Lai Chi Kok Bridge

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Lai Chi Kok Bridge
Kwai Chung Road, near Mei Foo Sun Chuen (Hong Kong).jpg
Eastern end of the bridge
Coordinates 22°20′15″N 114°08′15″E / 22.3374°N 114.1375°E / 22.3374; 114.1375Coordinates: 22°20′15″N 114°08′15″E / 22.3374°N 114.1375°E / 22.3374; 114.1375
Carries Vehicles, pedestrians
Locale Lai Chi Kok, Hong Kong
Owner Hong Kong Government
Maintained by Highways Department
Characteristics
Material Concrete
Total length 2,600 feet (790 m)
No. of spans 29
No. of lanes 6
History
Designer Scott and Wilson, Kirkpatrick and Partners
Constructed by Paul Y. Construction
Construction start 1966
Construction cost HK$13.5 million
Inaugurated 29 October 1968
Statistics
Daily traffic 82,560 (2016)
Lai Chi Kok Bridge is located in Hong Kong
Lai Chi Kok Bridge
Lai Chi Kok Bridge
Location in Hong Kong
The Mei Foo Bus Terminus, below Lai Chi Kok Bridge

Lai Chi Kok Bridge (Chinese: 荔枝角大橋; Cantonese Yale: lai6 ji1 gok3 daai6 kiu4) is a Hong Kong bridge that carries the Kwai Chung Road, linking Kowloon to Kwai Chung, New Territories.

The bridge, once the longest in Hong Kong, spanned Lai Chi Kok Bay, which was later filled in. It continues as an elevated road through Mei Foo Sun Chuen, a private housing estate. The former bay (below the bridge) is now Lai Chi Kok Park as well as Mei Foo Station of the Mass Transit Railway (MTR).

Nomenclature[edit]

The name is sometimes rendered as Laichikok Bridge in English.[1] The Transport Department traffic census refers to it as the Lai Chi Kok Bay Bridge.[2] It is also called the Kwai Chung Road Flyover in some government sources, but confusingly this name is also sometimes used to describe a different flyover farther west on Kwai Chung Road, close to Kwai Fong Estate.[3][4]

History[edit]

The bridge was built to link Kowloon with ongoing industrial and new town development in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung, providing an alternative to the older, congested Castle Peak Road.[5] Construction began in 1966.[6] Built at a cost of about HK$13.5 million, the new bridge, then Hong Kong's longest, was officially opened on 29 October 1968 by acting governor Michael David Irving Gass.[7] The Kwai Chung Road was built along the coastline to the west of the bridge at the same time.[5]

The Mei Foo Sun Chuen, a private housing estate with 99 residential blocks, was developed roughly at the same time. The Lai Chi Kok Bridge continues through the estate as an elevated roadway. Various amenities were built under the bridge here, including the community's wet market, bus terminus, an open plaza, and a community centre.[8]

In 1975, the Hong Kong Government announced plans to reclaim Lai Chi Kok Bay, providing a park on the new land to help resolve the scarcity of public recreational space in the area. It said the bay, popular with swimmers, was badly polluted and constituted a health hazard.[9] The bay was subsequently filled in, meaning the bridge no longer spans any water and simply resembles an elevated road. The bridge required underpinning to contend with additional loading imposed by the new fill.[10]

In the 1990s, the Urban Council developed the new land directly under the bridge as the Lai Chi Kok Park Stage II. From 1999 to 2003, an extension of Mei Foo Station was constructed as part of the West Rail project, adding new railway platforms and a new ticketing concourse. These new structures were built directly below the Lai Chi Kok Bridge, causing the bridge to shift slightly.[11]

Design and construction[edit]

The bridge is a 2600-foot-long concrete structure with 29 spans.[5] It was designed by Scott and Wilson, Kirkpatrick and Partners together with the former Public Works Department of the Hong Kong Government, and built by Paul Y. Construction.[1][12]

Traffic[edit]

The bridge deck carries three vehicular lanes in each direction. Part of the bridge (the part that spanned the former bay) also has pavements on both sides of the carriageway. There are two slip roads partway along the bridge – one allows eastbound traffic to exit onto Cheung Sha Wan Road, while the other allows westbound traffic to enter the bridge from Lai Chi Kok Road.

