2                    PROJECT DESCRIPTION

2.1              Site Location and Study Area

2.1.1          The WDII Study Area is demarcated by Hing Fat Street to the east, Victoria Park Road and Gloucester Road to the south and Fenwick Pier Street to the west.

2.1.2          The site area comprises urban development on existing reclaimed land along the Wan Chai and Causeway Bay shoreline, together with existing seabed along the shoreline that will be reclaimed under the Project.  Major land uses within the study area include the HKCEC Extension, the Wan Chai ferry piers, the PCWA, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC), the Police Officers' Club and the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter.

2.1.3          New land will be formed along the Wan Chai and Causeway Bay shoreline, primarily for the construction of key infrastructure and to provide an attractive waterfront with a new public promenade.  A total reclamation area of some 28.5 ha is envisaged, with the newly reclaimed land forming a narrow strip of land along the existing Wan Chai and Causeway Bay shorelines, from the interface with the CRIII project west of the HKCEC Extension to the east of the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter.

2.2              EIA Study Area

2.2.1          The following definitions of the study areas have been adopted with reference to the Brief for WDII and the EIA Study Brief registered under the EIAO:

·         Air Quality Impact Assessment: the boundary of the study area is 500 m outside the development limit of the Project;

·         Noise Impact Assessment: according to the Study Brief, the boundary of the study area is 300 m outside the development limit of the Project;

·         Water Quality Impact Assessment: assessment will be focused on the waters of Victoria Harbour between Junk Bay and Stonecutters’ Island;

·         Waste Management: assessment will be focused on areas within the development limit of the Project;

·         Land Contamination: waterfront shipyards, workshops, utilities, port facilities, etc., that are bounded by the Review Limit for WDII and which will be reprovisioned under the Project;

·         Terrestrial Ecology: assessment will be focused on the ‘green areas’ adjacent to the waterfront bounded by the Review Limit for WDII;

·         Marine Ecology: assessment will be focused on the coastal area bounded by the Review Limit for WDII; and

·         Landscape and Visual Impact:  the study area for landscape impact assessment should include all areas within 500 m outside the boundary of the development limit of the Project, while the study area for the visual impact assessment should be defined by the visual envelope.



2.3              Project Requirements, Scope and Benefits

            Project Requirements

2.3.1          The Project is driven by the need for the implementation of the Trunk Road, which is defined as the section of road extending from Rumsey Street Flyover Extension to the IEC, comprising the CWB and the IECL.

2.3.2          The Trunk Road will form an east-west strategic route through Central and Wan Chai.  The Trunk Road is an essential element of Government’s strategic transportation planning for Hong Kong and is required to provide relief to the existing main east-west route (that is, Connaught Road - Harcourt Road - Gloucester Road).  The Trunk Road was originally proposed under the Central and Wanchai Reclamation Feasibility Study, under which its feasibility was established.

2.3.3          Apart from providing land for key transport infrastructure (which includes, in addition to the Trunk Road, the NIL and the possible fourth harbour rail crossing) and facilities, the Project can also create a coherent pattern of land use and for the development of an appropriate waterfront ‘edge’ to the existing urban area.  The Project will therefore consider imaginative and high quality measures to develop a waterfront of international standard for the enjoyment of the public and tourists.  This is in line with the intentions expressed in the Chief Executive’s 1999 Policy Address, in which he stated his commitment to the improvement of Hong Kong's waterfront, with open plazas, landscaped areas, shops and restaurants, for the enrichment of Hong Kong's quality of life.

            Project Scope

2.3.4          The scope of the Project comprises:

(i)         Land formation for key transport infrastructure and facilities, including:

·            the CWB, including two separate two-lane single-way tunnels linking HKCEC to Causeway Bay forming the Wan Chai Bypass.;

·            the IECL;

·            the NIL;

·            the necessary ground level road connections to facilitate through traffic from Central to Wan Chai;

·            a possible fourth cross harbour rail link;

·            a Government helipad; and

·            the waterfront promenade and other essential facilities; land is also required for the associated / supporting facilities for the waterfront promenade.

(ii)        Reprovisioning / protection of the existing facilities and structures affected by the land formation works mentioned above.

(iii)       Extension, modification, reprovisioning or protection of existing storm water drainage outfalls, sewerage outfalls, Wan Chai East Sewage Screening Plant and watermains affected by the revised land use and land formation works mentioned above.

