July 31,2018--Premier Li Keqiang inspects the construction site on the Lhasa-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway on July 26. Image source: Chinese Government Online.
July 31,2018--After the Kala Mountain Tunnel on the Lhasa-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway was connected, construction staff cheer for a group photo in the tunnel. Image source: Shangyou News.
July 31,2018--On July 26, after flying into Lhasa Gonggar Airport, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang traveled directly to a construction site on the Lhasa-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway in order to investigate the design and progress of construction. Premier Li visited the 3,500-meter-high Kala Mountain Tunnel, where he got down twice to carefully inspect the quality of construction, demanding that everything should be fit together perfectly and keep improving it.
The Kala Mountain Tunnel was officially connected on April 7 of this year. It is located within Chushur County, Lhasa Prefecture and Gonggar County, Lhoka Prefecture and is the first tunnel on the Lhasa-Nyingchi section of the Sichuan-Tibet Railway. It is also a difficult engineering project and one under constraints of a time limit. It has a total length of 4,373 meters, a maximum buried depth of 674 meters, and lies at an average elevation of 3,600 meters above sea level, so construction conditions here are complicated and difficult.
According to reports, the tunnel passes through a layer of Aeolian sand, an area susceptible to dangers of falling rock, and a section of a fractured fault, where the surrounding rock changes frequently and inrush of water is a serious issue. To deal with this, the China Railway 11th Bureau Lhasa-Nyingchi Railway Engineering Command Post actively carried out technical, strategic, and special research to tackle the problem, formulating special technical programs and measures to strengthen management and control of the construction process. Through hard work and joint efforts of all parties involved, the tunnel was connected safely and smoothly.