Work on a massive tunnel under the Yangtze river that will connect Shanghai and nearby Chongming Island (T&TI June, pg6) is set to go-ahead after the project was approved by China’s state council, the country’s highest decision-making body. The 15.2m diameter twin bore tunnel is planned to be the largest diameter bored tunnel in the world.

Preliminary design of the 9km long tunnel was done by British engineering consultant Halcrow, which is now bidding for the detailed design of the link that will connect Wuhaogou in Shanghai’s Pudong district and Changxing Island.

COWI came second for overall preliminary design, but first for certain specialised studies relating to construction, 100 years design life and documentation. The tunnel is part of a larger US$1.48bn 25.5km tunnel and bridge project between Pudong and Chenjia town on Chongming.

Lu Fei, deputy director of the Chongming Planning and Administration Bureau, said: “The development of Chongming has long been hindered by geographical restrictions. Things will be completely different once this bottle-neck is broken.”

The project will cut the existing two hours ferry journey to just a 30 minute car or bus ride. The Shanghai Urban Planning & Design Research Institute is responsible for the design and construction supervision of the entire project, which is due for completion in 2007.