PLANS are under way for work to start in 2002 on what would be
Victoria Harbour's first reclamation in more than five years.
The scheme, phase three of the Central reclamation, has faced a
difficult gestation, running into opposition from environmentalists
and others concerned with scaling back harbour reclamation.
Initial proposals in 1996 called for reclamation to create about 32
hectares of new land, but this was subsequently slashed to 18
Instead of the roughly convex shape of the first scheme, the revised
design is concave, creating a small bay between the ferry terminals in
Central to the edge of Wan Chai.
The new scheme will tidy the area between island ferry piers and the
Star Ferry, eliminating steel piles and a zone of dead water behind
the General Post Office.
Passengers using the Star Ferry, Queen's Pier and Discovery Bay vessel
services, however, will face the same lengthy trek as the one to the
outlying ferry piers. Gone will be the close convenience of the Star
As a result, vocal public opposition to the plan is possible when the
consequences of the Star Ferry move become generally known. But the
Territory Development Department is hoping to mitigate the initial
inconvenience by creating a public park along the waterfront that
could include bars, restaurants and other leisure facilities.
People who remember the open-air restaurant and bar on the top of
Blake Pier before it was demolished in the early 1990s to make way for
the first phase of the Central reclamation would welcome the plan.
Atkins China divisional director John Newby said there are ideas to
create a festival market that has been likened to San Francisco's
Atkins China is leading the consultancy group recently awarded the
$32.6 million contract to design and supervise construction for the
$3.5 billion project.
Other partners are Babtie BMT Harris & Sutherland, which is
responsible for marine works and Atkins China company, Faithful &
Gould, as quantity surveyor.
"It's a better scheme that takes more account of what people want,"
Mr Newby told iBusiness. "It will provide a good waterfront which we
lack at the moment."
The final form of the Star Ferry pier and replacement for Queen's Pier
have still to be agreed, but Atkins would design them.
Contractors would be invited to prequalify the scheme in the middle of
next year, ready for construction to start in April 2002 with
completion in four years.
The reclamation would provide space for a government complex that
would centralise administrative departments. There would also be a
civic square connecting with the waterfront promenade.
HSBC would retain its view of the harbour over Statue Square and a
low-rise pedestrian deck with commercial facilities below the current
Star Ferry piers.
Underground, the reclamation would provide space for the Central-Wan
Chai bypass, Mass Transit Railway Corporation Airport Railway overrun
tunnels, and space for its North Island line, Mr Newby said.
The construction contract would cover reclamation, seawalls, the main
surface level road and the diversion of existing utilities. It was
uncertain whether the contract would include the section of the
Central and Wan Chai bypass.
Energy-absorbing seawalls have been specially developed to reduce the
wave energy by half.
"They should take out 50 per cent of the wave energy that should make
the harbour better and safer," he said.
The seawall would be formed from prefabricated concrete caissons, 20
metres long and eight metres wide, which would be floated into
position before submersion.
The government's fill management committee would determine where the
contaminated dredged material was to be dumped. This official group
likewise would determine the source of imported marine sand probably
from the Pearl River delta.
Atkins China is also looking at the possibility of introducing a
centralised cooling water system for government buildings in the area.
The design includes the relocation of 12 pumping stations serving the
main buildings along the existing frontage.
All rights reserved.