(iv)       Upgrading of hinterland storm water drainage system and sewerage system, which would be rendered insufficient by the land formation works mentioned above.

(v)        Provision of the ground level roads, road bridges, footbridges, necessary transport facilities and the associated utility services.

(vi)       Construction of the new waterfront promenade, landscape works and the associated utility services.

            Project Benefits

2.3.5          The Project provides essential land for the construction of the Trunk Road, the NIL, the SCL and other key transport infrastructure.  The road and rail routes are required to relieve congestion on the strategic east-west routes through Central, Wan Chai and Causeway Bay and on the public transport system, and their implementation is a core element of Government's transport planning strategy.

2.3.6          The Project also provides opportunity to create an attractive waterfront for the enjoyment of the public.  At present, large parts of the Wan Chai and Causeway Bay waterfront are inaccessible to the public or are difficult to access.  The land formed through this Project will be used to regenerate the waterfront into an attractive public resource that could be used for a wide range of recreational and tourism-related uses and functions, with easy access from the urban hinterland.  In so doing, the waterfront will become, as it should, an integral element of the public asset currently provided by the harbour.

            Consequences of Not Proceeding with the Project

            (i)         Not able to relieve traffic congestion

2.3.7          Without the Trunk Road, the east-west strategic corridors of the hinterland such as Gloucester Road, Harcourt Road and Connaught Road Central will be severely affected.  This will have a knock on effect on Hennessy Road and Queens Road East and Central.  The north-south links to the Gloucester Road corridor will also be affected.

2.3.8          At the eastern end of the Trunk Road, long queues would be anticipated along the IEC as Victoria Park Road between Causeway Bay Flyover and Canal Road, already very congested, will become a bottleneck.  At the western end, Connaught Road Central (between City Hall and Furama Hotel) will be severely congested.  Road connections from the hinterland will also not be able to operate due to congestion.

2.3.9          From traffic point of view, given that the existing east-west corridors along the north shore are already overloaded at present, the future increase in cross harbour traffic as well as general traffic growth on the Island due to territory-wide population and employment growth will exert additional pressure on the existing road network, thus causing further congestion and likely ‘gridlock’ situations to the north shore of Hong Kong Island, which may also have far reaching impacts to the harbour crossings.

(ii)                NIL and Fourth Harbour Rail Crossing

2.3.10      Land formed under the Project, in addition to providing for the construction of the Trunk Road, also provides for the construction of the NIL and the proposed fourth harbour rail crossing (SCL).  Should the Project not proceed, implementation of these rail routes will be severely constrained.  This will have consequential adverse impacts on the planning and provision of public transport infrastructure.

            (iii)       No improvement of the waterfront

2.3.11      Should the Trunk Road not be implemented the requirement for land formation is likely to fall away and opportunities to improve the existing waterfront would be limited.  The following scenarios are likely:

·            no new land will be available to upgrade and improve the waterfront;

·            the Chief Executive's promise in his 1999 Policy Address regarding the improvement of Hong Kong's waterfront cannot be fulfilled;

·            it will be difficult to realise the Town Planning Board's objectives stipulated in the Vision and Goals for Victoria Harbour to make the harbour attractive, vibrant, accessible and symbolic of Hong Kong;

·            opportunities to upgrade the waterfront east of the HKCEC Extension would be undermined (the design of the HKCEC Extension assumed that the adjacent areas would be upgraded and improved).

2.4              Project Design

2.4.1          The design of the project is based largely on the alignment and form of the Trunk Road.  During the first phase of the study, all practicable options of elevated, at-grade, underground and underwater alignments and form of structure for the Trunk Road (from the eastern limit of CRIII to the IECL), within the physical and planning constraints of the study area, were considered.  Eight options were developed and evaluated against agreed performance criteria.  Three schemes were then carried forward for further assessment and evaluation against land use planning opportunities.

2.4.2          The three schemes selected for further evaluation were:

·            a tunnel and flyover scheme which runs along the existing shoreline, behind the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter (Option A);

·            a tunnel and flyover scheme which runs north of Kellett Island to follow the line of the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter breakwater (Option D);

·            an at-grade road scheme which is proposed to run on reclaimed land after emerging from tunnel at the HKCEC Extension (Option G).

2.4.3          Full tunnel options were also considered but were found not to be feasible on the grounds of engineering and construction risk, risk of damage to the Cross Harbour Tunnel, inability to meet road connectivity requirements, costs and operational risks.

