A TYPHOON contingency plan has been established to direct traffic in the event of bad weather during the next phase of construction on the Tsing Ma and Kap Shui Mun bridges. The Marine Department yesterday formally announced shipping arrangements for the Ma Wan and Kap Shui Mun channels, which will be disrupted during the construction of the bridge decks during the coming 11 months. Two Marine Police and two Marine Department launches will police the channels and keep in constant touch with the construction contractors about weather situations. A contingency plan would come into effect in poor visibility, the onset of a monsoon storm, or an impending typhoon, as well as any other unsatisfactory conditions. The commander of the launches would inform the head of the construction teams about any problems, and work would not be allowed to proceed. However, should work be at a delicate stage when bad weather strikes, the construction of the bridge could not be halted. The 48 massive 840-tonne sections of the Tsing Ma bridge and 39 500-tonne sections of the Kap Shui Mun bridge would still have to be lifted into position. However, in such a situation, the traffic is likely to be prevented from entering the Ma Wan channel with the massive decks being suspended overhead. Each lift will raise a hollow deck which will eventually form two three-lane carriageways and three tunnels, the centre one for the airport railway and two for emergency purposes. The Kap Shui Mun channel will be closed one day a week from May 22 to allow the deck sections to be hauled into position from a floating barge. A similar barge will take up the centre of the Ma Wan channel two days each week while construction takes place from June 30. The width of the channel will allow all but the largest vessels to navigate round the barge. Senior Marine Officer John Lambourn said he was confident that the arrangements would work.