China Railway 11th Bureau Group has completed the main civils work on "the largest underground urban complex in Asia" – the metro hub beneath Optics Valley Square in Wuhan, in central China’s Hubei Province.
Optics Square, part of the Donghu New Technology Development Zone, is being fitted with three subway lines and two utility tunnels, as well as public spaces and a road tunnel. The square is part of Optical Valley, which was the birthplace of the Chinese fibre-optics industry.
When the hub become operational, daily passenger flow through it is expected to reach 400,000 people a day, about 60% more than London’s Waterloo Station.
Zheng Guanghui, vice general manager of the Wuhan Metro, said work began at the end of 2014 and involved a total area of 146,000 sq m of floor space, equivalent to 21 football fields, with workers digging as deep as 34m.
Liang Shuibin, a project manager with China Railway, said a number of breakthrough technologies were used during construction to minimise the impact on surrounding high-rise buildings and traffic.
The Wuhan metro, which opened in 2004, has been expanding ever since to deal with Wuhan’s 10 million people; it is now about 80% of the size of London Underground. As of February this year, it had 318km of track divided into nine lines, connecting 216 stations.
The metro last made international news in December 2017 when it opened three lines in a single day.
Image: Wuhan has become a centre of high-tech optical industries (Donghu New Technology Development Zone)