Hong Kong Island


---Victoria Harbour

---Pokfulam / Route 7
---Pokfulam / Sandy Bay

---Aberdeen Harbour


- Lantau North
---Macau Bridge
---Lantau East - Route 10

- Lantau South
---Hei Ling Chau Prison

New Territories

---Sham Tseng
(Castle Peak Road)

---Shekou Bridge

---Tseung Kwan O
(formerly Junk Bay - proposed Western Coast Road)

Lamma Island
--- Yung Shue Wan

--- Kai Tak Redevelopment


Lantau - Zuhai/Macau Bridge

Tuesday, October 21, 2003 Copyright SCMP 2003
Roads scholar needs to do his homework

You may accuse journalists of not letting the facts get in the way of a good story but I am pleased to tell you that the transport industry can go one better. This month's award for stretching the facts goes to Leo Leung Kwok-kei, executive director of that corporate road enthusiast, Hopewell Holdings.
At the Pearl River Delta Conference last week, Mr Leung argued that there were environmental and economic grounds for favouring road over rail on the proposed bridge linking Hong Kong to Zhuhai and Macau. more...

Impact on Chinese White (Pink) Dolphins

The Administration should ensure that any EIA studies undertaken for this project should be carried out at a VERY EARLY stage in the process and not at the end of the design and planning exercise, and that they should focus in particular on the White Dolphin population in the area. More ...


Landscape Appraisal and a New Route Proposal at North West Lantau

(By SOS Save Our Shorelines 20030907)


The land fall of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge link is a major challenge in planning, environmental protection, highway design as well as bridge operation. To date options still remain open (Ming Pao 20030830). This paper will first highlight the valuable geological landscape of the northwest Lantau shoreline. A new route option which completely avoids touching the shorelines will then be discussed. The option involves crossing underneath the runway in bored tunnels through the solid rock of the relic Lam Chau Island. The route was found to be sound in operation and will have many additional benefits. It is proposed that Government further examines the detailed feasibility of this route.

(Photos:Sham Wat Bay guarded by two escarpments with Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok airport beyond)


The northwestern shoreline of Lantau Island is one of the options being considered for the proposed Hong Kong – Macau- Zhuhai Bridge Link. There are already serious concerns about ecological impacts on wetland, water currents and white dolphins. To date, impacts to the equally important landscape heritage (Photo Plate) appears to have been largely unexplored..

(Photo: Reddish shoreline)


Highly scenic reddish shorelines are confined to only two areas in Hong Kong. The first area is in the Northeast New Territories around the well known Double Haven coast. The second area, less known to the general public, is along the northwestern shore of Lantau Island between Sham Shek Wan and Tai O. Here the reddish colourful shoreline originates from a unique formation of Jurassic age sedimentary rocks. This rock formation also stands out as two extraordinary escarpment features guarding the mouth of the indented bay of Sham Wat.

(Photos:Reddish sedimentary rocks - Save Our Shorelines 07.09.03)

The shoreline of Fu Shan Island to the north of Tai O is famous for the “General Rock”. With a legendary story, the peculiar natural sea arch resembles a military general leaning against the hillside.

In addition to ecological importance, the shoreline along northwestern of Lantau Island, therefore, has very special values in landscape scenery, geology and education. Unfortunately, all these are highly vulnerable to disturbance and irreversible destruction by any major coastal highway infrastructures, notably the proposed bridge link.

(Photo: Sham Wat mud flat)


Although the precise alignment of the bridge has not been announced, two possibilities can be inferred from press reports.

The first option involves a submarine tunnel to the north of Sha Lo Wan which links up the airport island with an artificial island north of San Shek Wan.

The second option involves a bridge between the airport island and a site west of San Tau. The route then enters into a bored tunnel in the hills behind Hau Hok Wan. The tunnel re-emerges at San Shek Wan where the bridge commences. Some reports show reclamations of the shorelines around San Shek Wan and Sham Wat.

Both options have disadvantages in terms of costs, environmental impact and proximity to the flight path. For this reason, it is necessary to explore other options, including those which involve crossing underneath the runway.

Crossing underneath a live runway and apron areas is not new to Hong Kong. The existing Airport Tunnel at To Kwa Wan was constructed by the “cut and covered” technique in the 1970s. Construction was likely to be difficult due to the ground conditions and restriction in working hours. The current proposal will have far more favourable engineering conditions.