2.4.4          Under the land use assessments, key planning elements comprised:

·            the adoption of a marine theme for the waterfront development;

·            the extension of Victoria Park to the waterfront;

·            the creation of a waterfront to international standard.

2.4.5          The development proposals were presented through a public consultation process during early 2000, including a Public Consultation Forum that was held on 1 February 2000, in which views on the proposals were obtained from a wide range of interested and concerned parties.  A Consultation Digest presented the three Trunk Road options selected as suitable for further evaluation and described the land use concepts developed for these three options.  At all stages of the consultation process, Option A was supported over the alternative options.  In overall terms, the land use proposals associated with the Trunk Road Option A were considered to offer the optimal land use strategy for WDII and the minimum extent of reclamation.

2.4.6          The preferred option, Option A, is a tunnel and flyover scheme in which the western and central sections of the Trunk Road are in tunnel, rising at the Wan Chai PCWA to cross over Kellett Island and remaining on elevated structure through the eastern section, behind the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter, before connecting to the existing elevated structure of the IEC.  Slip road connections and ground level roads provide access to the local road network and adjacent development and facilities.

2.4.7          Planning concepts for the preferred option included a new promenade of average width around 60m, which provides for continuous pedestrian connection from Central through to North Point, and facilities such as a Marina and a Harbour Museum to enhance the marine theme for the waterfront development.  Pedestrian access was provided to the harbour front through six direct connections to the Wan Chai and Causeway Bay urban areas and to Victoria Park.  A Harbour Park was proposed on the outside of the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter breakwater as an innovative means of reconnecting the Victoria Park with the Harbour, providing environmentally pleasant recreational areas separated from the roads along the shoreline and integrating the sheltered anchorage with the recreational facilities of the waterfront.

2.4.8          During the public consultation process, although Option A was commonly considered to provide an attractive environment that would be a significant improvement over the existing situation, a number of concerns were nonetheless raised.  These focused mainly on the following issues:

·            the extent of reclamation should be kept to a minimum;

·            sufficient accesses to the waterfront should be provided;

·            the need for proposed facilities at the waterfront should be reviewed;

·            environmental impacts of the proposal should be addressed, especially water quality and elimination of ‘dead’ corners in the typhoon shelter and adjacent to the HKCEC.

2.4.9          In response to these concerns, a number of modifications were made to the Option A layout.  The Harbour Park was cause for particular concern with regard to the extent of reclamation, and the Option A scheme was therefore modified by omitting the Harbour Park but widening the yacht club marina breakwater instead to enable better public access to the Harbour.  In developing the shoreline configuration, sharp corners and areas of slack water were eliminated wherever possible to mitigate against poor water quality concerns.

2.4.10      During the second phase of the study, the land use proposals were re-examined and refined to ensure compatibility with the planning intentions of the study area.  The Trunk Road alignment and land use layout were then subjected to detailed planning, engineering, traffic and environmental assessments, to establish the feasibility of the proposed WDII development and to ensure that the road and land use proposals meet the requirements of the project in the most effective manner and with the least impacts.  Pedestrian connections have been reviewed and maximised wherever possible.

2.4.11      The refined layout for the Trunk Road and the associated ground level roads, together with the planning proposals for the waterfront, are shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.2.

2.4.12      The proposed Trunk Road and land use layout has been derived with due consideration of all physical, geometric and operational constraints, and was subjected to a comprehensive evaluation of planning, engineering, traffic, environmental and cost considerations.  The alignment and form of construction presented represent the best feasible and practicable manner in which the Trunk Road can be extended from Central to connect to the elevated IEC to the east of the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter.  The proposed scheme offers the most efficient and balanced land use arrangement in association with the Trunk Road.

2.5              Construction Methods and Engineering Requirements

2.5.1          A number of existing waterfront facilities (ferry piers, drainage culverts, cooling water intakes, sewage outfall, etc.) will be affected by the WDII reclamation.  Although these facilities will be reprovisioned under the Project, they should be kept functional and operational during reclamation until the reprovisioned facilities are constructed and available for use.  There is therefore a requirement for reclamation to be carried out in stages, with careful planning of construction sequence for both the reclamation and reprovisioning works.

2.5.2          The resultant reclamation staging creates a number of relatively small and confined areas of land formation.  Containment of fill within each of these areas by seawalls is proposed, with the seawalls constructed first and filling being carried out behind the seawalls.  This method will allow the land area formed in each stage to be maximised and also has significant benefits in terms of water quality; by containing all filling behind seawalls, the release of suspended sediments during the filling operations will not impact the open water areas of the harbour.

