Construction Post takes a closer look, with the aid of long telephoto lenses, on the progress of land formation
The Hong Kong Boundary Control Facilities currently under construction is an integral part of the major infrastructure project that will improve transport links in the Pearl River Delta, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.
Just off the eastern side of Chek Lap Kok on which Hong Kong International Airport is located, a new artificial island of about 150 hectares, equivalent in area to about 210 football pitches, is being formed.
About 20 hectares of the area is for the southern landfall of the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link.
Cargo and passenger clearance facilities, government accommodation, transport facilities, roads and reprovisioned airport facilities will be built on the island to serve traffic using the bridge.
The reclamation contract worth HK$6.99 billion was awarded in November 2011 to mainland contractor China Harbour Engineering.
According to a Transport and Housing Bureau paper in November 2011, Highways Department would use a new non-dredge reclamation method that would almost completely avoid dredging and disposal of marine mud in addition to cutting significantly the quantity of backfilling material required.
To form the perimeter seawall, interlocked large diameter steel cells are driven into seabed then backfilled with inert construction and demolition material.
For the main reclamation, band drains are installed into the soft mud and then a surcharge placed on the reclaimed land to speed up consolidation and settlement.
“The above construction method will increase the cost of reclaiming for the entire artificial island of about 150 ha by about HK$670 million (in money-of-the-day prices),” the bureau said in its paper.
Last July, Construction Post reported that the reclamation was facing delays and would affect the subsequent works for the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link.
Highways Department has insisted the reclamation work is progressing to schedule and would meet the schedule for completion in early 2016.
It is targetting mid-2014 for formation of the first piece of land to allow the follow-on construction of the Passenger Clearance Building.
With that in mind, the department last month gazetted the tender for the building.
According to the bureau’s paper, the cost of the building alone, excluding piling and building services, was estimated at HK$2.55 billion at September 2011 prices.
According to the Development Bureau’s latest quarterly report on the public works programme covering the period of January to March 2013, reclamation was about 19 percent completed, up from the 10 percent reported for the previous quarter.
Presumably with reclamation progress under control, the department felt confident enough to award in July, the contract for the Northern Connection of the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link to the Dragages-Bouygues Joint Venture for a sum of HK$18.2 billion.
The joint venture will build a subsea tunnel from Tuen Mun Area 40 to the artificial island.
It goes without saying that the reclamation for the island will have to be completed in good time for the follow-on works of the southern landfall of the tunnel.
On 26 September, Construction Post took a look at the project, albeit the parts that could be seen above water, after 22 months of work.