Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hong Kong's hidden water city

In wake of recent disasters that have shut down cities in the United States, NBC aired a news segment about the complex drainage system that begins in the hills and runs beneath the roads and other infrastructure in Hong Kong.  While Hong Kong's location behind the Philippines allows it to escape a lot of the brunt during storm season, we still weather an average of seven tropical storms each year.  And we can thank the ingenuity and preparedness of many civil and drainage engineers within the region for why we won't be sitting in our darkened living rooms with stale crackers and 7-up any time soon.

Please check out the two minute video clip.  It shows part of the amazing labyrinth of tunnels beneath us, which most of us will never see or even realize is below.

I would love to tour the drainage system.  So far the only drainage system that I have toured was below Paris and it wasn't a storm water system, if you get my drift (har har, a pun).  The tour, though informative and interesting, was also fragrant and I spent the rest of the day discreetly sniffing at my clothing in fear that remnants of the overwhelming experience had ingrained themselves upon me.

Last year I spent enough time charting the progress of the Hong Kong West Drainage Tunnel to start wondering if I was becoming a groupie.  Some of you may recall my blog post in September 2011 regarding my nervousness because my office building was vibrating.  Smoggie directed me to the DSD presentation showing that there was tunneling going on right next to my office.  After reading about the project I was hooked on following the progress.  In fact, like a romantic storybook ending, Nuwa and Oshin (these were the names for the tunnel boring machines), both majestic creatures at 7.2 and 8.3m diameter respectively, reunited near Stubbs Road right next to my office after struggling through 11 kilometers of volcanic rock and granite.  And thanks to all their struggles we can now live happily ever after.

1 comment:

smogsblog said...

I'm not sure what the word for a tunnel groupie is, but I'm one too. When I'm walking on the various trails on the north side of HK Island I make a point of noting the various ingress points.

And "adit" is a very useful Scrabble word.