For discussion PWSC(95-96)77
on 10 January 1996


Transport - Roads
116TB - Extension of O’Brien Road Footbridge across Hennessy Road

Members are invited to approve the upgrading of 116TB to Category A for the extension of O’Brien Road Footbridge across Hennessy Road at an estimated cost of $28.24 million.


The Mass Transit Railway (MTR) subway across Hennessy Road at O’Brien Road cannot cope with the increasing pedestrian flow.


2. The Director of Highways, with the support of the Secretary for Transport, proposes to upgrade 116TB to Category A at an estimated cost of $28.24 million for the extension of O’Brien Road Footbridge across Hennessy Road.


3. The scope of the project comprises -

  1. the construction of a covered footbridge across Hennessy Road at O’Brien Road to link up with the existing O’Brien Road Footbridge;
  2. an ascending escalator and a staircase to connect the footbridge to ground level at the southern end of the proposed extension; and
  3. ancillary footpath, drainage, watermain diversion and landscape improvement works.


4. At present, pedestrians going to and from the Wanchai MTR station on the southern side of Hennessy Road have to use the MTR subway to cross Hennessy Road. During the peak hours, the subway is very congested. The peak-hour pedestrian flow in the subway is 12 000 per hour against the design capacity of 13 440 per hour. As an interim measure to relieve the congestion, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) has put in place a unidirectional flow arrangement1 .

5. We anticipate further growth in pedestrian flow upon completion of the planned developments in Wan Chai North, in particular the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Extension. We estimate that the peak-hour pedestrian flow in the MTR subway will increase to 16 600 per hour in 2006 which will exceed the design capacity of the subway. We therefore propose to extend the O’Brien Road Footbridge across Hennessy Road to take away a major part of the pedestrian flow from the subway. The existing O’Brien Road Footbridge is a main pedestrian link between Wan Chai North and South. Its southern end terminates on the northern side of Hennessy Road. The extension of the footbridge to the southern side of Hennessy Road will be able to relieve considerably the congestion in the subway. We estimate that the proposed footbridge extension will divert about 10 000 pedestrians per hour in the peak periods away from the subway, leaving a peak hour flow in the subway of about 6 600 pedestrians per hour.

6. We also propose to provide an ascending escalator at the southern end of the proposed footbridge extension as we estimate that the daily average pedestrian flow at the southern end of the proposed footbridge extension will exceed 15 400 persons per day which is the minimum pedestrian flow necessary to justify the provision of escalators.

7. As part of the footbridge extension on the southern side of Hennessy Road is located directly on top of the MTRC’s proposed extension of the Wan Chai Station concourse, we intend to entrust the design, construction and supervision of the footbridge extension works to the MTRC to minimise interfacing problems between the station improvement works and the footbridge extension.


8. We estimate the capital cost of the project to be $28.24 million2 , made up as follows -

$ million

(a)Footbridge extension works




(c)Watermain diversion works


(d)Entrustment cost 3






9. As agreed with the MTRC, the Government will reimburse the MTRC the actual cost upon completion of the works, subject to the ceiling of $28.24 million. The MTRC will bear any additional costs above the ceiling including inflation adjustments4 .

10. Subject to approval, we will phase expenditure as follows -

$ million

1995 - 96


1996 - 97


1997 - 98


1998 - 99



11. We estimate the additional annually recurrent expenditure to be $250,000.


12. We consulted the Wan Chai District Board on the footbridge extension works in September 1995 and members supported the scheme.

13. We gazetted the proposed works under the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance on 20 October 1995 and received two objections. One objector opposed the proposed works because the works might create more unused space which would attract more street sleepers in that area. The other objector was concerned that the construction work would affect the business of his shop. Representatives of the Director of Highways and the MTRC met the two objectors on 20 and 22 December 1995 respectively. The meetings revealed that the objectors opposed mainly the improvement works of the MTRC. The MTRC representatives undertook to modify their design and the objectors subsequently withdrew their objections. The Secretary for Transport authorised the footbridge extension under the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance on 28 December 1995.


14. The Director of Environmental Protection conducted an Environmental Review in November 1994 and concluded that the project would have no long term environmental impacts. For short term impacts, we will control noise, dust and site run-off impacts during construction through the implementation of mitigation measures in the contract.


15. The proposed works do not require any land acquisition.


16. The MTRC completed an Island Line Station Capacity Enhancement Study in July 1995. The Study recommended an eastward extension of the Wan Chai station concourse and the construction of a two-way escalator and a lift to provide an integrated link between the station concourse and the proposed O’Brien Road Footbridge extension.

17. As a result, the MTRC has planned to carry out works to improve the Wan Chai Station and to extend the station concourse eastward. The Corporation would bear the cost for the station concourse improvement works and would provide, at their own cost, a lift to connect the footbridge with ground level and the station concourse, and a two-way escalator to connect the footbridge with the station concourse.

18. We upgraded 116TB to Category B in March 1995. We have entrusted the MTRC to complete the detailed design and working drawings for the footbridge extension and charged the cost of $1.26 million to the block allocation Subhead 6008TX “Consultants’ design fees and charges, and major in-house investigations for highway projects”. Because of the extremely tight programme, the MTRC has scheduled to start the works in January 1996 for completion in May 1997 to tie in with the commissioning of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Extension.


19. In view of the urgency explained in paragraph 18 above, and subject to Members’ approval, we intend to submit this item to Finance Committee for consideration at its next meeting to be held on 12 January 1996, rather than at the meeting on 2 February 1996 according to our normal timetable.

1 -- In the morning peak hours, MTRC allows out-only flow for the subway and entrances on the northern side of Hennessy Road. In the evening peak hours, MTRC allows in-and-out flow along the subway segregated byy railings: one entrance is reserved for incoming pedestrians while the other would only allow outgoing users.
2 --The sum of $28.24 million is estimated on the basis of the current cost to Government of building a similar bridge.
3 -- Entrustment cost represents MTRC'S on-cost for insurance, project management and resident site staff.
4 -- Unlike other public works project, we do not need to calculate the value of this project at MOD prices which take into account inflation adjustment.