Contract No. EA980059
KCRC East Rail Extensions Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui
Environmental Impact Assessment 

Executive Summary

Table of Contents


1.            INTRODUCTION






List of Tables

Table 3.1          Estimated Volumes of Excavation Material




Figure 1.1         Study Area and Rail Extension Alignment

Figure 1.2         ETS Station and Pedestrian Interchange Subway Layout

Figure 2.1         Photo Montage for Signal Hill Garden and Middle Road Children’s Playground


1.         Introduction

1.1       The proposed East Rail Extension Project is classified as a designated project under Schedule 2 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO) which was enacted in April 1998.

1.2       Under the EIAO (Cap.499) Section 5(7), EPD issued an EIA Study Brief No.ESB-016/1998 for KCRC Extension from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui.

1.3       The study area and rail alignment are presented in Figure 1.1 which illustrates the key Project components including an above ground railway section from Hung Hom Station to the Cross Harbour Tunnel (CHT); a tunnel section along Salisbury Road; and the East Tsim Sha Tsui Station (ETS) and associated access arrangements indicated in Figure 1.2. The Project also includes a traction substation to be located within an existing KCRC compound at Ho Man Tin.

1.4       The EIA objectives are defined in the EPD Study Brief.


2.1       The Railway Development Study (RDS) Phase II (Part 1): the Railways Development Office of the Highways Department commissioned a Feasibility Study for a new rail line extension to the East Rail network from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui.  The Feasibility Study, inter alia, determined the alignment for this extension and this was reported in the RDS Phase II (Part 1) Final Report Tai Wai to Ma On Shan and KCR Extension to Tsim Sha Tsui, Maunsell et al, December 1997.

2.2       The KCRC Extension from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui is formed by extending a pair of tracks from the existing East Rail Station at Hung Hom southwards into an underground East-West alignment to the ETS located below the Middle Road Children’s Playground.  A pedestrian interchange with the MTR in Nathan Road will be provided. A longer term proposal is to connect the proposed ETS to the West Rail Line at West Kowloon.

2.3       The alignment is constrained by the following key factors:

i.         Crossing over the existing CHT;

ii.       The need to avoid private land such as the Mariners Club;

iii.      Champion Tree No. 251 located in the Middle Road Children’s Playground;

iv.     Two private treaty pedestrian subways under construction in Salisbury Road;

v.       Vertical height requirements to cross over the MTR in Nathan Road should this be required in future transport planning.

vi.     Significant passenger numbers which has a direct bearing on the size of the station required, platform lengths, and the routing of the subways etc.

vii.    Utilities along Salisbury Road, Mody Road, Blenheim Avenue and Chatham Road; and

viii.  Signal Hill and its historic and cultural significance.

Contract HCC-300 - East Tsim Sha Tsui Station (ETS)

2.4       This contract comprises the following major items of work:

i.         The main station box approximately 300m long by 35m wide-excavated to a depth of about 16m below existing ground level.  This extends from Middle Road under Middle Road Children’s Playground, Chatham Road and Wing On Plaza Garden.

ii.       A station concourse under Wing On Plaza Garden to a depth of about 16m below ground level.

iii.      Salisbury Road underpass approximately 370m long, 30m wide and up to 12m below ground level extending from the Sheraton Hotel to Wing On Plaza.  To apply for the environmental permit for the Underpass the applicant should refer to the EIA Report for Salisbury Road Underpass and Associated Road Improvement Works including Middle Road Traffic Circulation System.

iv.     All associated utility works, road works and temporary diversions.  This is a Highways Project to be entrusted to KCRC for construction.  A separate EIA report has been submitted to EPD by HyD and endorsed by the ACE in 1999.

Contract HCC-301 - Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui Tunnels

2.5       This contract comprises:

i.         A length of cut and cover tunnel approximately 650m long, 19m wide and up to 16m below ground level running from the CHT to opposite the Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel.

ii.        A length of partially buried tunnel from the CHT to the International Mail Centre (IMC) including the CHT crossing and a ventilation structure.

iii.      A new access road to the IMC constructed over a portion of the Harbour.

iv.     Temporary and permanent diversions of utilities, roads and footbridges, including a number of large private cooling mains.

