Siemens to provide traffic management system for Hong Kong’s longest road tunnel


Two European companies are involved in one of southeast Asia’s major construction projects, which will create six separate links between the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen with the Hong Kong special administrative region, in order to improve transport integration between the two.

The six link projects – the Liantang road link, the Longhua railroad link, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong passenger rail link in Fujian, Dachan Gulf Harbor, the Nan’an tourist link, and a sub-sea tunnel connecting the airports of Shenzhen and Hong Kong – will connect Shenzhen and Hong Kong by road, rail and sea. UK-based infrastructure consultancy Atkins has been employed by one of the main construction contractors, Dragages (Hong Kong) Limited, to be the design consultant firm for the detailed design of the 3-mile (5km) long dual two-lane Lung Shan Tunnel, which is currently being excavated by tunnel boring machine (TBM) and drill-and-blast techniques.

The tunnel forms part of a four-lane freeway link, extending to around 6.8 miles (11km) in total, which is intended to provide a new strategic direct connection for cross-border freight and passenger vehicle traffic between the Northeast New Territories and the Eastern part of Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. The project will become the longest road tunnel in Hong Kong on completion in 2022.

Siemens is to supply all of the traffic control and monitoring systems for the twin-bore Liantang tunnel, which will include the design, supply, delivery, installation, testing and commissioning of a traffic control and surveillance system for the connecting road linking up the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai Boundary Control Point and the existing Fanling Highway. The contract covers the operational computer systems, communication facilities, variable message signs (VMS), and other traffic field equipment. Siemens is to supply the complete system for the project, including all hardware and software, plus numerous subsystems to facilitate a safe and efficient flow of traffic in the tunnel and surrounding roads.

The centerpiece will be the International Tunnel Control Center (ITCC), which will use the company’s Simatic WinCC open architecture for the operations control system. Simatic WinCC is one of the most powerful SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and HMI (human-machine interface) systems currently available, and features a fully flexible and scalable architecture.

The ITCC will draw on real-time data to assess conditions in the tunnel and decide on actions to optimize traffic flow, while simultaneously taking account of all pertinent safety aspects of the tunnel’s operation. The main functions provided by the ITCC will be automated incident and congestion detection, emergency management for accidents, tunnel closure, and contraflow management during incidents. The major part of Siemens’ work will be completed by the end of 2018, with completion for the entire tunnel and ITCC due in early 2021.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).