THE new Director of Highways, Kwong Hon-sang, said the Highways Department contracts in the Airport Core Programme were progressing on time and satisfactorily. Mr Kwong took over the Highways Department on December 3. A 30-year veteran of Hong Kong Government, he had served since March, 1992 as project director for the Lantau Fixed Crossing Project Management Office, where he headed the Tsing Ma bridge team. In addition to his duties as Director of Highways, Mr Kwong serves as chairman of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers community service unit, and as China Liaison Officer for the HKIE's civil division. Speaking about the progress of the Tsing Ma bridge, Mr Kwong said that since the tower was completed on time, the emphasis had shifted on to the anchorages. ''The contractor needs to put in a bit more hard work to ensure the anchorage is done on time. Once they gear up the system properly, I don't see any uncertainty with the project. ''I think that's true for all the highway projects. In the Airport Core Programme, we are more or less on time.'' Summarising recent activities in Airport Core Programme contracts, Mr Kwong said the traffic control and surveillance system for the Lantau Fixed Crossing had recently been awarded to GEC. Yet to be awarded in the Airport Core Programme, was the roadwork contract for the northwestern part of Route Three, that followed on from the now-underway advance earthworks contract that provided the base for the interchange between Route Three and theTsing Ma bridge. According to Mr Kwong, the Highways Department hoped to call tenders next March for the contract, known as ''3B''. The contract will be administered by Lantau Fixed Crossing Management Office. Tenders for the Cheung Ching tunnels ventilation system are being assessed and a contract award is expected soon. The earthworks contract for the site formation of the Lantau Fixed Crossing toll plaza on Lantau island, recently awarded to Aoki Corporation, was also underway, Mr Kwong said. Currently at the tendering stage is an electrical and mechanical (E&M) contract for the overall Lantau Fixed Crossing system. The work includes maintenance lifts in the Tsing Ma bridge towers. During his years at the Highways Department and its precursor organisations, including the Public Works Department which he joined in 1963, Mr Kwong has worked on many of Hong Kong's highways projects. ''The work kept on expanding, and gradually we had a separate highways office and, later, a department,'' he said. Mr Kwong received his degree in civil engineering from the Hong Kong University. Later, in Birmingham, England, he received a Master of Science degree in transportation and environmental planning. As part of the original Traffic Engineering Division, Mr Kwong was a leader in the introduction of the Linked Traffic Signal System in Hong Kong, with its pilot scheme being installed on Nathan Road during the 1960s. ''It was called the Greenwave system,'' he recalled. In those days, Mr Kwong worked with Robin Saunders, linking the traffic lights together so that a bus, for instance, could have all green lights during its journey at a certain speed down Nathan Road. Speaking about the possibility of Hong Kong having a highly sophisticated traffic monitoring capability whereby traffic information could be broadcast and received by vehicles equipped with computers so drivers could make decisions on the best route to take, Mr Kwong explained the challenges of that process. ''You need to collect the information from the site, and feed it into a computer, and have the computer advise you as the optimum timing and cycle for all the lights,'' he said. ''The question is, how could this information be fed back to the computer, and transported back to the car. Also, it would need to monitor how quickly the traffic flow would change,'' he said. Mr Kwong has also worked on Tolo Highway, Island Eastern Corridor, the New Territories Circular Road, and many other Hong Kong projects. Other Highways Department projects not in the Airport Core Programme are the Ting Kau bridge, for which the pre-qualification exercise is now taking place. ''Hopefully, we will start to invite tenders in January next year,'' he said. For the Country Park section of Route Three, the transport branch had published documents which are available for collection. ''How many will be serious bidders, we don't know yet,'' said Mr Kwong. ''Route Three is always classified as a high priority project,'' he said. Other major Highways Department contracts include the widening of the Tuen Mun Road, for which the pre-qualification exercise is now taking place. ''We are providing another climbing lane on the hillward side for heavy vehicles,'' Mr Kwong said.