FIGURE 1: NEW ROUTE OPTION “R1” (Click on picture to zoom)

This newly generated option (Figure 1) involves a bored tunnel traversing the south runway. This will almost completely avoid impinging on the shorelines. A study of the geological map indicates that both the south runway and the main taxiway lie exactly over the relic “Lam Chau Island” which is made of granite. Construction across the runway will be highly feasible since the tunnel can be bored underneath in solid rock by modern tunnel boring machine (TBM). The proposed bored tunnel section will be about 1km long to ensure no disruption to air traffic. Other sections of the tunnel will be constructed by the cut and covered method. Construction across aircraft accesses for the maintenance area should not pose a problem given the possibility of sequential construction and the availability of land.

The proposed approach route goes into a 2.8km long tunnel between the east portal near the Commercial Aviation Centre and an artificial island west of the Base Maintenance Hangar. The route passes between the hangar and the marine rescue centre. In fact, there are several possibilities of the precise routing.

The existing Commercial Aviation Centre consists of several smaller structures. It is proposed to relocate the facility temporarily into the unused mid-field area adjacent to the airport control tower. The relocated site is readily accessible and should not cause any inconvenience to users. There will be no disruption to the Government Flying Service base.

A two-way interchange can be provided east of the tunnel entrance to serve the various freight terminals. The preferred maximum gradient is 3-4% on approaches to tunnels and bridges. The tunnel descends to the level of -20 to -30mPD underneath the runway. A curve radius not less than 600m is provided inside the tunnel section east of the hangar. This is satisfactory for highway operation.

The eastern part of the proposed route probably follows the current routing envisaged by Government. There are some remaining natural shorelines between the Dragonair building and Pak Sha Tsui. Reclamation of these natural shorelines should be avoided.


Access to the inter-runway area- The 200 Ha site between the two runways (mid-field area) has been designated a passenger terminal area together with other freight and cargo facilities. The current drawback is the lack of a high capacity access. The proposed option opens up the possibility of a highway linkage in both directions. Cargo from Zhuhai and Macau can also directly access the mid-field area. Access may be provided by an independent linkage between the mid-field area and the proposed artificial island. A highway interchange for this linkage can be comfortably provided on the artificial island.

Compatibility with railway route- Railways generally require more generous alignment. The routing is compatible with a gentle railway route linking to the existing airport railway (Figure 2).


Proximity to Government support facilities: In comparison with the currently known options, the artificial island is much closer to the airport island. Support from Government services such as fire station, police will be at hand.

Less interference with aircraft paths: By positioning the bridge between the two runways, the bridge is likely to have less interference with flight paths, both during construction and in operation. The proposed route is less likely to suffer from aircraft noise, which can be a safety hazard for motorists.

Shape of the airport island- The airport shape has been specially designed with an elegant aerial shape. This option preserves this shape and actually enhances it with an additional offshore island.

Visitors’ facilities- The proposed artificial island has a superb view of the Pearl River Estuary and a magnificent sunset. It may serve as a resting point with visitors’ centre, parking, restaurants and even dolphin watching facilities.


Option R1 should be further examined due to its merits in operation and minimal impact on the natural shorelines of northwest Lantau. The solution is technically feasible by taking advantage of a bored tunnel through the relic Lam Chau Island. Bridge operation is also satisfactory given the possibility of effective traffic control measures prior to the tunnel and on the artificial island. The artificial island will also serve as an emergency response centre and possibly incorporate visitors’ facilities. A major side benefit of this option is provision of access to the inter-runway area.

Save Our Shorelines – 07.09.03

Impact on Chinese White (Pink) Dolphins

(Letter from SOS to Dr. Sarah Liao Sau-Tung - Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works)

As an Appendix to our submission on minimizing the environmental impact of Bridge Access roads, [Ed: see below] Save Our Shorelines also proposes that the Administration should ensure that any EIA studies undertaken for this project should be carried out at a VERY EARLY stage in the process and not at the end of the design and planning exercise, and that they should focus in particular on the White Dolphin population in the area.

Some initial points to be considered include scheduling of works, reduction of sediment spread and noise / vibration reduction.


