What road professionals need to know about Hong Kong:-
A Maxim Recruitment overview of Hong Kong’s improving roads market.
As shown in the previous article, what rail professionals need to know about Hong Kong, we discussed the state of Hong Kong’s rail transport system, very impressive but in need of improvement. The same can not be said for the road system in Hong Kong. A backward, historical and impractical system that is in desperate need of reform. The Hong Kong Government has addressed this and approved plans for one of the most problematic roads in the region.
This leads us to the Tuen Mun Road project. It is part of Hong Kong's Route 9, which circumnavigates the New Territories. Built in 1977, it was once the major route joining the northwest New Territories to Kowloon and is known for its frequent traffic jams and road accidents due to its early design and heavy usage. The Hong Kong government has called for a massive extension and redevelopments to take place to correct the Tuen Mun Road and increase the efficiency to one of the most heavily used roads in Hong Kong.
The project plans to improve Hong Kong’s first high speed road and break up congestion. The Highways Department has approved plans and construction began in 2008 detailing extensive reconstruction works to the Tuen Mun Road that will include widening traffic lanes, improving horizontal curvatures and sightlines, and the installation of noise barriers.
Split up into two different contracts, the first is a ‘reconstruction and improvement of Tuen Mun Road – Eastern Section’. The contract comprises 6.85km dual lane carriage-way from Tsuen Wan to Tsing Lung Tau and aims to widen traffic lanes, widen highway structures such as vehicular bridges, box culverts and underpasses as well as improving the merging & diverging arrangement at Sham Tseng interchange.
The second contract ‘reconstruction and improvement of Tuen Mun Road – Tai Lam Section’ comprises four kilometers of a dual three lane carriageway from Siu Lam to Tsing Lung Tau has the same plans as the first contract, primarily to re-align and bring it to current international expressway standards as well as modifying the existing seawall. Both contracts plan to install a noise barrier to prevent noise pollution to the bustling region.
The famous road was made cheaply and has been hazardous since its completion in 1977. The steep terrain on which the road was built winds around the coastline and made the construction difficult. It required several viaducts and cuttings to be added, so to reduce construction costs the carriageways were made narrow and there are also blind spots. Many accidents have occurred and according to Hong Kong folklore it is said to be haunted from the victims of previous accidents. With over 100 cases of ghosts appearing on the road and even taking control of the cars!
The Tuen Mun Road is currently being redeveloped to extend the amount of lanes and to meet international standards. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2014 and the contractors on the project are seeking UK expatriates as well as Hong Kong nationals to take on these construction jobs in Hong Kong . Not only would you be working on one of Hong Kong’s major roads (and troublesome) but you would be employed in the luxurious and much sought after area of Hong Kong. Home to spectacular beaches, a world renowned city and an ever growing business reputation. Road professionals who are interested in prestigious and challenging projects would do well to find better than the Tuen Mun Road projects in Hong Kong.
By Lewis Ashenden