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HyD's response to media enquiries on latest progress of Central - Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link project

    Regarding media enquiries on the latest progress of the Central - Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link (CWB) project, the Highways Department (HyD) today (September 15) responded as follows:

     The Director of Highways, Mr Lau Ka-keung, briefly reported progress of various works projects in Wan Chai District in the meeting of the Wan Chai District Council today. In response to the enquiries on the progress of the CWB project, Mr Lau indicated that due to a number of unforeseen difficulties, it is currently anticipated that the CWB could not be commissioned in 2017 as originally scheduled.

     The CWB project is a large-scale and complex road infrastructure project. It has encountered various difficulties and challenges since construction commenced in 2009. The CWB tunnel structure for a part of the trunk road has been entrusted by the HyD to be carried out under the Wan Chai Development Phase II (WDII) project of the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD). Prior to construction of the CWB tunnel, reclamation needs to be carried out in the sea at north Wan Chai followed by excavation to a suitable depth at the newly reclaimed land. Upon completion of the tunnel by the CEDD's contractor, the HyD's contractor will carry out subsequent works like installing various electrical and mechanical facilities (including a traffic control and surveillance system, a tunnel ventilation system, a lighting system and a fire services system), laying road pavement and carrying out system testing and commissioning. All these works have to be carried out under a tight schedule.

     The large metal object that was previously found at the seabed of the WDII works site caused suspension of reclamation and associated works in the area. After the reclamation works resumed in early July this year, the CEDD notified the HyD of the revised site handing over schedule after the recommencement of works. The CEDD estimated that the section concerned of the CWB tunnel could only be completed for handing over to the HyD's contractor for carrying out the aforementioned subsequent works by mid-2017. As such, the HyD anticipated that the related subsequent works could not be completed within the same year. In other words, the CWB could not be commissioned in 2017 as originally scheduled.

     The HyD is exploring with the CEDD the feasibility of catching up the works progress to assess whether the site handover date could be advanced. The HyD and the CEDD together with their consulting engineers and resident site staff will continue to closely monitor the works progress of the CWB project with an aim of commissioning the CWB as early as possible.

Ends/Tuesday, September 15, 2015