Contract HCC-302 - Subways

2.6       This contract comprises:

i.         A subway linking the new station with the MTR Tsim Sha Tsui Station running under Mody Road, Blenheim Avenue and Signal Hill.

ii.        A subway and station entrances along Middle Road.

Contract HCC 400 - Hung Hom Station and Ho Man Tin Substation

2.7       This contract comprises:

i.         Modification works to the existing Hung Hom Station to facilitate the railway extension; and

ii.       Construction of a traction substation at Ho Man Tin.

Landscape Design

2.8       The Landscape design:

i.         Assumes a cut-and-cover method of construction, and proposes that no portion of Signal Hill is cut.

ii.        Maximises flat land provision for park facilities.  This is achieved by placing various station requirements beneath a landscape deck, namely:

·          station entrances;

·          access road and taxi drop-off area;

·          station-related E&M facilities including  transformer rooms,  switch rooms, a generator room, and various other plant rooms including chiller rooms; and

·          Salisbury Road Underpass planned Pedestrian Interchange Subway exit (at Chatham Road).

Project Programme and Construction

2.9       The overall Project programme from the commencement of Detailed Design in mid - 1999 to completion of all civil works will take approximately 60 months.

2.10     The construction of the Project is constrained by the lack of suitable working space within the immediate study area.  As a consequence practical construction management of materials, plant and equipment, personnel and waste arising requires careful attention in Project planning.

2.11     To maintain an efficient working programme the station excavation works in Middle Road Children’s Playground and Wing On Plaza Garden will proceed concurrently.  Also due to the lack of working space parts of the roads affected by the Project would be temporarily used as construction working areas.  All of these areas will be reinstated following the completion of the construction.  The station will be constructed in reinforced concrete using traditional methods.

2.12     A number of construction techniques have been considered for the railway tunnel sections, with a view to minimising disturbance and overall environmental impact.  The vertical alignment is constrained by the need to cross over the existing CHT; to pass under utilities; to achieve an acceptable station platform level; and also to maintain suitable clearance across the MTR tunnels in Nathan Road of the possible future connection with the KCRC West Rail.  There is insufficient cover depth to adopt bored rail tunnels in these locations.  Cut and cover construction will therefore be used for the railway tunnel along Salisbury Road.

2.13     The subway connections along Mody Road, Blenheim Avenue and Chatham Road, are for rail passengers and general pedestrian movement in Tsim Sha Tsui.  Due to the respective shallow depths of both the MTR and the ETS, and the number of road level subway entrances, a shallow subway is the most efficient design for passenger movement and convenience.  Cut and cover construction is adopted for these reasons and because a bored tunnel alternative offers only limited overall environmental benefit in terms of noise impact duration  (with decreases at some NSRs but increases at others).  This is because the deeper entrances to a bored subway would be close to NSRs and would have to be formed by traditional cut and cover methods with associated noise impacts.

2.14     The subway connection under Signal Hill will be by construction of a bored tunnel, since there is sufficient rock depth in this location and no entrances.


3.1       The key technical assessments for this EIA covered the following:

i.         Construction Noise;

ii.       Construction Air Quality;

iii.      Construction and Operational Water Quality;

iv.     Land Contamination;

v.       Construction Waste Management;

vi.     Cultural Heritage / Archaeology;

vii.    Landscape and Visual; and

viii.   Hazard.

Construction Noise

3.2       The extensive use of Powered Mechanical Equipment, (PME) for various construction activities will be the major source of construction noise impact.  Eight major worksites have been defined.

3.3       Cut and cover method will be employed for constructing the major underground facilities, including the underground railway tunnels, pedestrian interchange subway and the ETS.  Rock excavation by blasting will be required for the ETS construction.

3.4       A construction plant inventory has been prepared, the noise sensitive items of which will be specified and contractors will work using the amount of plant necessary to meet each contractor’s Environmental Management Plan obligations.  This assumes a minimum quantity of plant to carry out the construction work in an efficient and effective manner, in order to meet the master programme for implementing the railway Project.

