The completion of the nine-kilometre Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link, part of the HK$45 billion Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project, has been delayed.

The Highways Department issued a statement on Monday which said that “challenges in the construction and in meeting the programme schedule have been encountered,” citing technical difficulties and a tight construction programme as reasons for the delay. It did not mention when the project would be completed.

Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link southern section. Photo: Highways Department.

The main bridge is not affected by the delay, and is due to be completed in 2017 as planned, the statement said.

The technical difficulties the project faced include the placement of sub-sea tunnel segments which “can only proceed under prerequisite wind speed and under-water current conditions.” 2,600 deck segments were also required to be cast by various construction plants within a tight construction programme.

The department also cited the construction site spanning major transportation links as reasons for the delay. The project spans the Tung Chung Navigation Channel and the Airport Express. It is also close to the airport, meaning it must comply with height restrictions.

Construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. File Photo: GovHK

The 1.6-kilometre southern section of the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link was originally set to be completed alongside the main bridge, connecting the border crossing facilities on the artificial island east of the airport to north Lantau. The northern section connecting the North West New Territories to the artificial island was set to be completed in 2018.

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Stanley Leung

Stanley is a Media and Communications graduate from Goldsmiths College in London. He takes particular interest in visual journalism, having produced photographic and video work on a number of social and political issues. He has also interned at the current affairs service of RTHK’s TV division.