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Old January 25th, 2006, 12:40 AM   #81
hkskyline
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Activists gearing up for action on Tamar
23 January 2006
South China Morning Post

Harbour activists are gearing up for a fresh campaign against plans for a new government headquarters at Tamar.

Citizen Envisioning @Harbour convenor Albert Lai Kwong-tak said a number of civic groups are planning to work together to block the government from going ahead with the Tamar proposal.

He said civic groups include Designing Hong Kong Harbour District and the Society for Protection of the Harbour.

"It is going to be one of the rare unified actions between civic groups and the business sector. We are determined to start a public debate on the subject. We have strong reservations against the plan," Mr Lai said.

They will try to raise their objections in the legislature on the subcommittee tasked to review planning of the Central waterfront.

Independent legislator Kwok Ka-ki hopes the subcommittee will become a platform for the public to raise concerns about the government's plan.

"We also hope the government can provide more information on the proposal. The government wants Legco to approve funding for the project, but it is unwilling to provide information," he said.

The government wants to build a new headquarters at Tamar and has started a prequalification test in which construction companies can submit designs, and technical and financial capabilities.

It plans to consult the Legislative Council and seek funding approval for the Tamar project in the second quarter of this year.

Mr Kwok and Hong Kong Institute of Architects' vice-president Vincent Ng Wing-shun have given an audio interview on their views on the government's plan to redevelop the Tamar site.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 11:11 AM   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aboveday

That looks nice. Interesting to see how far they'll push back the waterfront. I think a supertall communications/restuarant/observation tower would be a great addition to the site. A tower won't really obstruct the harbor view for other building occupants.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 07:03 AM   #83
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Tycoons want discussions with Tsang to boost harbour planning
23 January 2006
South China Morning Post

A group of leading tycoons wants a meeting with Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to urge him to improve planning in Victoria Harbour.

Leaders of the Harbour Business Forum, a coalition formed by 120 leading companies and business groups, have decided to ask Mr Tsang for a meeting after the Lunar New Year to raise their concerns over developments along the harbour front.

Hongkong Bank chief Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen, and leaders from Standard Chartered Bank, Jardine Matheson and the Swire Group are understood to be among those who would attend.

The group was formed in June last year. Its patron members also include Sun Hung Kai Properties, Wharf (Holdings), Citic Pacific, the Kadoorie Group, the Kerry Group, BNP Paribas and the Lai Sun Group.

Paul Zimmerman, an executive committee member of the coalition, said a meeting was being arranged and the group would make a presentation to the administration.

"Their message is to ask the government to protect our harbour, to have some good planning and to get somebody to be in charge of the harbour. The meeting will not be about the development of a particular site."

A source from the business coalition said the companies were mainly concerned with huge "ground scrapers" - commercial developments on the new Central reclamation area. Some other corporations were also worried that the new government headquarters on the Tamar site could be too large.

Up to 18.73 hectares will be reclaimed off the Central waterfront when work is completed, with commercial sites taking about five hectares. A cluster of commercial buildings up to 10 storeys high will be built near Statue Square.

"We will be more vocal if the chief executive ignores our demands for good harbour planning," Mr Zimmerman said.

The coalition is concerned over the lack of a long-term vision for the design of the harbour and harbourfront districts. It is also unhappy over the lack of co-ordination between 17 government departments involved in harbour developments.

Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming-yeung and his bureau's permanent secretary, Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan, made a presentation on the Central reclamation plan to leaders of the coalition in September. But they failed to secure the coalition's support. If a meeting takes place next month it would coincide with two other harbour events. A Legislative Council subcommittee will begin meeting in February to review planning of the Central waterfront, including the Tamar site.

The Town Planning Board will also examine a request from lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki to turn the Tamar site into a park.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 12:56 AM   #84
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Parties unite in demand for Tamar report
Study results vital to debate on whether government headquarters move should go ahead, says lawmaker
6 February 2006
South China Morning Post

Political parties are united in demanding the release of the confidential report that says it is feasible to keep the government headquarters on the present site.

The chairman of the Democratic Party, Lee Wing-tat, said the party would press for disclosure of the report and condemned the information being put out by the government as "sketchy".

Article 45 Concern Group lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit said the government should release all studies it had made about resolving overcrowding at the government headquarters.

Choy So-yuk, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said: "The government should not hide any information from the public."

The parties have expressed different views on the project during the debate over the Tamar plan but all three have called for a new round of consultation.

The Democratic Party has opposed the move outright, the DAB has proposed that the headquarters be moved to Kai Tak and the barrister-led Article 45 Group has called for a comprehensive review of planning in Central.

"We will press the government to release every bit of relevant information," Mr Lee said.

"The data the government is releasing now is sketchy. For example, it has never explained why all bureaus need to be in the government headquarters."

He said he saw no reason why offices could not be moved to private premises while the Central site was being renovated.

Mr Leong said the study was important to the issue and must be released.

"The community has changed. The people of Hong Kong do not want to see every inch of their land go to auction in exchange for money," he said. "The government must let the public know the rationale of their decision so it must release all relevant information.