3.5       Construction activities for the pedestrian interchange subway and the Middle Road Station entrances would potentially give rise to severe residual noise impacts if unmitigated.  The EIA identified that conventional mitigation approaches will only provide limited noise reductions.  To deal with this adverse situation KCRC have confirmed that in addition stringent limits will be placed on the noise generating activities which can be carried out in close proximity to identified noise sensitive receivers (NSRs).  By these means, residual exceedances over 75 dB(A) may occur at certain times at Mody Road by between 4-10 dB(A) during a 2-5 month period and by 11 dB(A) for less than 3 months.  At Middle Road, residual exceedances of 4 dB(A) may occur during a 4-month period, and 1 dB(A) within a 7-month period.  The worksites will be divided into smaller sections, and construction contract specifications will be imposed to prevent the noisiest operations being carried out in adjacent areas at the same time.

3.6       All plant specified will be the quietest available for the intended purpose including electrically driven wherever practicable.  Temporary and permanent pile walls will be installed using combined electric/hydraulic/compressed air “down-the-hole” drills.  Mains electricity will be used to eliminate the use of generators.  Centralized electrically powered compressed air facilities, with appropriate containment to reduce noise levels, will be used in place of mobile compressors.  Detailed steps to reduce noise impacts at specific sites are as follows:

3.7       Pedestrian Interchange Subway along Mody Road

a)    The site will be divided into fifteen areas to minimise the number of NSRs affected by construction works in any one area.

b)   The initial activities in each area are the preparatory work followed by installation of the temporary pile wall on one side of the street, removing the road surface and installing a temporary traffic deck.  After diversion of traffic on the deck, the activities are repeated on the opposite side of the road.  These are the activities most likely to cause noise, which will be intermittent, but the whole process will not take more than 3 months in most areas. These activities will not occur concurrently in two adjacent areas.

c)    Following installation of the traffic deck, virtually all further activities including excavation, formwork, reinforcement and concreting will be carried out below the deck.  NSRs will be protected from noise by the deck.  The sequence of construction is planned so that excavated material is removed via completed sections of the subway, to access points shielded from the NSRs:

·          within a hoarded area in Cornwall Street

·          via the ETS station site in Wing On Plaza Garden

·          via the ETS station site in Middle Road Children’s Playground

These under-deck activities will last up to about 26 weeks for the largest area.  It will be necessary to lift panels of the deck during the working day for the delivery of large items and for concreting.  Most of the concrete will be pumped from locations which are shielded from NSRs.

d)   After completion of each section of the subway, the deck will be removed, backfill placed, utilities reinstated and the road reconstructed whilst maintaining access to buildings and traffic and pedestrian flows.

Middle Road Station Entrances

3.8       Construction techniques and methods which will be used are similar to those for the interchange subway and the worksite divided into six areas.  The bulk of the excavated material will be brought out via the subway for removal from the Middle Road Children’s Playground area.

3.9       KCRC have confirmed that, as a last resort, construction noise exceedances of 5dB(A) or greater for periods exceeding one month, will be addressed by reference to the guideline for the use of Indirect Technical Remedies (ITR).

Operational Noise

3.10     Noise impacts from operation of the Railway are insignificant.  The operational noise issues are associated with fixed plant for tunnel ventilation, traction substation, train noise from the tunnel portal, and ground borne noise.

Air Quality

3.11     Dust arising from access/exits at the construction sites was found to be the major cause of air quality impacts.  However, the construction dust levels at air sensitive receivers will be within the criteria of 500 mg/m3 for one hour, and 260 mg/m3 for 24 hours.

3.12     KCRC will implement the dust control measures as specified in the Schedule of the Air Pollution Control (Construction Dust) Regulation for the construction phase. Vehicle speed and number of trucks will be kept to a minimum within worksites and mitigation such as water spraying will be a contractual obligation imposed in construction contracts.

3.13     No operational air quality impacts are anticipated since the trains will be electric powered.

Water Quality

3.14     The receiving water body during the construction and operation of the works will be Victoria Harbour.  Due to the highly urbanised nature of the Kowloon peninsula, there are no natural streams located within the construction area. There are no marine biological SRs, such as mariculture zones, commercial fisheries or shell fisheries in the vicinity of the Project.

3.15     The potential water quality impact during the reprovision and re-alignment of drainage pipes and culverts will be limited to runoff and erosion from site surfaces and earth working areas.