Surveys have shown that the Chinese White Dolphin population in Hong Kong waters increases during the summer months when the Pearl River delta influence extends further south into the South China Sea due to the heavy rains. Bridge construction work, dredging and other works to be undertaken in the Pearl River estuary should be timed to avoid high population numbers.

In addition, while calving occurs throughout the year, there appear to be more calves during the spring than at other times. Care should be taken to avoid work where the mothers and calves are swimming. Observation maps are available to clearly show where populations of the dolphins have been recorded at different times of the year.

Sediment Spread

Sediment spread from the works areas will disturb the dolphins breeding and feeding patterns. The amount of potential sediment in suspension will be dependent on the type of works, for example site formation (building bridge abutments or intermediate new islands for bridge piers) will produce a lot more than just piling.

Site formation will result mainly in suspended sediment in the upper and middle depths of the water column, whereas piling may potentially produce suspended sediment near the seabed (though casing should be used to minimize this.) Silt fences are the usual way to deal with suspended sediment in the marine environment and it is suggested that these will be applicable here as they do have a relatively good track record in silt reduction.
It is also suggested that as part of the construction monitoring contract regular sampling of the water column (top, middle and bottom) immediately adjacent to the silt fences should be undertaken (say once a week) with an associated relevant suite of laboratory tests undertaken. The EIA should give a clear indication of what tests will be carried out as well as alarm levels to be set.

Sound / Vibration

The use of bubble-nets should be proposed in the preliminary design studies to minimise the effects of construction on dolphins. These can reduce the effects of vibration and noise propagation through the water.

Save Our Shorelines September 2003

Tuesday, October 21, 2003 Copyright SCMP 2003
Roads scholar needs to do his homework

You may accuse journalists of not letting the facts get in the way of a good story but I am pleased to tell you that the transport industry can go one better. This month's award for stretching the facts goes to Leo Leung Kwok-kei, executive director of that corporate road enthusiast, Hopewell Holdings.
At the Pearl River Delta Conference last week, Mr Leung argued that there were environmental and economic grounds for favouring road over rail on the proposed bridge linking Hong Kong to Zhuhai and Macau.
His environmental argument is that air pollution from cars can be reduced through the use of environmentally friendly fuels and that rail produces pollutants too.

His economic argument, an even greater stretch, is that rail is much more costly than road. As evidence he cited figures showing that Kowloon Motor Bus, with assets of $6.5 billion, carries only marginally fewer passengers than do the Kowloon-Canton Railway and the Mass Transit Railway combined, and these two have a book investment cost of $186 billion in their networks.

Let us deal with the environmental angle first. Yes, it is true that the railways use electricity and this comes from coal-fired power plants that spew smoke and noxious gases into the atmosphere. I cannot say whether they spew as much per passenger carried as internal combustion engines do, but I strongly doubt it.

More than that, however, they spew it all high into the atmosphere rather than directly into my lungs as KMB buses do if I walk down Nathan Road.

And as for Mr Leung's suggested fuel improvements, what are we to make of all the talk in recent years about how our buses now run on environmentally friendly fuels? Does he propose taking out their diesel engines and putting in ones run on liquefied petroleum gas? I would like to see it. This would indeed be a world-beating engineering achievement for heavy vehicles.

Now for the economic argument. The reason KMB invests far less than the railway companies do for the number of passengers carried is that KMB does not have to invest in roadways. We build them for KMB out of the public purse and then let its buses use them for free.

To put things into perspective, the cost of KMB's buses is in its books at $4.73 billion, while the book cost of the KCR's rolling stock is $4.29 billion. There is not much difference there at all in investment costs.

The big item in the KCR balance sheet, however, is $43 billion for construction in progress. This is not an investment cost item that will ever trouble KMB.

The little snippet of fact that Mr Leung conveniently omitted to mention is that, unlike KMB, the railway companies must themselves pay every single cent of the cost of building their rail networks and, particularly in the case of the MTR, go to enormous extra expense to do so underground because we consider this more convenient to us than rail built above ground where KMB runs its buses.

Bear this in mind if you ask the obvious question - how much would we really have to charge KMB for use of our public roads in order to put its true costs on a like-for-like basis with the railways? The question is not just one of how much it costs to construct roads but of the opportunity cost of using that valuable above ground space for something else.

