Saturday, 17 January 2015

Tseng-wen Reservoir Trans-Basin Diversion Channel: West Tunnel Entrance & East Tunnel Exit

After the last two days of being ill, I felt much better this morning though my appetite and digestion is still out of whack. Once I had taken the dogs out to the park, I decided to take a quick trip out to Namaxia district in Kaohsiung to see the gap between the east and west tunnels of the Tseng-wen reservoir trans-basin diversion channel. 

Myself on the east side of the Cishan river, with the entrance to the west tunnel on the other side of the river in the background...

There was work going on inside the tunnel at the time (notice the lights), just as there had been work going on from the other side last weekend. From the same lay-by off the main road, I was also able to walk right up to the exit point for the east tunnel...

The building to the right of the tunnel mouth is a makeshift office, which appears to have been at least temporarily abandoned - doors left open, and rubbish lying around all over the place. The tunnel mouth itself is fenced off, although there is a large pipe sticking out of it (at the other end of which is a kind of sack which stretches down from the pipe to the tunnel floor).

I've now found and photographed three out of four of the tunnel mouths. The only one that's missing is the one that should be on the west side of the Laonung river across from Chinghe village. Two explanations for why I haven't found it yet: either it is partially hidden and I haven't looked closely enough in exactly the right spot, or it doesn't exist yet. If the latter is true then it must surely mean that, though partially complete, the excavation of the east tunnel is not yet complete and may be re-started at some future point. If that is the case then it may also explain two other facts - the absence of a weir at Chinghe to entrap water from the Laonung river (such a weir hasn't been built yet), and the apparent abandon in which the west mouth of the east tunnel has been left; work may recommence on the east tunnel at some point in the future. 

In my spare time I am still reading engineering and environmental assessment reports from the last couple of years about the trans-basin diversion tunnel. One thing that I think can definitely be said is that the already difficult job of building the tunnel was made more difficult by the alterations to the terrain left by typhoon Morakot in 2009. I have more reading to do, but one possibility is that the east tunnel may have been abandoned for the time being, and that there is a substitute plan to divert water into the west tunnel from the Cishan river.

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