Latest proposals for a controversial project the government says is aimed at easing traffic congestion by building a highway linking Central and Wan Chai were gazetted for public inspection yesterday. The administration says the proposed work on the Central-Wanchai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link will provide a trunk road of about 4.5km along the north shore of Hong Kong Island. When it is completed, the authorities say traffic congestion in Central and Wan Chai could be eased. The work includes building a dual three-lane tunnel between Central and the Island Eastern Corridor at North Point, and associated roads in Central, Wanchai and Causeway Bay. Work is planned to start late next year or in early 2009 and is expected to be completed by about 2016. The project will require reclamation of about 12.7 hectares to build 1,570 metres of seawall, 550 metres of sewage pipelines and a ferry pier. The Town Planning Board also announced proposed amendments to the draft Wan Chai North outline zoning plan after public consultation. Reclamation is to be reduced to 5.7 hectares, the minimum required to accommodate the bypass which would be in tunnel form. In 2002 a draft zoning plan was exhibited. Early in 2003, anti-reclamation activists lodged a judicial review to block the project, saying it was against the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance. The case went to the Court of Final Appeal, which, in January 2004, ruled that the presumption against reclamation in the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance could only be rebutted by establishing 'an overriding public need test'. The plan was sent to the Town Planning Board for reconsideration.