Legislators will review a request by the government this Friday for funding of HK$44.8 billion at money-of-the-day (MOD) prices for the long-awaited Tuen Mun to Chek Lap Kok Link.
In a paper submitted to the Legislative Council’s Panel on Transport, the Transport and Housing Bureau said it planned to start work within this year should the project get the green light from the Public Works Subcommittee of the Finance Committee in May and the Finance Committee itself later in June.
The bureau said the link would provide the most direct route between the North West New Territories and Lantau Island, linking Tuen Mun, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the airport, North Lantau and Tung Chung.
Upon full completion in 2018, the new route would cut traveling distance and time between the North West New Territories and Lantau by 22 kilometres and 20 minutes respectively and release capacity on existing roads such as Tuen Mun Road and Ting Kau Bridge.
There was also another reason to build the link.
“We need to construct an alternative route for the existing route for the existing road corridor to the Hong Kong International Airport,” the bureau said.
In June 2008, landslides and flooding blocked the North Lantau Highway.
The link is divided into two sections with the northern section linking Tuen Mun Area 40 to the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the southern section linking the HKBCF to the road network of North Lantau.
The works for the northern section include a dual 2-lane sub-sea tunnel, reclamation at Tuen Mun Area 40 for the northern landfall of the tunnel, a toll plaza with 17 toll booths, associated approach roads, buildings and facilities.
The southern section works include a dual 2-lane viaduct, associated approach roads and modifications to existing roads.
Total estimated cost before addition of the MOD factor is HK$33.2 billion of which the cost of the tunnel works is HK$16.2 billion.
The 1.6 kilometre length sea viaduct of length 1.6 kilometres and 2.4 kilometre length land viaduct are estimated to cost HK$3.7 billion and HK$2 billion respectively.
Reclamation of about 16.5 hectares at Tuen Mun Area 40 will cost HK$1.2 billion while other big-ticket items include at-grade roads (HK$569 million), toll plaza (HK$864 million), structures and ventilation buildings (HK$893 million) and E&M works (HK$838 million).
The cost of the resident site staff is budgeted at HK$1.8 billion while the sum for contingencies is set at HK$3 billion.
According to the government gazette, Highways Department invited applications from contractors for prequalification registration for the northern section in May last year for tendering later in September.
However for the southern section, the department conducted an open tender exercise in October last year with tenders to be submitted in February this year.
Work has already started for the advance reclamation works for the southern landfall of the sub-sea tunnel section after the Finance Committee gave the nod to a HK$1.9 billion funding request in November 2011.
This advance work is being carried out together with the reclamation of the artificial island for the HKBCF.
The bureau said it has reviewed the design to minimize the land resumption necessary for the project.
However the government will still need to resume about 6,228 square metres of private land and create easements and other permanent rights on another 6,156 square metres of private land.
The total cost for land resumption and clearance of land is estimated at HK$7.86 million.