Central–Wan Chai Bypass

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"Island Eastern Corridor Link" redirects here. For the expressway that connects Causeway Bay and Chai Wan, see Island Eastern Corridor.

Route 4

Central-Wan Chai Bypass
Part of Route 4
Route information
Maintained by Highways Department
Length: 4 km (2 mi)
Major junctions
East end: Fortress Hill
West end: Sheung Wan
Location
Districts: Eastern, Wan Chai, Central and Western
Highway system
Hong Kong Strategic Route and Exit Number System

The Central–Wan Chai Bypass is a four-kilometre trunk road, currently under construction, running between Sheung Wan and Fortress Hill on Hong Kong Island. The original design consists of a 2.3 km dual three-lane tunnel running under new reclamation areas which will be provided by Central and Wan Chai Reclamation project,[1] and also connections to Connaught Road West flyover and Island Eastern Corridor. When completed, it will substitute Connaught Road Central, Harcourt Road, Gloucester Road and Victoria Park Road to be part of Route 4.[2]

History[edit]

The project, originally estimated to cost $28 billion, was approved by the Legislative Council finance committee in 2009, following a "decade of objections and legal challenges" from environmentalists and citizens concerned by further reclamation of Victoria Harbour.[3] An Environmental Permit was issued under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance and construction began the same year.

Lawmakers were "shocked" in 2013 by cost overruns. The Transport and Housing Bureau requested $8 billion in extra funding, bringing the total bill to $36 billion. Gary Fan, a member of LegCo's transport panel, asked: "Did the government deliberately underestimate the cost in order to get Legco to pass it?"[3] The government bureau blamed unforeseen geotechnical difficulties as well as fluctuating labour and materials costs for the 28 per cent budget increase.[3]

On 15 September 2015 the Director of Highways announced that the Central–Wan Chai Bypass will not open in 2017 as previously anticipated. He blamed a large metal object (probably a sunken ship) that was found on the seabed at the reclamation site in Wan Chai. As a result of the discovery, reclamation works were suspended for some time.[4]

Alignment[edit]

The bypass will start from Rumsey Street Flyover at Sheung Wan. It enters a tunnel outside the International Finance Centre in Central, then heads east past the Tamar site in Admiralty with an interchange at Wan Chai. It continues to head east under the proposed reclamation areas of Wan Chai. The original design to have the bypass via Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter leave the tunnel and connect with Island Eastern Corridor at Fortress Hill[1] was amended so that now the bypass emerges from the tunnel between the IEC carriageways, merging with them near Oil Street, Fortress Hill.[5]

Tunnel ventilation[edit]

Ventilation is an indispensable part for the operation of the tunnel as it will supply fresh air to maintain good air-quality environment to the commuters inside the tunnel while discharge vitiated air in a controlled manner at pre-determined suitable locations of exhaust. The tunnel ventilation system is also required to remove smoke in case of tunnel fire incidents. It is proposed to have three ventilation buildings sited near the western end, mid-length and eastern end of the Bypass to achieve the three objectives of supplying fresh air, extracting vitiated air and removing smoke during fire.

To achieve an energy efficient ventilation system by shortening the air extraction path, the location of proposed East Ventilation Building (EVB) needs to be as close to the tunnel portal as possible.[6]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Island Eastern Corridor
Hong Kong Route 4
HK Route4.svg
Central–Wan Chai Bypass
Succeeded by
Connaught Road West