In the case of the MTR there is no lost opportunity. We do not build our homes and workplaces underground. But just think of what we could do with some of the vast amount of space that we now use for roads if we did not need quite so much roadway. The opportunity cost of building road rather than underground rail is enormous.

Look at it another way. The total length of our current rail network is just over 150km. The total lane length of public roads in Hong Kong is about 5,400km, 36 times as much. I recognise that the roadways are used by more than buses alone but, even so, these figures say that rail not only saves us valuable development space but is a much more efficient people mover than bus.

Hopewell Holdings has road on the brain and always has had except for one calamitous rail investment in Bangkok. Although I shall give Mr Leung's boss, Sir Gordon Wu Ying-sheung, full credit for regularly stimulating needed debate on transport issues, let us hope that our transport authorities give Hopewell's latest road versus rail proposals only the feather weighting they deserve in debate about the new bridge.

Email Jake van der Kamp at jakeva@scmp.com.

August 29, 2003
Hong Kong Government News


Bridge landing points under study

Constructive discussions: Secretary for Environment, Transport & Works Dr Sarah Liao says the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge landing points are still being studied. The Advance Work Co-ordination Group had its first meeting in Guangzhou and is confident that research work will begin promptly.

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge landing points are still being studied, Secretary for Environment, Transport & Works Dr Sarah Liao says, adding that the economic effectiveness and environmental factors of the proposed locations will be considered.

Speaking after the first meeting of the bridge's Advance Work Co-ordination Group held in Guangzhou today, Dr Liao said members exchanged views and held constructive discussions.

She said the group has full confidence that research work on the project will promptly commence, and an expert group will be set up to study the project's details if necessary.

Future meetings will be convened according to work progress and needs.


(Graphic below: Ming Pao 2003.07.31)

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

After a 15-minute trip across the bridge, a one-stop border checkpoint would minimise delays for drivers


For motorists using the planned bridge across the Pearl River Delta from Hong Kong to Macau and Zhuhai, cross-border hold-ups are likely to be a thing of the past.
The mainland and both special administrative regions (SARs) would perform immigration and customs checks at a shared checkpoint built on reclaimed land, under a proposal being considered by authorities on both sides of the delta.

A source close to Hopewell Holdings said the company had recently raised the proposal with the authorities. Hopewell chairman Sir Gordon Wu Ying-sheung is the main mover behind the proposed 29km bridge.

With the bridge in place, travel between Hong Kong and the west bank of the delta, on a six-lane highway, would take just 15 minutes.

The source close to Hopewell said the "one-stop, three-checks" proposal, using a shared checkpoint on a 900,000 sq metre reclaimed island opposite the Gongbei land crossing between Macau and Zhuhai, had received positive responses from authorities on the mainland and in both SARs. "The authorities of the three places will put [forward] the proposal for detailed consideration in [a] further feasibility study on the project," the source said.

The source said a shared checkpoint could save drivers between 15 and 30 minutes per trip; drivers crossing the border at Lok Ma Chau currently need up to two hours.

A shared border checkpoint will also be set up on the Western Corridor linking Deep Bay and Shekou to simplify passenger clearance.

Under Hopewell Holdings' proposal, the bridge would be in two sections either side of a 1.4km tunnel between two artificial islands. "The distance between the two artificial islands would be wide enough to accommodate aircraft carriers," the source said.

Underpasses would be built in southwestern Zhuhai to connect the bridge with the Beijing-Zhuhai superhighway and the road network serving southwestern China.

It is understood the Hong Kong-Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference will discuss the bridge plan at a meeting this weekend.

A feasibility study conducted by an institute under the National Development and Reform Commission has explored three possible options for a bridge spanning the Pearl River Delta. The study, which was completed last week, concluded that a Y-shaped bridge linking northern Lantau island to Macau and Zhuhai should go ahead as soon as possible. The other two options are the Lingdingyang bridge proposed by authorities in Zhuhai, part of which has already been built, and a bridge further north, running through Nansha to Shekou.