"Government Hill is green and tranquil; the public doesn't want to see it filled by skyscrapers.

"If the government thinks that Legco lacks space, it should just move Legco to Tamar. But why do they have to move the government headquarters there?"

Ms Choy said it was "common sense" that Tamar was "not the one and only solution". When a decision was made about whether or where to move the headquarters, "things such as its impact on traffic, noise pollution and the environment issues should be taken into account".

"We should have a balance sheet and check whether society will gain or lose because of this development," she said.
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Old February 6th, 2006, 06:28 AM   #85
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維港築新海堤減輕波浪
06/02/2006



【本報訊】維多利亞港近年愈來愈大浪,土木工程拓展署高級工程師彭偉成指出,由於港內海上交通頻繁以致「船浪」續年加強。為解決大浪問題,該署決定引入新式的「多孔重力式消波海堤」,減低風浪及船浪的反射波高度可高達五成,目前正進行填海的中環及灣仔區將會採用這種新設計海堤。

反射波高度減五成
彭偉成解釋,維港的內港波浪起伏主因是海上交通日趨頻繁、高速船隻行駛時容易產生波浪,而現有的垂直海堤把大部分波浪反射回港內,令海面上的船隻十分顛簸。為減輕大浪問題,近年按研究報告的建議引入新式消波海堤。

新海堤的設計會在防波堤外牆上設置更多圓孔,讓海浪進出堤內的消波室,新海堤外形有如蜂巢。消波室的作用是吸收海浪的能量,減少反射回海面,海堤的背部安裝了扶壁,加強消波室的穩定性。該署亦在○二及○三年,分別在青衣島北岸及西九龍填海區興建這種新海堤作出測試,證實新海堤可減少海浪的反射波高度達五成,當中青衣新海堤全長七十米,建造費達五百萬元。

彭偉成謂,現正進行填海的中環、灣仔區,岸邊亦正興建一道設計類同的海堤,並將外牆上的圓孔改為直條坑紋,加上海事處定期調節港口船速限制,維港的波浪可望減少。研究又顯示,波浪的高度會隨維港內船舶活動而改變,波浪最高的時段是早上七時至八時及下午五時至六時;若把維港分為小、中、大及強浪四個波浪區域,維港中區至灣仔一帶屬中浪區,波高約三十至四十厘米。
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Old February 6th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #86
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I was wondering how expensive it is to do land reclamation.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 05:33 AM   #87
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No "secret report" on Tamar Development Project
Monday, February 6, 2006
Government Press Release

A Government spokesman today (February 6) dismissed as misleading a newspaper report that the Government has been withholding "a secret report" recommending in-situ redevelopment of the existing Central Government Offices (CGO) and Murray Building.

"It is a totally unfounded allegation that the Government has been withholding any such analysis from the Legislative Council (LegCo) and the public.

"Throughout the process of consultation and deliberations with the Legislative Council, we have furnished detailed information as to the rationale, justifications and various considerations regarding the Tamar development project.

"In the Legislative Council Brief issued on April 30, 2002 explaining the Government's decision to develop the new Central Government Complex and Legislative Council Complex at Tamar, we set out the comparison of the Tamar site option and the in-situ redevelopment of the CGO and Murray Building.

"We highlighted that having regard to the planning concept, demand and supply of Grade A office, timeframe and operational efficiency, the Tamar site is a better option than in-situ redevelopment. Compared with in-situ redevelopment, the proposed development at Tamar would be completed at least four years earlier," the spokesman said.

Since early 90's, the Government had been looking into options trying to cope with the growing demand of office space in the CGO and Murray Building. Previous research on in-situ redevelopment showed that while it might be technically feasible to redevelop the CGO, there would be significant constraints. In particular, the required decantation of an interim reprovisioning for the staff of CGO and Murray Building would cause serious disruption to the operation of the Government Secretariat.

There are also concerns on site limitations, such as presence of a large number of mature trees, and preservation of historical features, for instance, character of the open space outside St. John's Cathedral and Court of Final Appeal, Battery Path etc. Furthermore, the in-situ redevelopment could not resolve the accommodation needs of the Legislative Council.

"Since the announcement on re-launching the Tamar development project in October 2005, the Government has been in close consultation with the LegCo on the details of the Tamar development project. We have reiterated the justifications for the Tamar site and its relative merits over the option of in-situ redevelopment of the CGO and Murray Building," he added.

To recapitulate on the background, the Tamar site was first earmarked for reprovisioning of the Government Secretariat in January 1998. The existing uses of the Tamar site, i.e. half for "Government, Institution or Community" use and half for "Open Space" use, have since gone through the due and statutory public consultation and planning process before the approval of the relevant Outline Zoning Plan in 2000.

It has been the planning objective to develop the Tamar site into the civic core of Hong Kong, comprising the new Central Government Complex, new Legislative Council Complex and a civic place as core development components.

