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The Facts

The Highways Department which evolved from the Highways Office of the former Engineering Development Department was established on 1 June 1986. It is responsible for planning, design, construction and maintenance of the public road system. The department is also responsible for planning and facilitating the implementation of the railway networks. The department's annual expenditure for the financial year 2020/21 was HK$17,990 million, of which HK$1,560 million was for road and public lighting maintenance and HK$16,430 million for major highway construction. The budget for the 2021/22 financial year is HK$11,155 million.

The Highways Department has a staff establishment of close to 640 professionals and 1,800 staff in other grades. The department consists of the Headquarters; two Regional Offices, namely Urban and the New Territories Regions; a Major Works Project Management Office; a Major Works Project Management Office (Special Duties) and a Railway Development Office.

Graphic: Chart of Highway Department



The Headquarters has 8 divisions and 11 units which provide specialist services to other offices of the department. They are the Works Division, Bridges & Structures Division, Lighting Division, Research and Development Division, Survey Division, Landscape Division, Departmental Administration Division, Accounting Services Division, Contract Advisory Unit, Technical Services Unit, Quality Management Unit, Public Relations Unit, Safety & Environmental Advisory Unit, Training Services Unit, Planning Unit, Geotechnical Advisory Unit, Maintenance Accounts and Quantity Surveying Unit, Building Information Modelling Unit and Media Communication Unit.


Graphic: Chart of Headquarters


Two Regional Offices

The work of the two Regional Offices broadly falls into the following categories : district administration and highway maintenance. District administration involves giving advice on the roads aspects of land sales, government and private developments and the provision of access. Highway maintenance comprises maintenance of roads and street furniture and co-ordination of trench works by the utility operators.


Graphic: Chart of Two Regional Offices


Major Works Project Management Office

The Major Works Project Management Office is responsible for the implementation of major highway projects through in-house resources or consultants. The Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link and the Central Kowloon Route, which are two of the major projects under the portfolio of the office, commenced in end 2009 and end 2017 respectively. The Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link is a 4.5 km long dual three-lane trunk road with a 3.7 km long tunnel linking up the Rumsey Street Flyover and the section of Island Eastern Corridor at North Point. It was commissioned on 20 January 2019. The Central Kowloon Route will be constructed as a 4.7 km long dual three-lane trunk road with a 3.9 km long tunnel linking Yau Ma Tei Interchange in West Kowloon with the road network on Kai Tak Development and Kowloon Bay in East Kowloon. Other projects under construction or with construction about to commence include Hiram's Highway Improvement Stage 1, Widening of Western Section of Lin Ma Hang Road between Ping Yuen River and Ping Che Road, Widening of Castle Peak Road - Castle Peak Bay, retrofitting of noise barriers on Long Tin Road, Po Lam Road North and Po Ning Road and retrofitting of barrier-free access facilities for existing footbridges, elevated walkways and subways under the Universal Accessibility Programme. Major projects under planning include Route 11 (section between Yuen Long and North Lantau), Tsing Yi – Lantau Link, Widening of Yuen Long Highway (Section between Lam Tei Quarry and Tong Yan San Tsuen Interchange), Improvement of Lion Rock Tunnel, Widening of Tsuen Wan Road and the associated junction improvement works, Improvement Works at Tsuen Tsing Interchange, Hiram's Highway Improvement Stage 2, Widening of Eastern Section of Lin Ma Hang Road, Elevated Pedestrian Corridor in Yuen Long Town connecting with Long Ping Station, Pedestrian Environment Improvement Scheme in Mong Kok, Nim Wan Road (South), Upgrading of Nim Wan Road (North) and Deep Bay Road, Retrofitting of Noise Barriers on various road sections and the remaining retrofitting works items under the Universal Accessibility Programme.



Graphic: Chart of Major Works Project Management Office


Major Works Project Management Office (Special Duties)

The Major Works Project Management Office (Special Duties) is responsible for taking forward the Tuen Mun Bypass (TMB) project and to complete the remaining works of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Section (i.e. Hong Kong Link Road (HKLR), the Hong Kong Port ( HKP)) and the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link (TM-CLKL) project.

TMB is a strategic highway connecting TM-CLKL and Yuen Long Highway (near Lam Tei Quarry). Apart from alleviating the traffic congestion along some local roads in Tuen Mun, it can also enhance the strategic road network in the Northwest New Territories. The feasibility study of the TMB is in progress.

The HZMB, an unprecedented mega transport infrastructure project co-built by Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, connects the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in the east and the Macao Special Administrative Region and Zhuhai City of Guangdong Province in the west. The entire HZMB project mainly consists of two parts : (i) the Main Bridge (i.e. a bridge about 22.9 km long and the associated sub-sea tunnel about 6.7 km long) situated in the Mainland waters which is being taken forward by the HZMB Authority; and (ii) the respective link roads and boundary crossing facilities under the responsibility of the three governments. Externally, the office represents the Government of the HKSAR at joint working level meetings with the Guangdong and Macao authorities regarding the planning, design and implementation of the project. Internally, the office is responsible for the completion of the remaining works of the HZMB Hong Kong Section.

The TM-CLKL provides the most direct route between the Northwest New Territories and the HZMB, the Hong Kong International Airport and North Lantau and also an alternative route to the Hong Kong International Airport. The Northern Connection of the TM-CLKLconnects Tuen Mun Area 40 with the HZMB HKP via a sub-sea tunnel while the Southern Connection connects the HKP and North Lantau on viaducts. The Northern Connection of the TM-CLKL was opened to the public on 27 December 2020.


Graphic: Chart of Major Works Project Management Office (Special Duties)


Railway Development Office

The Railway Development Office is responsible for the co-ordination and monitoring of railway projects under construction as well as the planning of Hong Kong's future railway development to support population growth and economic development. In September 2014, the Government announced the Railway Development Strategy 2014 (RDS-2014) to provide a framework for planning the expansion of Hong Kong’s railway network up to 2031. Regarding the proposed railway projects, the Government invited the MTR Corporation Limited in March 2020, May 2020, December 2020 and May 2021 to conduct detailed planning and design for the Tung Chung Line Extension, Tuen Mun South Extension, Northern Link and Hung Shui Kiu Station projects respectively. These railway projects will be implemented in an orderly manner. Moreover, in late 2020, we commissioned the Strategic Study on Railways beyond 2030. Based on the latest planning information, the Study will examine the demand for railways in Hong Kong from 2031 to 2041 or later, explore the layout of railway infrastructures, and formulate the corresponding implementation strategies so as to ensure the planning of railways can fully complement the overall long-term development of Hong Kong.



Graphic: Chart of Railway Development Office


Links with Other Organizations

The Highways Department has close links with the Police and the Transport Department which are the agencies through which transport policy is enforced. The department also works closely with other departments such as the Water Supplies Department, Drainage Services Department, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Buildings Department, etc., regarding roads and associated drainage. In performing its administrative duties for trench works by the utility operators and building development works adjacent to public roads, the department has frequent and close contacts with the utility operators and Authorized Persons.