Cut and Cover Tunnelling

3.16     During wet periods, rainfall and surface runoff entering exposed cut and cover tunnel sections requires mitigation designed to reduce surface water influx.

3.17     Suspended matter will arise from bentonite and chemical grouting, excavation works, rainwater infiltration etc. Oil interceptors and settlement of suspended matter is necessary to remove the particulates, oils, lubricants and grease from the wastewater arising.

International Mailing Centre Access Road

3.18     The proposed IMC Access Road is a 3-lane road, 12m wide and approximately 140m long, supported by four columns.  Three of the columns will be built on top of the existing pier, and one will be constructed in the water.

3.19     Provided that mitigation is implemented effectively no significant residual water quality impacts are predicted.   Key recommendations include:

i.         drainage and surface water runoff collection facilities are incorporated into the construction area;

ii.       Any diversions of drainage pipes or channels are constructed to allow water flow to the discharge point or outfall, without any overflow or washout;

iii.      All temporary drainage diversions are reinstated to the original condition after the completion of construction; and

iv.     All construction site/works area discharges comply with the Technical Memorandum standards of the Water Pollution Control Ordinance.

3.20     No detrimental operational water quality impacts are expected if the recommended mitigation measures are implemented.

Land Contamination

3.21     The Middle Road Petrol Station underground oil storage tanks were identified as a potential source of ground contamination.

3.22     Available records indicate no reports of any leakages or tank failures at the petrol station and integrity tests demonstrate that the tanks located in the Middle Road Children’s Playground are in sound condition.

3.23     According to the historical land use review, the Middle Road Petrol Station has been present since 1975.  A potential for historic and unrecorded spillages therefore exists.  Since extensive below ground works will be involved with the construction of the ETS within this area, the potential presence of any contaminated materials is of significance.

3.24     A focused, intrusive investigation is therefore required in order to define the full extent of any contamination within this area.  This will identify the need/scope of any remedial works and special disposal requirements to be defined.  The investigation and remediation will be carried out at the commencement of the engineering SI works prior to construction.

3.25     In view of the extent of hardstanding and likely presence of underground services within the area, boreholes are recommended.  Boreholes will enable soil samples to be collected and allow standpipes to be installed for groundwater monitoring.  All borehole locations will be dependent upon accessibility and the extent of below ground services.

3.26     Analysis of the samples will be dependent upon the findings of the intrusive investigation, but should include analysis for a range of volatile organic substances including BTEX (Benzene Toluene Extractable compounds), total petroleum hydrocarbons, pH, metals, sulphate and PAHs (Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons). Leaching tests such as TCLP (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure) may be required in the event that elevated concentrations of contaminants are detected.

3.27     Recommendations with regard to any remedial works may then be made based upon the results of the site investigation.  Such recommendations should include an outline design of any remedial works, broad cost estimates and consideration of potential liability/risk management in the long term. 

Waste Management

3.28     The construction and excavation activities of the East Rail extension create significant waste streams arising from drilling, blasting, site formation, station foundations, cut and cover tunnelling and subway formation.

3.29     Construction activities will result in the generation of a variety of wastes and can be divided into distinct categories based on their contents, as follows:

i.         excavated material;

ii.       excavated contaminated material (potentially in the vicinity of underground storage tanks, although not anticipated to be significant);

iii.      construction and demolition waste;

iv.     chemical waste; and

v.       general refuse.

Excavated Material will be reused within the site works where practicable. An estimated net bulk total of about 610,000m3 of excavated rock and soil material will arise.  Table 3.1 provides an estimate of the net excavation, the percentage rock content and the bulk excavation volume by source area.

3.30     Excavated material and construction waste will be transported off site by truck. Where appropriate the waste arising will be delivered to the existing barging point at Hung Hom Bay.  The works will introduce two trucks per minute onto local roads at the height of the construction, predicted in February 2002.


