on 24 February 1999
ITEM FOR PUBLIC WORKS SUBCOMMITTEE OF FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 706 - HIGHWAYS
Transport - Roads
42TR - West Rail (Phase I) - Essential public infrastructure works for Tsuen Wan section
Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the upgrading of 42TR to Category A for the construction of the essential public infrastructure works for the Tsuen Wan section of the West Rail (Phase I) - at an estimated cost of $661.1 million in money-of-the-day prices.
The existing road network and transport interchange facilities around the Tsuen Wan West (TWW) Station of the West Rail (Phase I) is insufficient to cope with the future traffic demand upon the commissioning of the West Rail (Phase I) in 2003. We also need to provide land to accommodate part of the TWW Station and some of the EPIW facilities.
2. The Director of Highways (DHy), with the support of the Secretary for Transport, proposes to upgrade 42TR to Category A at an estimated cost of $661.1 million in money-of-the-day (MOD) prices for the construction of the essential public infrastructure works (EPIW) for the Tsuen Wan Section of the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC)'s West Rail (Phase I) project.
PROJECT SCOPE AND NATURE
3. The proposed scope of 42TR comprises -
- construction of an at-grade public transport interchange (PTI) to serve the TWW Station of the West Rail (Phase 1);
- construction of access roads and footpaths from the existing Tai Ho Road and Hoi Hing Road to the TWW Station and the associated PTI;
- construction of seawalls and localized reclamation of about 5 hectares of land for accommodating part of the TWW station, the PTI and the access roads at Tsuen Wan Bay;
- re-alignment and extension of Tai Ho Culvert and Ma Tau Pa Culvert to cross the new reclamation at Tsuen Wan Bay; and
- improvement works at the road junctions of Hoi Hing Road/Hoi On Road, Tai Chung Interchange, Sha Tsui Road/Tai Chung Road and Texaco Road/Wing Shun Street.
4. In December 1997, KCRC completed the West Rail Central Area Technical Study which established the need to provide a package of EPIW, as described in paragraph 3 above, to tie in with the commissioning of the TWW Station of the West Rail (Phase I) in 2003.
5. We need to build a PTI with associated vehicular and pedestrian accesses to the TWW Station to facilitate convenient interchange with other modes of transport for commuters. This PTI will include a bus station with 14 bays, 8 green minibus stands and a taxi stand. The proposed access roads will link the southern part of the new PTI with the existing Tai Ho Road, and the northern part with the existing Hoi Hing Road, so that the West Rail TWW Station transportation system can be integrated with the existing road network in Tsuen Wan. We also need to provide footpaths to connect Tai Ho Road and Hoi Hing Road to the TWW Station to facilitate pedestrian circulation in the area.
6. In order to provide the required new land for accommodating part of the TWW Station, the PTI and the associated access roads, we need to carry out local reclamation with ancillary construction of a seawall at Tsuen Wan Bay. As a result of the local reclamation, we need to re-align and extend the existing Tai Ho Culvert and Ma Tau Pa Culvert to reach the sea outfall.
7. In anticipation of the additional traffic demand arising from the commissioning of the West Rail (Phase I) in 2003, we need to introduce minor improvements to four existing major road junctions in the vicinity of the TWW Station to increase their traffic handling capacities. The improvement works include the provision of additional turning lanes in some cases and reconfiguration of the junctions to provide extra capacities.
8. We intend to entrust 42TR to KCRC for implementation in conjunction with the West Rail (Phase I) project in order to avoid interface problems between the two projects and to enable simultaneous completion so that the facilities will be available when the railway line commences operation.
9. We estimate the cost of this project to be $661.1 million in MOD prices (see paragraph 10 below), made up as follows -
|(a) PTI to serve the TWW Station||52.1
|(b) Access roads and footpaths to serve the TWW Station||37.2
|(c) Seawalls and reclamation||185.0
|(d) Re-alignment and extension of culverts||141.2
10. Subject to approval, we will phase the expenditure as follows -
|1999 - 2000||73.9||1.12890||83.4
|2000 - 2001||310.7||1.19663||371.8
|2001 - 2002||82.9||1.26843||105.2
|2002 - 2003||54.5||1.34454||73.3
|2003 - 2004||19.2||1.42521||27.4
11. We have derived the MOD estimate on the basis of the Government's latest forecast of trend of labour and construction prices over the period between 1999 and 2004. The works will be included under lump sum contracts without provision for inflation to be awarded by KCRC.
12. We estimate the additional annually recurrent expenditure arising from the proposed works to be $10.55 million.PUBLIC CONSULTATION
13. DHy and KCRC consulted the Tsuen Wan Provisional District Board (TWPDB) on 3 March 1998 on the EPIW under 42TR
together with the West Rail (Phase I) project. Members supported the EPIW proposal in principle. However, members expressed concern on the possible noise nuisance and traffic impact created by the proposed works during construction. We have addressed their concerns in the Environmental Impact Assessment Study and Traffic Impact Assessment Study. Various environmental mitigation measures and traffic diversion schemes will be implemented to minimise disruption during the construction stage.
14. We gazetted the EPIW under 42TR together with the West Rail (Phase I) project under the Railways Ordinance on 3 October 1997 and received no objection to the EPIW.
15. The reclamation works under 42TR constitute a designated project under Schedule 2 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Ordinance. The West Rail EIA Study completed in February 1998 identified that the reclamation and culvert extension works under 42TR would affect the water-flow pattern in Tsuen Wan Bay, thus causing adverse impact to the marine environment there. The study recommended locations for the outfalls of the two extended culverts and an S-shape alignment for the proposed seawall to mitigate the problem. The Advisory Council on the Environment endorsed the EIA report in March 1998. We have adopted the recommendation of the EIA report in the design of the culvert extension and seawall. We issued an Environmental Permit to KCRC on 16 September 1998 which covers the reclamation and culvert extension works under 42TR. The remaining works under 42TR will not cause any long term environmental impact.
16. For short-term construction impact, we will control the dredging and filling rates, the noise, dust and site runoff nuisances to comply with established guidelines and standards through the implementation of environmental pollution control measures and environmental monitoring and audit programme in the contract.
17. The proposed EPIW does not require any land resumption.
18. Following authorisation by the Chief Executive-in-Council in September 1998, KCRC commenced construction of the West Rail (Phase I) in October 1998. The first phase of West Rail will provide, by late 2003, a domestic passenger railway line serving Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai, Kam Tin, Tsuen Wan West, Mei Foo and Sham Shui Po.
19. On 27 February 1998, Finance Committee approved an equity injection of $29 billion from the Capital Investment Fund to KCRC for construction of the West Rail (Phase I). We also informed the Finance Committee at the meeting that the Government would need to carry out essential public infrastructure works in the order of $3,135 million to enable West Rail to be open to the public.
20. The Tsuen Wan Section of the West Rail (Phase I) includes a short length of cut and cover tunnel to the south of TWW Station, the station itself and another cut and cover tunnel running along Hoi Hing Road connecting TWW Station with the south portal of Tai Lam Tunnel.
21. We included 42TR in Category B in September 1998.
22. We plan to entrust the construction of 42TR to KCRC under the same works contract for the TWW Station in April 1999. We aim to start the essential public infrastructure works in April 1999 and complete the construction works in March 2003.
Transport BureauFebruary 1999