MTR and Government to dig up the central waterfront till 2032 港鐡和政府的最新計劃—將中環海濱變返做工地?


Disagreement between Government and MTRCL over a miserly HK$88 million in 2003 will cost the Hong Kong public billions for extra work, generate heaps of construction waste, and see the central waterfront turned into a construction site once again till 2032.

The Harbourfront Commission found this out on Tuesday 25 April 2023, when we were asked to comment on the design of a ventilation building associated with the rail tunnel. We learned that the brand-new central waterfront is to be dug up from 2025 to 2032 to extend the Tung Chung and airport express lines by some 500 meters and to include facilities for the future North Island Line. The main roads, the event space and the public spaces in front of the City Hall and Star Ferry car park will be occupied.

The Central waterfront will be turned into a construction site once again till 2032
tunnel extending from Hong Kong Station under Lung Wo Road is included in the budget for the Tung Chung West extension project.

We predicted this disaster in our May 2008 newsletter, we just had no idea of the scale and impact. That we needed the overrun tunnel and where it would be built was well-known long before the reclamation started. The tunnel box could have been built at the same time as the Central Reclamation Phase III (HK$6 billion) and the Central-Wanchai Bypass (HK$36 billion). However, 2003 LegCo papers show that the MTRCL and Government (which owns 75% of the company!) failed to agree on the HK$88 million cost of including preliminary rail tunnel works with the reclamation and road works. Paragraph 5 shows that the Government demanded that these works were funded by MTRCL. The MTRCL refused. Including the rail works when the reclamation and bypass were in progress would have avoided massive costs today. Importantly – the community would have avoided the impairment of the brand-new waterfront by lengthy and unnecessary additional tunnel and road works.

The overrun tunnel works required were identified before 2000
The overrun tunnel and vent shaft were continuously identified in the Central and Wanchai reclamation plans

Just to be clear – it is the government (the public) who will now pay for this disaster. The cost of the extension and overrun tunnel will be deducted from the land premiums the MTR will pay to government for the property development rights on top of the Tung Chung East and West stations.
 As for the proposed ventilation building, the Harbourfront Commission was presented with a monstrous structure unbecoming of the prominent location on the Central Waterfront. We rejected the proposal for the design and location of the ventilation building, and we rejected the size and duration of the “temporary” works area:

  1. Can the works area be drastically reduced in size, time and impact?
  2. Can the ventilation building be moved and better integrated (i.e. part of the footbridge connecting site 3 to the waterfront?) and include seating, restaurants, toilets, other amenities?
  3. What improvements to the roads and waterfront can be included in the reinstatement works upon completion of the overrun tunnel?
The overrun tunnel plans include a large (and very ugly) air ventilation building (ARB).
Progress of the reclamation in Central captured by Google.





早在中環填海工程開啟前,已得知掉頭隊道的需要和建造隧道的地點。 隧道本可與中環填海工程第三期(60 億港元)和中環灣仔繞道工程(360 億港元)同時建造。 然而,2003 年的立法會文件顯示,地下鐡路公司和政府(同時是公司最大的股東!)未能就包括填海和道路工程在內的八千八百萬港元成本達成共識。文件中第5段顯示,政府要求地鐡公司資助這些工程但遭到公司拒絕。假如當初在填海和繞道工程進行時一拼進行鐵路工程,今天的巨額成本早能避免。更重要的是,社區及公眾需承擔原本不必要並可以避免的額外隧道及道路工程對中頊海濱造成的損害。




  1. 工程面積能否在規模、時間和影響上大幅縮小?
  2. 通風大樓可否與海濱的未來發展更好地整合(例如成為連接新發展和和海濱天橋系統的一部分?甚至加設座位、餐廳、廁所和其他便利設施?)
  3. 掉頭隧道完工後,復原工程將會包括哪些道路及海濱改善工程?

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