Parts of tunnel boring machine for Manila subway arrive

Parts of the tunnel boring machine for the Metro Manila Subway Project have started to arrive in the country.

Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary for Communications Goddess Hope Libiran on Thursday said the cutter head of the boring machine arrived in the Batangas Port last March 28, which will pave way for the start of the tunneling works for the subway system next year.

“Tunneling in between stations with the use of TBM (tunnel boring machine) will start by the second quarter of next year. The digging and excavation for stations will start 4th quarter of this year,” Libiran told reporters.

“After the station boxes are excavated, the TBM will be lowered into the station box so that it can proceed with the boring/tunneling between station boxes,” she added.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in an earlier interview with reporters that the project will require the excavation of around five million cubic meters of soil equivalent to 2,500 Olympic sized pools.

A 6.9-meter diameter tunnel boring machine weighing over 600 tons manufactured by Japanese firm Hitachi Zosen Sakai Works will be used for the construction of the Metro Manila Subway.

The 36-kilometer Metro Manila Subway will have 15 stations from Quirino Highway in Quezon City to NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City and FTI in Taguig City which will traverse seven localities and pass through three of Metro Manila’s business districts.

The subway system is expected to have its partial operations with three stations namely Quirino Highway-Mindanao Avenue, Tandang Sora, and North Avenue by 2022 with its full operations set in 2025.

It is seen to serve up to 370,000 passengers daily during its first year of full operations with a design capacity of accommodating up to 1.5 million passengers per day. PNA