Clear The Air News Blog Rotating Header Image

June 5th, 2008:

Underground Option For Roads

Updated on Jun 05, 2008 – SCMP

Temporary reclamation for the Central-Wan Chai bypass was required for the road to run below the seabed, across the former cargo-handling basin and Causeway Bay typhoon shelter. A better option is for the road to run just below ground level, mostly on land reclaimed along the existing shoreline, but also cutting corners by going underneath the existing Hung Hing Road sewage facilities and Cross-Harbour Tunnel access ramp.

Such reclamation would only be as wide as the road itself with, say, steel casing and extra concrete protection on the seaward side. Above ground would be the waterfront promenade and marine-related amenities slated for the Wan Chai waterfront. Since the High Court ruling against temporary reclamation would not apply, work on the bypass and the Sha Tin-Central rail link could proceed as scheduled.

Longer term, the Island Eastern Corridor should be reprovisioned underground using the same methods. The island eastern harbourfront would be rejuvenated. Air quality would also improve as scrubber systems removed most of the pollutants from vehicle exhausts.

More major roads should run underground starting with P2, the planned 40-metre-wide highway that would make it difficult to walk to the new Central waterfront.

Higher construction costs would be offset by the value of surface land released and by improvements to air quality, noise level, urban landscape and pedestrian accessibility.

For instance, in Central and Wan Chai, on completion of the bypass and P2, Connaught, Harcourt and Gloucester roads could go underground resulting in a more amenable harbourfront.

James Lee, Kowloon Tong

World Environment Day

Thursday, 5/6/08

New Zealand is hosting World Environment Day 2008 in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on June 5.

The theme for World Environment Day 2008 is climate change with a focus on moving towards a low carbon economy and lifestyle. “Kick the Habit” (the ‘carbon’ habit) is the international slogan for the event. Wellington is the nominated host city; however, this will be a national event with a wide range of community based regional activities. More information on World Environment Day events in New Zealand and internationally can be found on the Ministry for the Environment{external link} website.