Central-Wan Chai Bypass Works affected by underwater object

Central-Wan Chai Bypass Works affected by underwater object

Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Sha Tin to Central Link works may be affected by the discovery of a large metal object at the seabed near the former Wan Chai Ferry Pier, the Highways Department says.

Reclamation and associated works in the area have been suspended since the discovery, affecting the construction of the tunnel structure for the bypass.

The department anticipates that commissioning of the bypass by 2017 as originally planned will be at risk.

It also affects the handover date (scheduled for the end of 2016) of the reclaimed land for implementing temporary traffic arrangements to facilitate the construction of Exhibition Station on the Sha Tin to Central Link.

Assessments of the progress of the works and the anticipated handover date are on-going.

The department will take measures to minimise the impact of the discovery, with a view to completing and commissioning the two projects at the earliest.

Possible shipwreck to be moved

The Civil Engineering & Development Department will relocate a large metal object found beneath the seabed near the old Wan Chai Ferry Pier to a nearby area so reclamation works can resume.

A marine archaeologist believes the object may be part of a World War II shipwreck, or the remains of HMS Tamar.

On the archaeologist’s advice, the contractor will continue to remove the sediment inside and surrounding the object and other substances that cover it until it is fully exposed.

Relocation of the object under water for further surveying will avoid exposure of the metal to the air, which may accelerate oxidation and corrosion.

The department is formulating a suitable relocation plan, and it is expected to be carried out by end of next month.

The object was found by a contractor six metres beneath the seabed at the end of last year during dredging works for Wan Chai Development Phase II.

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