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SETW: Bridge shows Gov't's commitment to invest in our future


Following is a speech by the Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works, Dr Sarah Liao, at the contract signing ceremony of the Stonecutters Bridge this afternoon (May 11):

Hong Kong is one of the busiest cities in the world. With limited space, difficult terrain and dense building developments, construction of the highway infrastructures is always a challenge in Hong Kong.

Despite all the constraints, Hong Kong has a very comprehensive road network with a total road length of about 2,000 km and a number of remarkable transport infrastructures. Among those, the Tsing Ma Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world carrying both road and rail traffic.

I am pleased to announce that we are going to add another significant landmark to Hong Kong. The Stonecutters Bridge, upon completion in June, 2008, will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world. This is more than an engineering feat which our engineers will no doubt take pride. This is a defining piece of architecture for Hong Kong and a reflection of the confidence of this world city to rise up to the challenges of the new millennium.

The bridge catches international attention not only because of its length. The design of the bridge was adopted from the winning design of an international design competition held in 2000, which elicited participation from the best design and engineering firms the world has to offer. Today, I am happy to award the contract to the Maeda-Hitachi-Yokogawa-Hsin Chong Joint Venture, the international consortium which will be given the task, and of course, the honour to inscribe this project of great beauty into texture of our landscape.

The Stonecutters Bridge is an important part of Route 8 between Tsing Yi and Sha Tin. We will be adding an east-west strategic route linking the eastern part of the New Territories to the Airport upon completion of this section of Route 8. This new highway will provide direct access to Container Terminals No. 8 and No. 9 in Kwai Chung, which will further enhance Hong Kong as an important international logistics and transportation hub.

The Bridge is a $2.76 billion investment, creating 1,400 job opportunities. It is yet another clear demonstration of the government's commitment to invest in our future while at the same time creates employment. Surveys after surveys amongst local residents and overseas visitors have given a unanimous thumbs-up to the transport infrastructure of Hong Kong. With the completion of the Stonecutters Bridge and Route 8 in the years ahead, Hong Kong's role as an international world class city will be strengthened even further.

Ends/Tuesday, May 11, 2004


( Floor / Cantonese / Putonghua / English )

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