2.5.3          Seawall construction will, in general, comprise wave energy absorbing caisson seawall units (where exposed to harbour waves) and concrete blockwork walls (where sheltered from harbour waves), constructed on dredged foundations for stability reasons.  Seawall trench dredging will be carried out by grab dredgers, which will also be used for filling the trenches with sand and rock fill for the seawall foundations.

2.5.4          A partially dredged reclamation is proposed.  The Wan Chai shoreline and most of the eastern portion of the Causeway Bay typhoon shelter will be reclaimed by dredged method.  Marine deposits will be retained in-situ in the western portion and at the eastern end of the typhoon shelter.  This approach is dictated by the minimum extent of dredging required for foundations of the seawalls, roads and drainage culverts and for practical engineering and construction reasons which, due mainly to the narrow configuration of the reclamation, effectively results in a dredged approach over most of the length of the site.  Figure 2.3 indicates the proposed extent of dredging for the WDII project.

2.5.5          The use of marine sand fill is proposed, with fill placed behind the enclosing seawalls of each reclamation stage.  The use of marine sand fill will enable the formed land to comply with required engineering and settlement performance criteria, with the fill placed within a very tight programme in order to meet critical project completion dates.

2.5.6          While marine sand is proposed to be used generally for filling, detailed investigations have been conducted to explore the possibility of using selected public fill (surplus CDG material from Civil Engineering Department's Anderson Road project) and surplus rock fill (also from the Anderson Road project) where engineering, programme and implementation constraints permit.  The investigations indicate that it is possible to use selected public fill in the upper formation layers, above +2.5 mPD, albeit with some adverse environmental implications with respect to dust nuisance, which would require mitigation.

2.5.7          The investigations also indicate that, besides the upper layers, it is feasible from the engineering perspective to maximise the use of selected public fill in other areas of the reclamation.  By so doing, it will be possible to use up to 1.1 Mm3 of selected public fill in combination with 1.4 Mm3 of surplus rock fill, with the balance of filling (1.2 Mm3) being marine sand fill.  However, this maximised use of public fill will mean, in addition to increased environmental impacts, a delay to the completion of the Project.  Environmental assessments have been carried out with both the use of marine sand fill with public fill in the upper formation layers and the maximised use of public fill in mind, by taking into account worst case scenarios.  At the time of submission of this EIA Report, the Administration has decided to adopt the latter scheme, ie maximising the use of selected public fill.

2.5.8          The construction method for the Trunk Road tunnel will adopt diaphragm walling for the permanent tunnel walls and top down construction for the tunnel slabs.  Where the tunnel crosses the immersed tube MTR Tsuen Wan Line (to the west of the HKCEC Extension), piled foundations will be constructed on each side of the MTR tunnel and precast sections of the Trunk Road tunnel will be used to span across the MTR line.

2.5.9          The reprovisioned Wan Chai East ferry pier will be a piled structure, as will the widened deck of the existing Expo Drive East pier, which will be used for the reprovisioned government helipad.  The bridge connection across the marine basin on the western side of the HKCEC Extension will also be a piled structure.

2.6       Operation of the Project

2.6.1     Operational activities, on completion of the Project, would comprise essentially traffic movements on the new roads and public use of the waterfront.  The RHKYC will continue to operate as at present.  There are no major changes of land uses which will result in new operations not already taking place along this shoreline, indeed, there will be a reduction in respect of the relocation away from this shoreline of the current PCWA barging activities.

2.7              Works Programme

2.7.1          The WDII construction works are anticipated to commence on site in March 2004, with completion of the Project by February 2010.  A construction programme (WDII_C10), where the use of selected public fill is maximised in the reclamation, is presented in Appendix 2.1 for reference.  This programme provides the basis for the assessments presented in this report.  An alternative programme (WDII_CP9) is also presented in which the reclamation is carried out primarily with marine sand fill, with consequential earlier completion of the reclamation.  The implications of this programme are also addressed in the impact assessments, where appropriate, for worst case scenarios.

2.7.2          As noted in Section 2.5 above, construction needs to be carried out in stages in order to meet the services and utilities reprovisioning requirements and construction sequencing constraints.  A staged construction programme, with works in each area being carried out sequentially, has been developed to meet the objectives of the Project.  The staging of the reclamation works, with respect to the above issues and constraints, is shown indicatively in Figures 2.4 to 2.7.  A brief description of the proposed works, with reference to the staging requirements, is given below.

