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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 and a Railway Development Office.



The Headquarters has 8 divisions and 11 units under 2 branches to provide specialist services to other offices of the department. The Development Branch consists of the Works Division, the Bridges and Structures Division, the Safety and Environmental Advisory Unit, the Geotechnical Advisory Unit, the Contract Advisory Unit and the Planning Unit. The Technical Branch consists of the Research and Development Division, the Lighting Division, the Landscape Division, the Survey Division, the Departmental Administration Division, the Accounting Services Division, the Maintenance Accounts and Quantity Surveying Unit, the Technical Services Unit, the Building Information Modelling Unit, the Quality Management Unit, the Media Communication Unit, the Public Relations Unit and the Training Services 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 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 and Tong Yan San Tsuen), Tuen Mun Bypass, 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, Pedestrian Environment Improvement Schemes in Yuen Long and 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


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 and May 2020 to conduct detailed planning and design for the Tung Chung Line Extension and Tuen Mun South Extension 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