The two 4,200-tonne Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) to be used to creating the Trunk Road T2 and Cha Kwo Ling Tunnel have been christened “Victoria” and “Rhea” after a public competition to choose their names.
Kai Tak Development (KTD) says over 500 names were put forward by primary and secondary school students to name the road-building machines.
“Victoria” was chosen to honour Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour and to symbolise “victory” and “the smooth accomplishment of the project.
Rhea, on the other hand, is a Greek goddess representing “the eternal flow of time”, according to KTD.
“This meaning aligns perfectly with the objectives of the Trunk Road T2 project to reduce travelling time and create a more convenient transport network,” says KTD.
KTD, overseen by the Civil Engineering and Development Department, says it is traditional to give TBMs female names “for good wishes and smooth works execution”.
The new Trunk Road T2 and Cha Kwo Ling Tunnel created by Victoria and Rhea will form part of Route 6, a new highway connecting Tseung Kwan O and West Kowloon, “to support new development projects, including the West Kowloon Cultural District and the West Kowloon Station of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou – Shenzhen – Hong Kong Express Rail Link; the Cruise Terminal, the Kai Tak Development (KTD) and the Kowloon East Central Business District; and the residential / industrial developments in TKO,” according to the government.
The $10.9-billion 3.4km road section will, the government claims, reduce travel time between Lam Tim and Kai Tak from 15 minutes to just three minutes by car.
Speaking at the launch ceremony of the new TBMs on 9 November, the Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing (Transport), Mable Chan, said the construction of the twin subsea tunnels of the Trunk Road T2 and Cha Kwo Ling Tunnel “formed the most crucial part of the [Route 6] project.”