Reclamation project takes shape

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 February, 2011, 12:00am

Seventeen per cent of the last remaining reclamation project in Victoria Harbour has been completed.

The project, to reclaim 12.7 hectares of seabed, began in late 2009 to provide a link for the Central-Wan Chai Bypass tunnel to the Island Eastern Corridor to ease traffic congestion along the northern shore of Hong Kong Island. The land formed above the tunnel will be used as a public promenade.

The Development Bureau said the project was scheduled to be finished in 2017, one year later than planned.

The Wan Chai project was delayed by legal disputes. In 2008, the government was forced to reveal and then review the scope of temporary reclamation - planned to provide road construction - after the Court of First Instance, in a judicial review sought by the Society for Protection of the Harbour, ruled that not just permanent but also temporary reclamation had to satisfy an overriding public need.

Since the Court of Final Appeal ruled in 2004 that any harbour reclamation would have to satisfy overriding public need, the government had not proposed any new reclamation.

Meanwhile, 86 per cent of the Central reclamation project, started in 2003, is completed. Eighteen hectares of land to provide a new shoreline is already formed, with construction of a bypass tunnel, roads, drainage work and a waterfront promenade under way. The entire project is scheduled to be finished by the end of this year.

While the bypass goes largely underground, reclaimed land above it will provide several sites for developing commercial and recreational facilities. The promenade landscape design is completed and the Harbourfront Commission is considering management models for developments.