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Contracts signed for Central-Wan Chai Bypass - Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter Tunnel Section and Central Interchange

     The Highways Department today (September 21) signed two contracts with a total cost of about $6.65 billion for the Central-Wan Chai Bypass (CWB) project.

     Of the two contracts, the one signed with China State Construction Engineering (HK) Limited is worth about $5.38 billion.  The works mainly comprise the construction of a 750-metre-long tunnel under the seabed between the ex-Wan Chai Public Cargo Working Area and the east breakwater of Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter, which forms part of the 1.1- kilometre-long tunnel of the CWB project.     

     The other contract signed with Leighton Contractors (Asia) Limited is worth about $1.27 billion.  The works mainly include the construction of a 220-metre-long road tunnel, the western tunnel portal and the interchange with the approach roads between Rumsey Street flyover and Man Yiu Street in Central.

     Speaking at the contract signing ceremony, the Director of Highways, Mr Lau Ka-keung, said that the awarding of the two contracts marked an important milestone for the CWB project.

     "Upon commissioning of the CWB in 2017, the travelling time between Central and the Island Eastern Corridor (IEC) at North Point will be reduced to only five minutes. It will relieve the traffic congestion problem along Connaught Road Central, Harcourt Road and Gloucester Road," said Mr Lau.

     "Both contracts will each take about 64 months to complete and will totally create more than 1,900 job opportunities.  The CWB project as a whole will create about 6,400 job opportunities for the local construction industry.

     "Throughout the project development, the Highways Department has exercised its best efforts to protect the harbour and minimise the temporary reclamation in compliance with the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance.  Regarding the tunnel contract in Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter, merit has been given to tenders which could provide further reduction in reclamation in terms of area and/or duration. The winning contractor has proposed a solution to significantly reduce the duration of temporary reclamation compared with that required.  This will further minimise the disturbance to the harbour and enable an earlier restoration of the harbour for public enjoyment."

     The CWB project is a 4.5-kilometre-long dual three trunk road including a 3.7-kilometre-long road tunnel to link Central to the IEC at North Point via Wan Chai and Causeway Bay.

Ends/Tuesday, September 21, 2010