Hong Kong’s existing road network is among the most heavily used in the world. With a tightly packed population and an ever expanding number of car owners, Hong Kong's roads have one of the highest vehicle densities in the world.
With over 600,000 licensed vehicles and approximately 2000 kilometres of roads -The high vehicle density, combined with the difficult terrain and the dense building development, imposes a constant challenge to the road builders to cope with the ever increasing transport demands.
The current road network consists of major road tunnels, flyovers, bridges, footbridges and subways to keep both people and goods on the move. With an ever present stream of traffic congestion the Hong Kong Government Highways Department faces a constant need to develop new road systems to cope with the increasing demand. There have been over 25 highway projects completed in the last 10 years alone and there are numerous future projects under planning and design. The steady flow of new highway projects has provided a healthy work load for civil engineering contractors.
Extensive Use of Bridges in Hong Kong’s Road Network
Large scale bridges play a key role in Hong Kong’s highways system and will be essential to the future development of transports networks in to mainland China and beyond. Currently there are already 11 major existing bridges in Hong Kong the largest of which being the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor link which was opened in 2007. More recently the large scale Stonecutters Bridge was opened in 2009. This is a high level cable-stayed bridge connecting Nam Wan Kok, Tsing Yi island and Stonecutters Island. At the time of construction this was the second longest cable-stayed span in the world. Future projects are already in the construction phase, the most well known of which is the ambitious Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge which consists of a series of bridges and tunnels that will connect Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai, three major cities on the in East Asia. The proposed 50 km link is expected to cost close to US$11 billion. The bridge is due for completion in 2015 and will open in 2016.
With the extensive use of bridges within the Hong Kong highway system there is an ever increasing demand for experienced structural engineers, geotechnical specialists, construction managers, project directors, quantity surveyors and commercial managers to move these projects towards completion. This demand comes from both specialist bridge building contractors and established local Hong Kong general contractors, with a need for both expatriate and Cantonese professionals.
Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Bridge
Let’s take a closer look at the development of the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Bridge, one the largest bridges construction projects in the world. Already well under construction the bridge is designed to meet the demand of passenger and freight land transport among Hong Kong, the Mainland (particularly the region of Pearl River West) and Macao. It will be the first new land transport link between the east and west coasts of the Pearl River, sprouting economic and sustainable development in the three places. The Main Bridge will be a dual 3-lane carriageway with a bridge/tunnel structure. It will run from the artificial island off Gongbei of Zhuhai to another artificial island just west of the HKSAR boundary.
The whole project is estimated to cost RMB$38.1 billion (with funding support from Hong Kong amongst the three governments is HK$9,046.5 million). Construction work is well under way and the main contractors involved are heavily recruiting to meet the 2016 target opening date.
With an ever increasing demand for new transport networks in Hong Kong the future looks bright for infrastructure and road network construction projects. If you’re an engineer or quantity surveyor with a background in infrastructure projects and would like to know more about the job opportunities available in Hong Kong please get in contact.