Table 3.1         Estimated Volumes of Excavation


Total Bulk Soil Volume (m3)

Total Bulk Rock Volume (m3)

Station West



Station West Concourse



Overrun Tunnel



Station East



Station East Concourse



CH870 - CH952



Chatham Road



Interchange Subway at Mody Road / Blenheim Avenue









3.31     During the course of this EIA the Fill Management Committee of CED has been consulted and advised that the quantity of material is manageable within their current disposal operations.  However, they have suggested that disposal to a public fill area should be utilised in the first instance on KCRC Projects, including West Rail construction.  The second opportunity for utilising public fill areas will arise from the year 2000 to late 2002 and would be to use the public filling site at Pak Shek Kok.  From the year 2003 onwards there are two options as follows:

i.         disposal at the Kwai Chung public barging point; and

ii.       disposal at reclamation sites in Tseung Kwan O.

3.32     Routing of the construction traffic will require careful planning to ensure that site entrances and exits are operated efficiently and do not result in unnecessary disturbance to pedestrians, tourists and other users of the area. 

3.33     Available information indicates that truck movements on existing roads can be absorbed within the available road capacities.   To confirm this prediction a Traffic Impact Assessment will be completed in the detailed design process, any relevant findings will be carried through to the environmental mitigation schedule. 

Cultural Heritage / Archaeology

3.34     The urban setting described above has characterised the study area for the recent past.  As a result, no archaeological examination has been undertaken.  The excavation of the original landforms is seen by the Antiquities and Monuments Office  (AMO) as a valuable opportunity for data collection.

3.35     Preliminary assessment has shown that a sandbar, often associated with prehistoric sites, lies within the study area.  Early photographs and maps place it somewhere in the area of Mody and Peking Roads.

3.36     The site survey has identified a number of buildings, sites and objects of known cultural and historic interest that are potentially either directly or indirectly impacted including:

i.         Signal Hill Tower;

ii.       two pre-World War II structures located downhill and west of the Tower;

iii.      a series of objects of cultural and historical importance on the Hill itself;

iv.     two historic, masonry retaining walls on the south side of the Hill; and

v.       several vernacular buildings and culturally significant objects of the early 20th century, located along or near Mody Road.

3.37     Signal Hill, also known in English as Blackhead's Hill and in Chinese as Tai Pau Mai, has been a significant landscape feature of southern Kowloon for centuries.  Maps and photographs from as early as the 1840s, suggest that the hill, nearly 40 metres high, was one of three or four higher elevations at the headlands of southern Kowloon.  The southern base of the hill had "an extensive deep water frontage."

3.38     Signal Hill Tower is located on Signal Hill immediately to the north of the proposed ETS.  The tower appears on the AMO's list of historic buildings as Grade 2 (AMO Ref: 770006).  It was rebuilt in 1907 to house the time-ball which had previously been located at the Marine Police Headquarters nearby.   No construction activities will infringe upon the surface of Signal Hill, however, a bored tunnel will be constructed underneath the Hill.

3.39     The Signal Hill Tower, like several other surviving Hong Kong monuments of that period, is an Edwardian-style structure set within the context of complex artistic trends in contemporary Britain (1890-1914).

3.40     On top of  Signal Hill and sloping to the west there are also several structures, sites and objects of cultural interest including:

i.         two pre-World War II brick structures west and downhill of the Tower;

ii.       four concrete gun emplacements within the arc of the former battery;

iii.      an historic iron winch, uncovered and located behind a modern steel fence to the east of the Tower;

iv.     several other significant remnants (e.g., bolts, anchors and concrete slabs) associated with the masts, guide wires and hoisting operations that historically occurred at the site;

v.       two stone cubes inscribed with “W.D.L. 64”, indicating evidence of the site’s historic status as “War Department Lands”; and

vi.     several remains of foundations, as well as brick and concrete rubble from demolished, historic outbuildings.

Potential Cultural Heritage Impacts

3.41     There is potential for physical damage to the structure and/or integrity of Signal Hill Tower, retaining walls, battery, two pre-World War II structures and other cultural heritage sites or objects on the hill described above.  However, no damage is predicted from tunnelling works or controlled blasting.  Thus, practical mitigation is appropriate to ensure the protection of these sites.

3.42     Recommended mitigation measures include :

i.         minimise all physical disturbance to Signal Hill caused by the construction work;

ii.       minimise damage to structures and objects on Signal Hill by restricting works areas / access, and undertake structural monitoring throughout the construction period;

iii.      further archaeological excavation and the maintenance of cultural heritage sites in the Study Area.