According to the Transport Department, the part of the bridge that spanned the bay (i.e. west of the slip roads) registered annual average daily traffic (AADT) of 82,560 in 2016.[2]

Historic traffic counts
Year Daily traffic (AADT) Reference
2016 82,560 [2]
2015 80,860 [13]
2014 80,530 [14]
2013 80,870 [15]
2012 79,290 [16]
2011 85,310 [17]
2010 106,130 [18]
2009 106,670 [19]
2008 104,420 [20]

Noise[edit]

The bridge bisects the Mei Foo Sun Chuen, and parts of the road pass very close to the residential blocks. As a result, some residents have long complained that the road constitutes a noise nuisance. In 2000, the Hong Kong Government announced a policy to implement noise reduction strategies at flyovers that pass close to buildings, including constructing acoustic barriers and resurfacing roads with "low-noise material".[3] Under this policy, the Lai Chi Kok Bridge was resurfaced in the early 2000s. However, the government said that adding noise barriers was not feasible as the road structure cannot support the added weight. Further, it said that there was no space for a separate noise barrier structure, and the barriers would obstruct firefighting in the event of a fire.[21][3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Laichikok Bridge Is H.K.'s Longest". South China Morning Post. 15 April 1967. p. 1. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Annual Traffic Census 2016" (PDF). Hong Kong: Transport Department. August 2017. p. B-27. 
  3. ^ a b c Au, Elvis W.K. (3 April 2002). "Resurfaced flyover should be less noisy". South China Morning Post. 
  4. ^ "Progress of Measures to Address Noise Impact of Existing Roads" (PDF). Legislative Council. 24 February 2003. 
  5. ^ a b c "H.K.'s longest bridge ready for use soon". South China Morning Post. 17 October 1968. p. 7. 
  6. ^ Maslowicz, Andrew (Christmas 1972). "Our Share in the 'Roads and Bridges' Stakes" (PDF). Pontifact. Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick and Partners (30): 32. 
  7. ^ "Laichikok Bridge opened today, new traffic routing announced". South China Morning Post. 29 October 1968. p. 6. 
  8. ^ "Ground-breaking ceremony held for Sham Shui Po District Council Yan Oi Tong Mei Foo Neighbourhood Activity Centre". Hong Kong Government. 29 April 2016. 
  9. ^ "Laichikok Bay to be turned into park". South China Morning Post. 30 May 1975. p. 6. 
  10. ^ "Further reclamation". Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick Today (40): 5. May 1989. 
  11. ^ "Review of Payments to Contractors for the West Rail Project" (PDF). Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation. April 2002. 
  12. ^ Tam, Angela (2013). "HKIE Awards – Gold medal". Hong Kong Engineer. Hong Kong Institution of Engineers. 41 (5). 
  13. ^ "The Annual Traffic Census 2015" (PDF). Hong Kong: Transport Department. August 2016. p. C-24. 
  14. ^ "The Annual Traffic Census 2014" (PDF). Hong Kong: Transport Department. August 2015. p. B-27. 
  15. ^ "The Annual Traffic Census 2013" (PDF). Hong Kong: Transport Department. June 2014. p. B-25. 
  16. ^ "The Annual Traffic Census 2012" (PDF). Hong Kong: Transport Department. June 2013. p. B-27. 
  17. ^ "The Annual Traffic Census 2011" (PDF). Hong Kong: Transport Department. June 2012. p. B-22. 
  18. ^ "The Annual Traffic Census 2010" (PDF). Hong Kong: Transport Department. June 2011. p. B-25. 
  19. ^ "The Annual Traffic Census 2009" (PDF). Hong Kong: Transport Department. June 2010. p. B-24. 
  20. ^ "The Annual Traffic Census 2008" (PDF). Hong Kong: Transport Department. June 2009. p. B-24. 
  21. ^ "Study for Retrofitting Barriers on Existing Roads: Executive Summary" (PDF). Environmental Protection Department. March 2000. p. 10. 

External links[edit]