Viaduct plan an option for new MTR line
Stretch of South Island Line may be designed to offer scenic views
The MTR Corporation has proposed building a viaduct for part of the South Island Line (East) to allow tourists to enjoy scenic views of the Southern District.
Presenting initial planning for construction of the railway line, the senior co-ordinating engineer, Tang Pak-hung, said that since tourism was a major part of the district, building a viaduct for the segment between the Aberdeen Tunnel Toll Plaza and the Ap Lei Chau residential development was a preferred option.
'The view along the South Island Line is magnificent, and it will be a good experience for visitors to Hong Kong to get a glimpse of this scenic vista when they are taking an MTR ride,' Mr Tang told Southern District councillors.
Another option was to build an tunnel to connect the toll plaza and Ap Lei Chau - with stops for Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang and Lei Tung in between. A bridge will be constructed between Ap Lei Chau and Wong Chuk Hang alongside the existing Ap Lei Chau Bridge.
'If the underground option is chosen, tourists heading to Southern District from Admiralty will miss the chance to enjoy the beautiful overview of the district,' Mr Tang said.
The company yesterday also revealed its initial planning for the location of stations and exits for the four stops along the South Island Line (East), which will begin at Admiralty.
It proposes that an exit for Ocean Park would be put at the former site of the Hong Kong School of Motoring. Three exits would be provided for Lei Tung - at Yue On Estate, near Main Street Ap Lei Chau and at Lei Tung Estate. Two exits are planned for Wong Chuk Hang - in Heung Yip Road near Police School Road and another near Nam Long Shan Road.
Two exits are proposed for South Horizons, both along South Horizons Drive.
Mr Tang said consultations would be conducted next month and in April to collect the opinions of residents who lived along the line.
'We will seek their views on train stations, location of exits for all train stops and the method of construction,' he said.
'The opinions collected will be used for our reference and consideration.'
The first consultation will be held on March 10 at South Horizons.
The rail company plans to invite tenders for the project in 2010 and start construction in 2011. It will complete the project in 2015, according to the proposed timetable.
District councillor Chai Man-hon said the MTR Corp should not wait until 2015 to complete the rail extension because hotel projects at Ocean Park would be completed in 2011.
'Many more tourists will come to Southern District and it is important that we have timely traffic measures for the increasing number of visitors,' he said.
District councillor Tsui Yuen-wa said he was disappointed there were no detailed plans for bridges connecting Wong Chuk Hang station and nearby residential areas and hotels. District councillor Fung Wai-kwong expressed concern that the project would cause noise problems for South Horizons residents because the proposed exits were close to residential areas.