            Causeway Bay Reclamation

2.7.3          The reclamation in the Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter is divided into two stages, with the limit of the eastern portion of the reclamation defined by the existing Windsor House cooling water intake which, together with the intakes for the Excelsior Hotel and World Trade Centre, must be relocated to new cooling water intake chambers before Stage 2 (the western portion) can commence.

2.7.4          Reclamation Stages CBR1E and CBR1W are separated by a temporary drainage outfall diversion for Culvert R, which must be extended to the new seafront to minimise adverse water quality effects in the temporary embayments formed during construction.  A new diversion culvert is proposed to intercept all the discharges from the existing drainage outfalls that currently discharge into the typhoon shelter and to discharge them to the open harbour outside the typhoon shelter to the east.  With the construction sequence of the culvert starting from the downstream end, reclamation is generally carried out from east to west.

2.7.5          Works in this area will commence in March 2004 and, for the intended use of public fill, the land formation and drainage works will be completed by December 2007 for handover of the works area to Highways Department for the construction of the IECL.

            Wan Chai Reclamation

2.7.6          Three stages have been proposed for Wan Chai Reclamation, in addition to the reclamation of the PCWA basin and the Kellett Island Marina breakwater.  The initial reclamation stage WCR1 will form land for the diversion of the WSD salt water intakes and the Sun Hung Kai cooling water intake at the end of Tonnochy Road and the Wan Chai East sewage outfall at the end of Marsh Road.  These facilities limit the eastern and western extents of the initial land formation.  After land formation, the Trunk Road tunnel structure will be constructed within this area of reclamation and, thereafter, the saltwater and cooling water intakes and a new sewage outfall can be constructed over the tunnel box to the new seawall.

2.7.7          Once the diverted saltwater and cooling water intakes have been commissioned, reclamation works in area WCR2E can commence.  Once the new sewage outfall has been commissioned, reclamation works in area WCR3W can commence.

2.7.8          Reclamation area WCR2W must be kept open to allow for drainage discharge from Culvert M, and so as not to obstruct ferry navigation to the temporary ferry piers at Expo Drive East.  Only after the new extension to Culvert M has been constructed and the ferry piers relocated to the new ferry pier to be constructed on the WCR2E seawall can reclamation works be undertaken in area WCR2W.  WCR3E and WCR3W are separated by the construction of the temporary drainage outfall for Culvert O, which is required to minimise adverse water quality effects in the temporary embayment formed during construction.

2.7.9          Works in this area also commence in March 2004, with land formation being completed by end-2007 and the Trunk Road tunnel structure completed by September 2008 for handover to the HyD for their operational completion of the Trunk Road.

            HKCEC Reclamation

2.7.10      Reclamation of the HKCEC water channel (HKCEC1) can take place only after diversion and commissioning of the existing cooling water intakes along this seawall to the intake chambers already provided on the north side of the HKCEC Extension.  Reclamation in the water channel is also programmed before adjacent reclamation to either the east or west of the HKCEC Extension so as to avoid embayment of this confined water area.

2.7.11      Reclamation to the west of the HKCEC Extension must make provision for the MTR Tsuen Wan Line crossing and the extension of the drainage culvert from Lung King Street.  The timing of this stage of land formation is also dependent upon the prior completion of the eastern end of the CRIII reclamation and the diversion of the existing cross-harbour watermains.

2.7.12      Reclamation in this area would commence in late 2004 and would be completed by end-2007.  The Trunk Road tunnel works would be completed by September 2008.



2.8              Related Projects

2.8.1          The following projects are related to the WDII project:

(i)    Territory Development Department's CRIII project, comprising reclamation along the Central waterfront for transport infrastructure needs (including CWB and NIL) and basic land use requirements.  Construction will take place from August 2002 to March 2007.

(ii)    Highways Department's CWB & IECL project, for the construction of the Trunk Road (which comprises the CWB and the IECL) from Rumsey Street Flyover Extension in Central to the IEC in Causeway Bay.  The construction of the CWB tunnel structures through WDII will be entrusted to the WDII project.  Construction will commence in March 2004 and the project will be completed in February 2012.

(iii)   Highways Department's Causeway Bay Flyover project, which will be constructed from May 2003 to February 2006.