Fifteen out of 32 shops and restaurants at Hung Hom Station have been forced to close until early 2016, as the first phase of modification work on a key transfer station in the Sha Tin to Central Link project is scheduled to take place early next month, the MTR Corporation said yesterday.
"Shops and restaurants located within the area designated for the first phase of modification work have been gradually shut down since early this month, and all of them are expected to have been closed down by the time the work commences early next month," said MTR corporation construction manager Patrick Cheng Kai-shing.
The HK$5 billion modification project on the southern and northern parts of the station as well as the section in between will be carried out in three stages, each expected to take about a year to complete.
"The floor area of shops will be slightly reduced after the [three phases of] modification work are completed [in 2018], as spaces would be earmarked for a tunnel connecting passengers to the arrival area," said Francis Li Shing-kee, the MTR east region's head of operations.
The Sha Tin to Central Link is a 17km railway connecting Tai Wai to Admiralty via two corridors, the East-West Corridor and the North-South Corridor, that cover 10 stations and a new cross-harbour section.
The first phase of the modification work will run from next month to early 2016 and will adapt the station to fit a two-storey concourse currently under construction, through which passengers will travel between the two corridors.
The concourse "is a very challenging civil engineering undertaking because the construction work being carried out underneath the concourse is being done under very restricted headroom," Cheng said.
Workers are labouring with just seven metres of headroom, compared with 10 for most similar projects, Cheng said.
The project's second and third phases will be carried out in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
When it is finished, commuters will be able to travel directly between Hung Hom and To Kwa Wan, using the East-West Corridor. Travel time between Admiralty and Hung Hom will be shortened to five minutes from the current 18 minutes.