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Currently the east-west traffic movements across central Kowloon are primarily served by Lung Cheung Road, Boundary Street, Prince Edward Road West, Argyle Street, Waterloo Road, Gascoigne Road Flyover and Chatham Road North, which are already close to/over their full capacity at peak hours. Traffic congestion also poses difficulties for vehicles from local road networks merging into these major corridors, leading to congestion in adjacent areas. Central Kowloon Route (“CKR”), as an alternative express route bypassing the congested central Kowloon area, significantly reduces the journey time.

The CKR is a dual three-lane carriageway with a total length of 4.7km, linking Yau Ma Tei Interchange of West Kowloon with Kai Tak Development Area and road network of Kowloon Bay, forming a trunk road across central Kowloon. The CKR is an alternative express route, alleviating the traffic congestion of the existing major east-west transport corridors in central Kowloon. By constructing CKR, the surrounding environment will be improved, with greening and landscaping elements, re-provision of public facilities, and conservation of cultural heritage. Necessary environmental protection measures will also be implemented during the construction period.

Funding approval for CKR was obtained from the Finance Committee in 2017. The estimated project cost is about HK$42 billion. The CKR is being constructed under eight contracts.

On-going Contracts & Construction Progress

Yau Ma Tei West
1) Excavation of depressed road at Yau Cheung Road works site is in progress.
2) Construction of landscaped deck at Hoi Wang Road works site is in progress.
3) Construction of ventilation adit and connection bridges at Lin Cheung Road works site are in progress.

Yau Ma Tei East
1) Construction of cut-and-cover tunnel is in progress.
2) Reprovisioning of Gascoigne Road Flyover is in progress.
3) Demolition of Yau Ma Tei Carpark Building is in progress.

Central Tunnel
1) Drill and blast works at Yau Ma Tei access shaft works sites are in progress.
2) Tunnel lining works at Ho Man Tin access shaft works sites are in progress.
3) Tunnel lining works at Ma Tau Kok access shaft works sites are in progress.

Ho Man Tin Access Shaft
Works completed in September 2019.

Kai Tak West
1) Ma Tau Kok – Excavation and lateral support works for cut and cover tunnel is in progress.
2) Kowloon Bay – Excavation and lateral support works, base slab construction works and waterproofing works for Stage 2 Underwater Tunnel are in progress.
3) Kai Tak – The installation of road facilities at cut and cover tunnel, depressed road and underpass are in progress.

Kai Tak East
1) Kai Tak River works site – Bridge deck construction for vehicular bridges across Kai Tak River is in progress.
2) Kai Tak Interchange works site – Construction of abutment, pier and bridge deck for vehicular bridges and construction of the underpasses and retaining walls are in progress.

Buildings, Electrical and Mechanical Works
1) Structural works for Yau Ma Tei Ventilation Building.
2) Structural works for Ho Man Tin Ventilation Building is anticipated to be commenced upon completion of the excavation works.
3) Structural works for Kai Tak Ventilation Building and Administration Building.

Innovative Construction Methods

The Central Kowloon Route project team have been actively promoting the use of innovative construction technologies with a dedication to the safest and highest quality construction. The outstanding performance has been recognized by the industry. The CKR project team received the first prize in the local construction safety
category of the 2022 CIC Innovation Award and the gold award in the project category of the Hong Kong Construction Common Data Environment Award respectively, in recognition of the team’s innovative initiatives to advance project management, work safety, efficiency and productivity.

Automatic Canopy Installation System (ACIS)
Under the Central Tunnel contract, the Contractor is required to carry out, amongst other things, the construction of an approximately 2.8km-long dual 3-lane tunnel. In order to enhance safety performance and to avoid risk of personal injury during the installation of temporary canopy supports at fault zones and tunnel portals, the project team has pursued an alternative construction methodology, namely automatic canopy installation system, which reduces labour intensiveness of the canopy installation process. This system provides a fully mechanised installation of canopy pipes which allows remote controlled operation for the safe connection of canopy pipes. Meanwhile, it saves the workers from direct contact with the moving hydraulic drilling machine. It is worth mentioning the system is the first-ever application in Hong Kong.

NAMI's Self-Compacting Backfill Material
“Self-compacting backfill material” is a controlled flowable backfill material jointly developed by the Highways Department and NAMI. Its self-levelling and low strength characteristics could expedite the backfilling process by eliminating the need for compaction and sand replacement test. This material can also be placed during wet condition and heavy rain. Comparing with the use of “Self-compacting backfill material” with conventional soil backfill, “Self-compacting backfill material” has a better performance on efficiency, safety, environmental, dependence on spacious area and dependence on manpower or machineries.

6 nos. of trials were successfully conducted from September 2020 to April 2021 at various locations of Kai Fuk Road Footbridge and Underpass S21. 300m3 in total volume of NAMI’s self-compacting backfill material was adopted. Self-compacting backfill material has better performance in terms of efficiency, operation cost, spatial requirement, resources/manpower, machinery, safety and environmental performance than conventional soil backfill.

Building Information Modelling (BIM)
BIM is adopted for generating three-dimensional models by digital representation throughout the construction period, facilitating the project team in making accurate judgments. BIM demonstrates actual building components of the whole structure by combining numerous working drawings and information, which enables the provision of relevant information to the project team during the construction stage. It can increase certainty, provide low-risk designs, reduce wastage, improve delivery on our projects, and enhance communications among the project team.

Through BIM, the project team perform a variety of analysis to enhance the construction quality by optimising the planning and design as well as improving coordination.

Over-height Vehicle Detection System (OVDS)
Connection bridges will be constructed to link up the Central Kowloon Route with West Kowloon Highway and Lin Cheung Road. Erection of steel portal frames across Lin Cheung Road is necessary during the construction of the connection bridges. To prevent over-height vehicles from hitting the erected portal frames and ensure the safety of the workers, an OVDS is installed at Lin Cheung Road.

When an over-height vehicle is detected, the LED warning message displays, sirens and flashing lights will be switched on to alert the driver of the over-height vehicle to slow down and park the vehicle at the emergency stopping area under the assistance of site personnel. The implementation of the OVDS can prevent hitting of the portal frames by over-height vehicles and safeguard the workers.

Source of Information and Picture:
Central Kowloon Route Website of Highways Department

Complimentary copies available to members of the following associations:

The Hong Kong Construction Association
Macau Coustruction Association
Hong Kong General Building Contractors Association
Hong Kong Institute of Utility Specialists
China Hongkong Society for Trenchless Technology Association
Hong Kong Construction Materials Association Limited
Contractor's Authorised Signatory Association
Hong Kong Construction Machinery Association