Bridge now separate from park
THE Highways Department has invited prequalification applications for the design and construction of the Ting Kau bridge and approach viaduct.
The invitation signals the government's decision to separate the Ting Kau bridge from the Country Park section of Route 3, which will build, operate, and transfer (BOT) the project.
The bridge will be part of the overall infrastructure being built to service Chek Lap Kok airport.
The bridge will be about 1,775 metres long, including the viaduct, and it is thought a cable-stay design will be the most cost-effective.
A suspension bridge is an alternative.
The groups that prequalified and tendered to build the Kap Shui Mun bridge are believed to be interested in the contract to design and build Ting Kau bridge. Included among these are groups led by Kumagai Gumi, Bouygues, and the Anglo-Japanese Construction Joint Venture.
The deadline for submissions is noon on Thursday, November 11. They are to be at the Highways Department's Lantau Fixed Crossing Office, 15th floor of Harbour Centre, Wanchai.
The department has said it plans to invite tenders to prequalifiers in December, with a return for tenders next May.
The Ting Kau bridge contract is scheduled to be awarded next August.
It will link Tsing Yi island with the New Territories, and provide access to the Country Park Section of Route 3.
The bridge will lead into the 3.6-kilometre Tai Lam tunnel project, which, like the Ting Kau bridge, will be built in dual, three-lane configuration.
The Ting Kau bridge and the Country Park section of Route 3 will connect the Airport Core Programme with the border with China and the Gordon Wu superhighway.
Route 3 will thus become an important Hong Kong-China route, and directly linked to the new infrastructure leading to Chek Lap Kok airport.
Further down Tsing Yi island, Polish miners have arrived to work on the Route 3 Cheung Ching tunnel project.
They will blast a dual, three-lane tunnel through 1.6 kilometres of solid granite on Tsing Yi island.
The miners will drill through the rock with the first computer-controlled automatic drilling jumbo to be used in Hong Kong.
The contract is being carried out by Dragages.
The principal resident engineer, Vic Turner, of Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick, said preliminary works were finished. These included stabilising a slope for blasting.
A 175-metre access tunnel at the eastern portal of the project, near the Rambler Channel bridge, was also completed.
''Progress has been good, with very few technical problems,'' Mr Turner said.
The tunnel, scheduled for completion in January 1997, will link the Lantau Fixed Crossing and the Chek Lap Kok airport to the Rambler Channel bridge and the Kowloon Peninsula, through Tsing Yi island.
Also on the Route 3 project, a 35-metre-high reinforced fill-wall on the north-west of Tsing Yi island, near the western portal of the Cheung Ching tunnels, is completed.
Perhaps the highest reinforced fill-wall in Asia, it forms part of the Advance Earthworks Contract for Route 3, one of the Airport Core Programme projects.
Leighton Asia won the $584-million contract in May last year: it must excavate 6.5 million cubic metres of soil and fill 800,000 cu m. The surplus material is being used for the airport reclamation at Chek Lap Kok.
The Advance Earthworks contract is on schedule, and will be completed next August.
It will provide the groundwork to construct the Route 3 interchange.