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designing hong kong
Our e-news on North Lantau provoked a strong response from readers yesterday. Below is a summary.

Coordination

“There are massive flaws in the uncoordinated process of planning the projects around North Lantau. I can brief you on these. It is a complete disaster.”

“My guess on the relationship between HyD and the AA is very simple - never the twain shall meet! Given the standard bureaucracy on HK Government projects and given the heavy handed approach of AA and CAD on the airport platform, I'm sure the Director of Highways wants to avoid the airport platform if at all possible.”
 
“Keep up the good work. Really hope that you can continue to press HK Government to seriously think about the consequences of their planning (or lack thereof).”

Third runway

“The third runway is not needed, but the road around the north of the airport island is a good plan! We have received your newsletters for one year and agree with most suggestions but strongly object to the 3rd runway. Air traffic is a major source of greenhouse gases. We hope you do not send this plan to government without deleting the third runway.”

Move the road

“Agree 100% that the new road should be on the North side of the Airport and not the South side near Tung Chung as this is not only an eyesore, but takes away a potential water sports arena that the bay of water on the south side of airport facing Tung Chung could be used for. Some examples are ocean kayaking, wakeboarding, water skiing, dragon boating, out rigging, all water sports which are getting more and more popular in HK.”

Challenges

“This is an interesting proposal but there will be engineering and environmental difficulties. I'm a structural engineer. The tunnel will require a land mass at each end to form transitions with the elevated road structures and this will require more reclamation.”

“The runaways are part of the 'sterile' area of an airport. Running a roadway underneath offers the potential for compromise of the airport security and damage in case of fire or explosion below and that needs to be addressed.”

“CAD is unlikely to accept a public road under the air field as there are jurisdiction and safety issues to be resolved. These can be resolved in other countries, but in Hong Kong all these are easier to manage with an elevated road. Height restrictions and conflict with future terminal facilities will limit the elevated road alignment options.”

Bridge and rail

“The three Governments should be forced to provide a business plan for public approval, including the projected traffic by vehicle category. A payback in excess of 36 years is a horribly wasteful extravagance. Everyone can then see that it makes no sense. The best passenger solution is an all weather rail tunnel from Tung Chung to Macau and Zhuhai.”

“The bridge should have a rail link.”
 
“Here's my biggest gripe with the HK-Zhuhai-Macau bridge: there is no railway component. I think that is ultimately very short sighted given China's commitment to building the world’s best rail network and the ever growing importance of the Pearl River Delta.”

“The best plan for the people of Hong Kong is no Bloody Big Bridge at all.”

Bigger issues

“The main environmental problem for Tung Chung is, in my opinion, not the road alignment, but the vast area for the border crossing facilities full of idling cars and trucks with glaring lights in front of their homes.”

“Business has to back off North and West Lantau and ensure the survival of the dolphins, horse shoe crabs, natural landscape, and pay for the cleaning up the environmental damage it has already done. There is no such thing as compromise or the contentious 'trade-off' for one area over another when it comes to safe guarding nature. Are we going to develop every last cm of this planet until the natural environment is totally destroyed? There are protected parks in other parts of the world so why isn't there a wildlife sanctuary for the critical habitat for tiny population of dolphins in Hong Kong waters?”

“Careful with these plans, you might like to speak to marine experts about the impact on dolphins.”

“As a resident of Tung Chung, I am particularly interested in the status of the Hong-Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge raised in your newsletter of "A better plan for the people of Tung Chung" Is there a plan for a petition supporting your proposed option? If not, do you have a suggestion on what we can do to lobby against the current design?”
 

A better plan for the people of Tung Chung

Many developments are in the works for North Lantau, including the Hong-Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HKZMB) with a border crossing facility and connections to Lantau and Tuen Mun, the logistics park, reclamations to expand Tung Chung and the third runway.

What is missing is a North Lantau Development Office responsible for coordinating the plans from the different entities into one coherent plan which everyone can be proud off - the residents, the dolphins, the businessmen, the crabs, the airport, the government, the visitors, ... foremost, a plan which minimizes reclamation and impact on the environment, but provides the infrastructure required and agreed upon.

Designing Hong Kong proposes, as a first step, to move the alignment of the planned road links for the HKZMB north of the airport island and run the road under through the third runway. This will minimize reclamation, and remove an eyesore and source of polution for the people of Tung Chung.

The current plan for the road links runs an ugly elevated highway close to Tung Chung



The 8-lane elevated road deck is an eye sore for Tung Chung residents and visitors of Lantau



Designing Hong Kong proposes to integrate the road and the 3rd runway, minimizing reclamation and taking the traffic away from Tung Chung

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