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Shaft excavation for TBM lowering at the DTSS project.

Manuj Taneja, Leighton Asia Project Engineer at the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System Phase 2 (DTSS) project in Singapore loves dynamic and new challenges.

Besides his passion for sports, especially cricket, he is particularly fascinated by tunnelling and use of tunnel boring machines (TBM).

“The geotechnical condition of every project site is unique, that’s why it is critical to estimate the performance of a TBM accurately, to assist site planning activities including costing and schedule preparation,” said Manuj.

As a Project Engineer, Manuj’s role involves coordinating with different parties to submit appropriate method statements, preparing safe working procedures on tunnelling works and forecasting tunnelling activities.

Recently, Manuj took the initiative to develop a cost-efficient solution for the muck pit, which could potentially help the project save around A$1 million.

What is a muck pit?

A slurry treatment plant muck pit is a storage place for soil unearthed by TBM tunnelling, before it is sent to the dumping yard.

A time and cost efficient reinforced concrete muck pit was adopted instead of sheet piling.

“The traditional method for excavating a muck pit in Singapore uses sheet piles and walers to provide earth retention and excavation support. However, during the design phase we recognised this was not ideal for the DTSS project, as the sheet piles take up a lot of space.

“An alternative solution was required, and I proposed to open cut the muck pit to create more space, and to use a reinforced concrete muck pit which is more time and cost efficient.”

This practical solution demonstrates the value of challenging conventional thinking and practices to optimise performance at site.

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