The completion date of a major highway that will link Tuen Mun to the airport will be delayed by two years to 2020 due to technical problems and the slow progress of a contractor, officials revealed on Friday.
The Highways Department said the alignment of part of the HK$45 billion link from Tuen Mun to Chek Lap Kok island – half of which is an undersea tunnel that connects to the artificial island for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge – was revised in 2015 because of construction complexity.
But the contractor has been dragging on its feet to come up with a new design and only submitted a draft plan recently, highways chief Daniel Chung said. He added that the revised cost was "unreasonablly high".
"We really don’t know why it took so long for the contractor to come up with a concrete design vision. We’ll give them a few months more and expect them to be able to produce the required proposal," Chung said.
The department said the project contingency fund is sufficient to cover the additional costs currently anticipated, including the construction cost for a "reasonable design amendment" scheme.
The planned nine-kilometre road will be an alternative route to the sole land link to the airport. In October 2015, there was chaos after the only road link to the airport was shut down for two hours after a barge hit the Kap Shui Mun Bridge.
When complete, the travelling time between Tuen Mun and the airport will be shortened from 30 minutes to 10 minutes.