouse Station, being close to Marina Beach, will be equipped with automatic flood gates to safeguard the station in the event of a tsunami.

Simultaneously, at Panagal Park, workers have initiated the assembly of a TBM in the launching shaft beneath the park. Following assembly, the machine will undergo testing before commencing tunneling activities. Both Lighthouse and Panagal Park are integral parts of the 26.1km corridor 4, extending from Lighthouse to Poonamallee Bypass.

Once the stations on corridor 4 become operational, commuters will have the convenience of reaching the T Nagar shopping area in a single train journey from western suburbs like Poonamallee. Additionally, the line from Lighthouse to Poonamallee is set to extend further to the proposed greenfield airport in Parandur via Sriperumbudur.

M A Siddique, the managing director of CMRL, previously mentioned that the 116.1km phase-2 is expected to open in stages between 2025 and 2028. The initial stretch from Powerhouse to Poonamallee is slated to open first, with the final stretch opening in 2028 leading to Thirumayilai and its associated stations. The construction of Thirumayilai, serving as an interchange, is expected to be challenging due to the presence of stacked tunnels.

Currently, tunneling has been completed at three stretches in Madhavaram, and TBMs are actively operating in Greenways Road, Ayanavaram, and Chetpet.

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