Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has attributed the delay of infrastructure projects – in particular the construction of a link road that would serve as an emergency substitute for the Tsing Ma bridge – to judicial review actions, following the transport chaos that ensued from the closure of all the bridge’s lanes on Friday, RTHK reported.
Leung, speaking to the media prior to the Executive Council meeting on Tuesday morning, said the SAR government takes infrastructure projects very seriously. “The government can’t push these projects forward just because we want to do so… in the past, the commencement dates of many of the projects have been delayed because there are those who oppose them or because of judicial review actions.”
“For example, the construction of the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link, which could act as a substitute for Tsing Ma Bridge, has been delayed for a year because of the judicial review action against the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge – otherwise the road link could be in use in two years from now, rather than three.”
The comments came after all road and rail access to and from Tung Chung and the airport was suspended on Friday evening because a boat had collided with the Kap Shui Mun Bridge. All lanes of the Tsing Ma Bridge was closed, and the public was advised to take the Central-Discovery Bay ferry and an interchange bus to get to the airport or Tung Chung. However, when completed, the Tuen Mun–Chek Lap Kok Link would connect the New Territories and Lantau, and provide a shorter-distance alternative to the Lantau Link.
The link road is a part of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge Boundary Crossing Facilities, a project which saw its commencement date pushed back in 2011, seemingly due to a judicial review on the Environmental Impact Assessment reports on the bridge. The Civic Party, which has been accused of being “behind” the judicial review, said that the project could not have commenced late 2010 as scheduled with or without the lawsuit, and that the government was misleading the public by blaming its own delays on judicial review.