3.43     It is accepted by the AMO that preservation in situ of any archaeological finds, whether prehistoric or historical, would not be feasible.  However, preservation by record  i.e. recovery and documentation of finds, would be required.

3.44     A programme is recommended to be integrated into the engineering works schedule.  It will comprise of three elements:

i.         Testing of any areas adjacent to Signal Hill affected by works;

ii.       Monitoring of material as it is excavated during engineering works; and

iii.      Retrieval of material from any underlying deposits of original landform revealed by excavation.

3.45     It is recommended that a programme of monitoring be used to systematically observe the excavations associated with construction. The areas where this will be required include :

i.         Area of pre-1924 reclamation to the east of Signal Hill;

ii.       Area of pre-1924 reclamation and original landforms along Middle Road; and

iii.      Areas of pre-1924 reclamation and original landforms along Mody and Blenheim Roads and their intersections with Hanoi and Cornwall Roads.

Existing Landscape and Visual Context

General Landscape Context

3.46     The site runs linearly along the southern edge of the Kowloon peninsula from Hung Hom Station to Nathan Road. To the east of the site is the Hong Kong Coliseum and the International Mailing Centre, beyond which are the ongoing development areas of Hung Hom. Immediately west of Hung Hom Station is the toll plaza for the CHT. As the alignment proceeds along Salisbury Road it is bounded by a series of hotels and commercial buildings to the north and Victoria Harbour to the south. Beyond the row of hotels is the commercial centre of Tsim Sha Tsui East.

3.47     A comprehensive tree assessment of the study area was undertaken in November 1999.  The surveyors found that there were 1052 trees within the study area (including 8 dead trees), of these 540 will be affected by the scheme, including the Highway works:

3.48     The results of the survey were as follows:

i.         480 trees would be unaffected.

ii.       24 trees would be retained and pruned (root and branch);

iii.      307 trees would be transplanted; and

iv.     233 trees felled (plus 8 dead trees)

3.49     There are two Champion Trees within the study area, tree number 250 – Ficus microcarpa and tree number 251 – Ficus virens; and a further two in close proximity to the study area boundary: tree number 248 – Phoenix dactylifera and tree number 249 – Ficus microcarpa.  Only tree no. 251 lies within the construction area and this tree will be protected during the construction work and incorporated as part of the final landscape design.  On completion of the project there will be in excess of 1500 trees in the Project area.

3.50     The construction of the rail extension will cause landscape impacts due to the following :

i.         disturbance and loss of existing vegetation including mature trees;

ii.       disturbance and temporary loss of public open space;

iii.      temporary disruption to existing pedestrian circulation; and

iv.     modifications to the local topography.

3.51     Key VSRs include hotels and commercial buildings along the Salisbury Road section, who have open views south over the Harbour. To the west of this section the views are generally enclosed by the density of high-rise buildings.

3.52     Areas of the TST east promenade and Wing On Plaza Garden will be reprovisioned as landscaped open spaces on completion of works.  The Middle Road Playground would be partially occupied by the above ground structure of the ETS Station.  However, the proposals would create a landscaped deck which would facilitate reprovisioning of the garden and playground areas.  The actual permanent loss of open space is minimal, estimated at 1,500m2.

3.53     Locations for tree transplanting have been identified for all 307 trees and the positions have been agreed with the Leisure and Cultural Services department.

3.54     A Tree Survey Report will be submitted separately detailing every tree affected, transplanting locations and also the proposed compensatory planting.

3.55     Site specific landscape and visual mitigation has been recommended, examples include:

i.         Hoarding of working areas, particularly those adjacent to the TST promenade.

ii.       Careful design of the proposed site working areas to reduce unnecessary landscape and adverse visual impacts, this would include the design of site lighting to avoid light spillage and glare.

iii.      Good site management to ensure the orderly storage of materials and machinery.

iv.     Strictly controlled working hours to reduce unnecessary impacts during evening hours and at weekends particularly to the hotels and commercial premises, which line the waterfront.

v.       The maintenance of pedestrian access where possible through the careful design of construction activity or through the provision of temporary footpath routes. This  includes the existing pedestrian walkway along the TST promenade, which is an important recreational resource.  Alternative access routes would be provided to mitigate the loss of the public footbridges.

vi.     The protection of existing vegetation which is to be retained particularly on Signal Hill and on the TST promenade. Specific detailed mitigation is recommended for the Champion Tree no.251.

vii.    The protection of hard paved areas from construction activity particularly those on the promenade, which are to be retained.

