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The new Central Harbourfront and Tamar to be torn up twice
Completion of the waterfront delayed from 2012 to 2020

On 8 April 2008 engineers at the Central reclamation explained they are now NOT proceeding with any road or rail tunnel work.

The new Central Harbourfront and Tamar, both due for completion in 2011, will have to be ripped up in the future for the construction of the road tunnel for the Central-Wanchai Bypass (CWB), and again for the rail tunnel for the Airport Express Overrun and the North Hong Kong Island Line.

Six to eight additional years of noise, dust, traffic congestion and loss of harbour enjoyment can be avoided by building the two tunnel boxes underground now while the reclamation is in progress. This advance work would save an estimated HK$1.5 billion in future construction and landscaping cost, and billions in lost revenue due to traffic congestion and delay in the use of the waterfront till 2020.





Map showing the road tunnel in red (CWB) and the rail tunnel in dark grey (AR EOT)

No need to delay the Central-Wanchai Bypass tunnel section in Central

The Government has informed the Harbour-front Enhancement Committee on 29 April 2008 that it is ‘studying’ the CWB following the Court judgment regarding the temporary reclamation in Causeway Bay, and the judicial review sought by Fook Lee Holdings Limited, an affiliate of Cheung Kong Holdings Limited, which objects to the planned tunnel portal in front of their hotel in North Point. The CWB was required by 2011 to avoid gridlock in Central and Wanchai as the v/c ratio on critical sections of Gloucester Road is then expected to exceed 1.4 during peak hours. Experts now expect a delay in the CWB between 1 to 4 years.

However, as there is no uncertainty about the alignment of the CWB in Central, the Government can build that section of the tunnel box and complete the harbour-front promenade and facilities on top in time. The entire road tunnel can be opened once the Wanchai, Causeway Bay and North Point sections have been completed.


2008429通知共建維港委員會當局就法庭對銅鑼灣臨時填海的判決,以及長江實業集團有限公司之附屬公司福利置業有限公司反對計畫興建的隧道入口位處其旗下北角的酒店門前而提出的司法復核後,正在研究中環灣仔繞道。中環灣仔繞道須在2011年前完成來疏導中環和灣仔的交通擠塞情況,因為預期告士打道部分段落在繁忙時間的行車量/容車量比率屆時將超過1.4 。專家現估計中環灣仔繞道將延遲一至四年。


The rail tunnel delayed over funding dispute since 2003

Based on the projected patronage, the Tung Chung Line (TCL) and the Airport Express (AEL) were to run eight-car and 10-car trains respectively, and the Hong Kong Station were to be put into full operation with a frequency of 2.25 minutes for TCL and 4.5 minutes for AEL, in 2008. This requires the existing rail tunnel to be extended by about 450 metres, from IFC to the PLA Barracks, to ensure safe operation and to allow a turn back of trains.

The rest of the rail tunnel to North Point, including the stations under Tamar and at the Hong Kong Convention Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), was originally scheduled for 2011. The claim that we may have enough spare capacity until after 2016 is in doubt as we need to cope with the expansion of the HKCEC, the increasing congestion on the Cross-Harbour and Island Line and at Admiralty station, the increase in cross harbour coaches and busses, and now the delays in the CWB and the Shatin-Central line.

The rail tunnel box can be built today as the alignment is fixed by the Central station, the Government offices and the water channel of the HKCEC. Building the rail tunnel later will have engineering, traffic and environmental implications and make it much more difficult, costly and disruptive. The construction will require the cutting open of the gardens (green carpet) of the new Government offices on Tamar and the new P2 surface road network – the only relief to the traffic congestion along Man Yiu Street and Connaught Road Central now that the CWB is delayed. 

However, according to the Legislative Council Brief by the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau dated 21 January 2003, the Government refuses to fund the advance tunnel work ‘as the project may only be constructed in 2016’, and the MTR refuses to fund the tunnel because ‘as a commercial enterprise it will not invest in the absence of a project agreement signed with the Government'.






Map showing the rail tunnel and stations

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