THB welcomes LegCo's funding approval for Hong Kong Link Road

     The Government welcomes the Legislative Council Finance Committee's approval today (May 25) of an additional funding of $8,857.3 million for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Link Road (HKLR). With the approval, the works of the HKLR will commence as soon as possible and will proceed full steam along with other local projects of the HZMB.

     The HZMB is a major infrastructure project jointly financed and undertaken by the Governments of Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao. Through close co-operation and full involvement amongst the three places, the construction of the Main Bridge, located in Mainland waters, commenced in 2009 as scheduled and is expected to completed by 2016 as planned. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is responsible for the construction of the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) and the HKLR, which connects the HKBCF with the Main Bridge.

     A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said, "Commencing the works of the HKLR as soon as possible is an advantage in all aspects. Works commencement of the HKLR has been delayed for nearly nine months due to a judicial review case earlier. As a result, the works programme has changed from very adequate to very tight. A tighter timetable will increase the difficulty of works. The contractors will need to adopt more special measures, such as increased labour resources, arrangement of overtime work and increased plant resources, to ensure the smooth progress of the project. Together with the recent surge in construction prices, a delay in the works programme would cause a further increase in construction costs. Hence, additional funding approval has to be sought.

     "With the funding approval, we will commence works on the HKLR immediately. On the other hand the construction of the HKBCF, which started at the end of last year, has been progressing well. We have confidence in completing the local works of the HZMB on time to match the target of commissioning the Main Bridge in 2016," the spokesman said.

     The HZMB is a major cross-boundary transport infrastructure project of strategic value. It will connect Hong Kong with Macao, Zhuhai, the western Pearl River Delta (PRD), western Guangdong and even the southwestern part of the Mainland, facilitating the expansion of the Mainland hinterland. Upon the commission of the HZMB, the western PRD will fall within a reachable three-hour living circle of Hong Kong, which will facilitate cultural exchange, social integration and economic development amongst the three places.

     In the future, the transportation time for containers between Zhuhai and Hong Kong will be reduced by 60 per cent. The travelling time will even be cut by 80 per cent from Zhuhai to Hong Kong International Airport. The HZMB will benefit various industries including logistics, tourism, catering and retail, finance and information technology.

     Apart from the application of additional funding of $8,857.3 million for the HKLR, the construction costs of the HKBCF and other related local works have also increased by about $6,500 million as a result of the delay in works caused by the judicial review case in early 2010. To date, an additional $15.4 billion in construction cost has been required.

Ends/Friday, May 25, 2012
Issued at HKT 17:42