3.56     The design principles outlined below form the basis of the mitigation measures to be employed throughout the proposed scheme, minimising adverse landscape and visual impacts, and acting as a catalyst for the creation of beneficial impacts.

i.         Existing facilities affected by the proposals would, where possible, be reprovided.

ii.       There would be a significant loss of existing vegetation as a result of the construction works, although every effort has been made to retain mature trees in-situ in the first instance and where this is not possible to transplant the best of the remaining trees. The proposed redesign of the reprovisioned public open spaces has where practicable, incorporated semi-mature tree planting.

iii.      Where the requirement for transplanting would be unavoidable the preparation works would commence at the earliest opportunity.

iv.     All areas of disturbed vegetation would be reinstated at the earliest opportunity using semi-mature trees and mass planting of large sized shrubs, where possible, to create a more instant effect.

v.       The sites of ancillary structures such as vent shafts would be selected to minimise landscape and visual intrusion.

vi.     Alterations to the proposed railway alignment has, where practicable been responsive to the existing environment.

vii.    The landscape adjacent to retaining structures, elevated roads and at tunnel portals would be carefully designed to integrate them visually into the existing landscape. Planting would be used to soften the hard edges of engineered structures and reduce their residual impacts.

viii.  Soft landscape proposals would be used where the situation allows bold and robust colour, texture and form to provide an interesting visual environment. Planting themes would where required be responsive to site context and provide continuity with existing landscape themes. This may be expressed in the choice of tree species or the colour of foliage.

ix.     The external appearance of above ground structures would be carefully detailed to ensure either visual integration into the local landscape or follow the design concept laid down for the main station superstructure depending on the location. The form and surface detailing of the station and vent structures have been carefully designed to reduce their apparent visual mass.  Local materials would be used to minimise visual intrusion.

x.       Station entrances and forecourts would be left uncluttered allowing uninterrupted freedom of movement and passenger circulation.

3.57     Every effort will be made to enhance the environment.  Over 1000 new trees will be planted, in addition to the 504 remaining in the Project area.

3.58     The reinstatement and enhanced promenade along the waterfront of Salisbury Road  will form the setting for a large water feature based on a dragon theme.

3.59     Wing On Plaza Garden:  The main part of the garden would be reconstructed over the subterranean eastern section of the proposed station.  The operation of the station entrance in the northern part of the park will channel passengers away from the park area. As a positive impact of the works a more dynamic design approach has been adopted for the redesign of the garden, including 238 new trees.

3.60     Middle Road Children’s Playground:  The general aim for this area is to reinstate as many of the existing facilities as possible, to recreate a green space with a higher landscape quality than that which currently exists, to preserve the area’s historic features and to improve the accessibility of Signal Hill.

3.61     The ETS design provides a landscaped deck on the roof of the station building. The deck will be at +15mPD or 10m above street level. This has been designed to minimise impacts on views from the Signal Hill Garden. The deck would maximise the area of visible planting, thus further reducing the apparent visual mass of the structure. The newly formed landscape would be utilised for a variety of purposes, including a tai chi platform and for replacement playground areas. Following the completion of the station building the existing park facilities would be reinstated.  Figure 2.1 provides a photomontage of the Middle Road Children’s Playground on full restoration.

3.62     Other than the ETS the only significant above ground permanent structure is the railway extending from Hung Hom Station to the CHT.  In the context of the existing views with the new Hung Hom bypass in particular, the impacts are considered acceptable with the mitigation proposed.


3.63     Explosives may be used for excavation blasting during the construction period. These will be delivered to the site each day and there will be no storage on site.  In accordance with the Brief no hazard assessment is therefore required.