The study was commissioned by the Hong Kong government and the development commission under the State Council. The Hong Kong government's proposal recommends building a Y-shaped link from San Shek Wan, north of Chek Lap Kok airport, to Macau and Zhuhai. The study says the Y-shaped bridge linking Hong Kong with Zhuhai and Macau would boost the economic development of Hong Kong and the west side of the delta.

It is still unclear how soon work could begin on the bridge, or how it would be funded. It would cost an estimated $15 billion and would take three to four years to build.

Sir Gordon has pledged to spearhead a consortium to fund the project, and Macau casino mogul Stanley Ho Hung-sun and Sun Hung Kai Properties have expressed interest in investing in it.

Copyright © 2003. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Delta bridge report expected next week


The feasibility study on a bridge linking Hong Kong with the west side of the Pearl River Delta is expected to be completed next week, according to an official.

Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung yesterday said the study by an institute under the National Development and Reform Commission was scheduled to be finalised next week.

The study was jointly commissioned by the Hong Kong government and the national commission.

Dr Liao said the work on the cross-delta bridge would proceed in accordance with "normal procedures" once the report was endorsed by the central and the Hong Kong governments.

It is understood that the study has endorsed the need for the project because it will boost economic development and help regional integration.

Premier Wen Jiabao told pro-Beijing politicians during his visit to Hong Kong two weeks ago that he supported building a bridge linking Hong Kong with the west bank of the Pearl River Delta.

The two-day meeting of the Hong Kong-Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference was to have been held on July 8 in Hong Kong, when discussions were expected to focus on the cross-delta bridge.

But the meeting was postponed because of the Article 23 political crisis. It is understood that the meeting will be resumed at the end of this month or early next month.

Dr Liao said the government still had to conduct an environmental impact assessment on the bridge in accordance with law.

The Hong Kong side has recommended a 29km bridge linking San Shek Wan, south of Chek Lap Kok airport, to Zhuhai and Macau.

New landing point in HK for delta bridge proposed
DENISE TSANG, SCMP 26 February 2003

The proposed cross-border bridge will start at San Shek Wan in northern Lantau, rather than Tai O, to preserve the island's coastline, the government said yesterday.

A senior government source said the 28km bridge - connecting Hong Kong with Zhuhai and Macau - would be linked to the nearby Chek Lap Kok airport through a tunnel in a design similar to the two-level Tsing Ma Bridge.

This means that space will be reserved for a rail track connecting to the Airport Express, the official said.

The bridge, which has obtained the blessing of the central government, is expected to fuel further trade, traffic flow and tourism in the Pearl River Delta.

The decision was made in order to preserve the spectacular coastline around Tai O, which lies further to the south on Lantau.

"We don't want to damage the coastline," the source said. "This was a key principle from the first day of planning."

The alignment effectively means the proposal of a double Y-shaped bridge landing at Tuen Mun has been ruled out.

"We already have a number of corridors linking to Shenzhen. The latest is the Shenzhen Western Corridor highway between Deep Bay and Tuen Mun," the source said.

The Lantau alignment will form the core of a feasibility study co-funded by the Guangdong and Hong Kong governments, which is due to be completed in June.

Seven representatives of the State Development Planning Commission are to visit Hong Kong today as part of the feasibility study after touring Macau last week.

Another key issue - the environmental impact of the bridge - will also be studied. In December Guangdong Governor Lu Ruihua appeared cool towards the project after meeting Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa in Guangzhou, saying there were many ecological factors to consider.

But the source said: "I don't think the environmental assessment will cause big problems because a similar study was done and debated on the bridge's predecessor, the Lingdingyang bridge."

Funding of the bridge, which is estimated to cost $13 billion, is no problem. A private consortium led by the chairman of Hopewell Holdings, Gordon Wu Ying-sheung, and Stanley Ho Hung-sun, chairman of Shun Tak Holdings, have said they will invest.

"It is good news that the bridge has attracted keen interest from private investors," the source said.

"Their participation is important to the project."

Last year the Financial Secretary, Antony Leung Kam-chung, said the Hong Kong government had the resources to finance the bridge if necessary.

To improve the transport network in the western New Territories and Lantau, the government plans to build a 9km rail and road corridor between the airport and Tuen Mun.

This will possibly link the Tuen Mun terminus of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation's West Rail and the Airport Express, forming a rail loop in Lantau, west Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.