As most of the tunnels of West Island Line are in rock, the drill and blast method will be adopted for some of the underground excavation. A temporary underground magazine site for explosives storage is under construction along Victoria Road, the blasting works were successfully completed with zero accident in May 2010 and no specific concern was received from the public during the blasting period. The temporary underground magazine site is currently undergoing electrical and mechanical works and it is anticipated to be in full operation in August 2010 to store explosives for the WIL Project.
Drill and Blast methods will be adopted for the construction of West Island Line Sai Ying Pun Station and Hong Kong University Station and for the construction of Sai Ying Pun to Kennedy Town Tunnels. It is anticipated that blasting works will commence at the work sites of Kennedy Town Praya as well as King George V Memorial Park and Hill Road in July and August respectively. Nearby residents will be notified of the latest blasting times prior to the blasting works, and signs displaying the daily blasting schedule will be erected outside the work sites, with a warning signal to be sounded just before each blast. Only minor temporary vibrations and occasional noise may be sensed by nearby residents. Qualified professionals are employed for the blasting operations and a set of stringent control measures in accordance with the Buildings Ordinance and relevant statutory requirements will be implemented. Relevant blasting information has been uploaded on our WIL designated website : http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/projects/hongkong_wil_progress.html.
The drill and blast method is commonly used in Hong Kong and the Corporation has over 30 years of experience of using this construction method. The types of explosives used for the railway construction are extremely safe, and require special detonators to initiate each blast. These detonators are stored and transported separately from the explosives at all times.