by TMR / pic by BERNAMA
THE East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project has achieved a tunnel breakthrough at the 871m single-bore Terowong Dungun in Terengganu six months ahead of schedule.
In a statement yesterday, the company said the final blast at Terowong Dungun on May 29, 2021, broke through the last barrier some 12m from the tunnel’s entrance portal.
“The achievement at Terowong Dungun is a culmination of approximately 641,520 man-hours and the adoption of the drill-and-blast method of tunnelling that bored through the moderately weathered schist rock.
“Tunnel excavation works for Terowong Dungun had progressed to 97.4% prior to the breakthrough, while its permanent lining had risen to a decent length of 702m,” it noted.
With a tunnel height of 11.8m and width of 12.9m, Terowong Dungun was constructed to avoid major open cutting and to preserve forest reserve when travelling across the Kuala Dungun area.
The achievement is made more significant as Terowong Dungun was the event site for the ECRL project’s relaunch ceremony on July 25, 2019.
“The dedication and teamwork of some 100 ECRL personnel at all levels had paved the way for the tunnelling works and breakthrough at Terowong Dungun to be ahead of schedule, noting that the overall infrastructure works for the tunnel is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2022, said Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.
Terowong Dungun is expected to be completed months ahead of schedule barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Mohd Zuki also said the ECRL project has 58 tunnels encompassing different lengths and landscape to be constructed along various sections of its 665km rail alignment, but anticipates the strong collaboration and knowledge sharing between MRL and China Communications Construction (ECRL) Sdn Bhd to smoothen tunnel excavation and deliver such engineering feat as per schedule or even earlier.
“We are pleased that the ECRL project is still progressing slightly ahead of schedule at 22.62% as at May 2021 despite the Covid-19 pandemic which effectively reduces work hours and manpower at project sites,” he noted.