on 3 February 1999
ITEM FOR PUBLIC WORKS SUBCOMMITTEE
OF FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 706 - HIGHWAYS
Transport - Footbridges and pedestrian tunnels
124TB - Pedestrian subway at junction of Kowloon Park Drive and Salisbury Road
Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the upgrading of 124TB to Category A at an estimated cost of $44 million in money-of-the-day (MOD) prices for constructing a pedestrian subway at the junction of Kowloon Park Drive and Salisbury Road.
The existing at-grade pedestrian crossing on Salisbury Road, which is located at its junction with Kowloon Park Drive, reduces the traffic flow capacity of the road.
2. The Director of Highways, with the support of the Secretary for Transport, proposes to upgrade 124TB to Category A at an estimated cost of $44 million in MOD prices for the construction of a pedestrian subway at the junction of Kowloon Park Drive and Salisbury Road.
PROJECT SCOPE AND NATURE
3. The scope of this project comprises the following -
- the construction of a 4.6-metre wide pedestrian subway across Salisbury Road, with staircases, a lift and an escalator at the southern end fronting the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The northern end of the subway will join the existing pedestrian subway across Kowloon Park Drive;
- refurbishment of the existing pedestrian subway across Kowloon Park Drive, with provision of covers to its ramps and staircases; and
- associated drainage works, traffic signal and road marking modification works and landscaping works.
4. The existing Salisbury Road is a busy main route in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. However, the heavy traffic on the southern section of the road and the various at-grade pedestrian crossings reduce the traffic flow capacity of the road. A number of different traffic studies1 have identified the need for long term improvements to the traffic capacity of Salisbury Road and we propose to implement the pedestrian crossing improvement measures under 124TB and 589TH2 .
5. Under 124TB, we will provide a pedestrian subway to replace the existing at-grade pedestrian crossing across Salisbury Road at its junction with Kowloon Park Drive. This arrangement will segregate the pedestrian from the at-grade vehicular traffic at that location, thus enhancing the traffic flow capacity and pedestrian safety. We project that, without the improvements under 124TB, the traffic demand by 2002 will exceed the capacity at this junction by 10%. Upon completion of the project, we anticipate that the reserve capacity of the junction will be increased to 17%.
6. Due to the lack of space at the southern end of the proposed subway, we plan to provide staircases, a lift and an escalator in lieu of access ramps. We will connect the northern end of the subway to the existing subway crossing at Kowloon Park Drive. To enable the two subways to blend well with each other, we will refurbish the existing subway with compatible aesthetic finishes and provide covers to its staircases and ramps.
7. We estimate the capital cost of the project to be $44 million in MOD prices (see paragraph 8), made up as follows -
|(a) Pedestrian subway and associated staircase||14.7
|(b) Lift, escalator and associated electrical and mechanical works||6.0
|(c) Refurbishment of existing subway with provision of covers to ramps and staircases||3.5
|(d) Associated road, drainage, traffic engineering and landscaping works ||3.0
|(e) Consultant's fees||5.93
8. Subject to approval, we will phase the expenditure as follows -
|1999 - 2000||10.3||1.12890||11.6
|2000 - 01||15.3||1.19663||18.3
|2001 - 02||9.0||1.26843||11.4
|2002 - 03||2.0||1.34454||2.7
9. We derived the MOD estimates on the basis of the Government's latest forecast of trend labour and construction prices over the period 1999 to 2003. We will tender the works under a standard lump sum bills of quantities contract. This contract will provide for adjustments to the tender price due to inflation because the contract period will exceed 21 months.
10. We estimate the annually recurrent expenditure to be $606,000.
11. We consulted the Traffic and Transport Committee of the then Yau Tsim Mong District Board in November 1995. The Committee members supported the proposed works. We also consulted the Provisional Urban Council in November 1997. Council members supported the proposed works.
12. We gazetted the proposed works under the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance on 28 November 1997 and received one objection. The objector 4
requested that the lot at No. 33 Salisbury Road which is an ex-fire station building currently used by the objector as his only venue for cultural activities should not be resumed. After careful review, we consider the objector's request to be acceptable. We have modified the layout of the subway scheme so as not to affect the structure concerned. The objector agreed to withdraw the objection subject to the modifications to the project.
13. Having considered the objection and the proposed modifications to the project, the Chief Executive in Council authorised the project on 20 October 1998.
14. The Director of Environmental Protection completed an Environmental Review on the proposed pedestrian subway in June 1996 and concluded that the proposed works would have no long-term environmental impact. An Environmental Impact Assessment is therefore not required for this project. For short-term impact during construction, we will control noise, dust and site run-off nuisances to within the established standards and guidelines through the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures in the works contract.
15. The project does not require any land acquisition.
16. We submitted the project to Members for consideration at the Public Works Subcommittee meeting held on 11 November 1998. Members recommended the project to the Finance Committee for approval at the FC meeting held on 4 December 1998. However, FC Members questioned the cost of the consultancy fees for this project and did not endorse the PWSC's recommendation.
17. To address FC's concerns on the methodology of estimating consultancy fees, the Administration presented a paper to a joint meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Financial Affairs and the Panel on Planning, Lands and Works at a meeting held on 7 January 1999. We provided information on the circumstances under which the Government employs consultants to undertake public works projects, the way we estimate consultants fees and the procedures for selecting, appointing and remunerating such consultants. We also explained the intrinsic differences between the types of consultant services required for building projects and engineering projects.
18. The consultancy agreement for this project was originally signed in 1988 when we first intended to implement a number of pedestrian road safety schemes in Tsim Sha Tsui. Under the terms of this agreement, the fees payable to the consultant are based upon the total cost of works in accordance with a standard scale fee schedule. This was the arrangement under which we hired consultancy services before the Administration adopted the lump sum fee bid system in 1991. Construction of the project was deferred in 1991 for resource allocation reasons and the consultancy agreement was held in abeyance pending the implementation of the construction works. The project was resumed and upgraded to Category B in September 1994 and detailed design of the project was started in July 1997. We charged the cost of $2 million for pre-construction consultancy services and site investigation to 370TH "Road improvement and pedestrian schemes in the Salisbury Road, Canton Road and Austin Road corridors - consultants' fees and investigations".
19. We have completed the detailed design and drawings for the project. We plan to start construction works as soon as practicable after funding approval, in any case not later than June 1999. The works will take some 30 months inclusive from start to finish. We aim to complete construction works by November 2001, at the latest.
1The studies include Tsim Sha Tsui Traffic Study completed in 1987, West Kowloon Reclamation Traffic Study completed in 1990 and Kowloon Density Study completed in 1993.
2589TH "Salisbury Road Underpass and associated road improvement works including Middle Road traffic circulation system" is now in Category B with an estimated cost of about $309.2 million in December 1997 prices. The project is at the detailed design stage. We plan to commence construction in 2000 for completion in 2003.
3As we informed Members at the FC meeting on 4.12.98, when the previous submission for this project was considered, our agreement with the consultants provides for the consultants' fees at the construction stage to be paid according to a fee scale based on the cost of the works. Our agreement with the consultant also provides for the administrative costs for supervision of site staff to be paid according to a percentage of the site staff costs.
4The objector was the Yau Ma Tei and Tsim Sha Tsui Culture and Art Association, the tenant of the building at No. 33 Salisbury Road. The premises are used for painting and calligraphy classes. They also provide a venue for art work exhibitions.