4.         EIA Mitigation Implementation

4.1       A number of mechanisms have been developed to ensure the contractor’s environmental performance is implemented correctly and construction activities comply with the relevant environmental requirements and criteria.  They are:

i.         Environmental Management System (EMS);

ii.       Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and Environmental Mitigation Implementation Schedule (EMIS); and

iii.      Environmental Monitoring and Audit (EM&A) Programme

4.2       It is the responsibility of all parties including the contractor, the Engineer and the Independent Environmental Checker to ensure that the EMS, EMP, EMIS and the EM&A programme is implemented professionally in a timely fashion so that nuisance and pollution are avoided or kept to a minimum.

KCRC’s Project Environmental Management

4.3       An enhanced inspection process is recommended to pro-actively avoid environmental problems wherever practicable, and to ensure that all agreed mitigation is employed to minimise nuisance and disturbance during the construction. To facilitate this the KCRC Environmental Manager will review the Contractor’s work programme in advance to ensure that the appropriate mitigation is in place prior to the commencement of construction works and to provide a warning of potential environmental problems.  In addition KCRC’s Community Liaison Office will provide a well publicised telephone help line to receive and respond to complaints or enquiries from the public and other affected parties.

Waste Management Plan

4.4       A Waste Management Plan will be prepared for each contract, setting out clear waste management objectives.  This will include detailed procedures for waste storage, transportation and disposal, as well as monitoring and corrective action plans.

5.         Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1       In this EIA predicted potential impacts have been described and evaluated, and recommendations have been made for their resolution or minimisation.

5.2       The key environmental issues are anticipated to arise during the construction phase of the Project and thus, a worst case scenario is that such impacts will occur throughout the entire four year construction period.  Construction works in the urban area of Tsim Sha Tsui will create significant nuisance impacts.  Residual impacts will include temporary landscape and visual impacts, and a temporary loss of open space in the Middle Road Children’s Playground and Wing On Plaza Garden.

5.3       Disposal of excavated waste off-site by truck is the recommended option.  It is anticipated that excavated waste will be transferred to the existing Hung Hom Bay barging point and feasible traffic routings have been presented.

5.4       A detailed tree assessment was completed in November 1999, indicating that 540 trees will be removed for the Project.  Successful mitigation of this significant impact will be achieved by a comprehensive tree compensation programme.  This recommends transplanting 307 trees of those removed and planting 1,075 new trees.  Locations for transplanting and species for replanting have been agreed with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

5.5       Pedestrian interchange subway construction will be undertaken sequentially to minimise the duration of nuisance impacts and noise.  In construction areas adjacent to residential properties, if it is impossible to maintain noise within acceptable levels at the building facades, KCRC have committed to providing ITR prior to noisy construction activities commencing.

5.6       The EIA has identified some potential for archaeological finds within the study area due to previous reclamation and construction activities at the Tsim Sha Tsui peninsula resulting in loss of original shoreline areas.  A programme of monitoring and testing is recommended in tandem with construction activities to maximise the recovery of artefacts.  In addition, special precautions have been recommended to ensure that the archaeological and historically important areas of Signal Hill are not damaged during construction.  Extreme care is required for excavation and blasting works close to Signal Hill.  Construction of a bored tunnel through Signal Hill is feasible and not predicted to have any structural impact on the Signal Hill Tower.

5.7       In the operational phase of the works the most significant impact of the Project is the 9 metres above original ground station structure, the top of which will be landscaped to reprovision the Middle Road Children’s Playground.  Compensatory planting of new trees will mitigate visual and landscape impacts to acceptable levels. Views of Signal Hill will be altered through these fundamental changes in landscape setting, but the quality of the overall landscape will be maintained.

5.8       The Project has significant positive impacts through the provision of greatly improved public transportation in Hong Kong.  The new rail line will help to relieve the existing congestion at the KCR - MTR interchange at Kowloon Tong.  In addition, the road traffic volume between Hung Hom and Tsim Sha Tsui is likely to decrease due to the convenience of this direct rail link.

5.9       Connections with the MTR in Tsim Sha Tsui provide important pedestrian routes and reduced travel times to and from the Kowloon peninsula. This is of particular benefit to the public who commute daily to Kowloon and Hong Kong from the New Territories.

5.10     From an historical perspective, the Project presents an opportunity to develop a Heritage Centre / museum incorporated into the Station design.