The Tamar development project would address the acute office space shortage problem long faced by the Government Secretariat and the LegCo. The proposed development of around half of the Tamar site (i.e. 2 hectares) into a civic place would enable the vibrancy and public enjoyment at the waterfront, the spokesman added.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 05:40 AM   #88
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Wow. Judging by the pic, the reclaimation efforts are quite extensive. What was once a mighty harbour may dwindle into a slow trickling lake. Hopefully they will not go much futher.
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Old February 7th, 2006, 01:26 PM   #89
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I believe no further reclaimations are going to take place in that waterfront.
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Old February 8th, 2006, 10:19 PM   #90
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Bid to spill Tamar papers
Leslie Kwoh
Hong Kong Standard
Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Several lawmakers, frustrated by the lack of transparency in the Tamar development project, are expected to reject a government staffing proposal today in an effort to coerce the administration into disclosing "secret" documents.
The government will seek approval from a Legco subcommittee of the Finance Committee for the immediate creation of two new administrative posts, one of which will oversee and coordinate implementation of the Tamar project.

"I will oppose the proposal, and I believe all legislators should oppose it as well," said lawmaker and Action Group on Protection of the Harbor convenor Kwok Ka-ki.

"I plan to be quite harsh in demanding that the government explain why it wants to create a new post before it has completed discussion on Tamar."

Choy So-yuk, a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, also confirmed that party representatives would not support the government proposal.

The subcommittee meeting comes two days after the government denied media reports that it was withholding a "secret report" which allegedly recommended the redevelopment of the existing Central Government Offices in lieu of beginning new construction at Tamar.

In an official statement Monday, a government representative called the media reports "misleading" and insisted that redevelopment of the existing offices at Lower Albert Road and Murray Building would be impractical due to "office space constraints" and the "presence of a large number of mature trees."

The representative also said the government had previously informed the Legislative Council that, compared with redevelopment of the existing site, the development at Tamar could be completed at least four years earlier, by 2010.

However Kwok, who said he will only settle for a "mature, well-informed decision" regarding the site, insisted no such information had been revealed and demanded that the government disclose its source.

"They did not tell us about the four- year difference until after the media reports came out," Kwok said. "I believe they probably did conduct a feasibility study, but they are keeping it secret."

He also said he suspected Tsang's eagerness to rush into the project stemmed from "selfish motives" - to conduct the opening ceremony during his term.

The development plans, which were suspended in 2003 after the SARS outbreak, were revived by Tsang after he became chief executive last year.

"The best chief executive would honor the people of Hong Kong by giving the land back to the people, and not follow his own agenda," Kwok said.

"If the government pushes ahead, it will lose the trust of the people, and we will lose our position as a world- class city. But, of course, some people will end up with a very good office with a harbor view."

The Action Group on Protection of the Harbour, which favors the construction of a park at the site, Tuesday released the findings of a public opinion survey which found that most people opposed the government's plans for Tamar.

Of the more than 300 people interviewed last November, more than 65 percent said there should be no high- rise building in the Tamar area. Under the government's plan, at least four high-rises will be built on the site.

The group has also filed an application to the Town Planning Board to rezone the Tamar area as an open space for recreational use and is in the final stages of gathering information for submission before its February 16 deadline.

Lawmakers will continue to debate the fate of Tamar Thursday, at the meeting of the subcommittee tasked to review Central harborfront planning.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 04:56 AM   #91
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Witness confirms secret report on government HQ
Leslie Kwoh
Hong Kong Standard
Friday, February 10, 2006



Contradicting government claims, two witnesses have stepped forward to confirm the existence of a "secret" study that allegedly disputes the need for the administration's desired HK$6 billion headquarters development at Tamar.

Property surveyor Margaret Brooke told a Legislative Council subcommittee Thursday that, "without revealing any confidences," she and her husband Nicholas were involved in a feasibility study that concluded that redevelopment of the existing Central Government Offices at Lower Albert Road and the Murray Building "was feasible on a phased basis and with a significant increase in floor area."

The planning, lands and works panel's meeting was held to try to compel the government to release the document, which the administration has repeatedly insisted does not exist, and which seemingly counters the government's contention that constructing the headquarters on the prime waterfront site is imperative.

After the meeting, Brooke said the government had commissioned the study in 1991 from her former company, property services group Brooke Hillier Parker.

Brooke, who no longer owns a copy of the study, said the government ignored the findings even though they indicated "it was enough to make redevelopment worthwhile."

"I don't know what the government did with it, but nothing happened with it further," she said.

Brooke's disclosure to Legco came days after media reports revealed the government had been withholding for years studies that favored the redevelopment of the existing government offices, impugning the administration's claim that starting from scratch at Tamar would be a "better option."

The administration later issued a strong denial, calling the reports "misleading" and "totally unfounded."

About 20 local concern groups spoke at Thursday's meeting, many urging the government to reconsider its options and invite a territorywide public consultation.

Spurred on by their support, legislators demanded the administration disclose whether it had conducted any previous studies, but government officials stalled, citing wording technicalities.

"We have conducted many studies, so it depends on what sort of studies you are referring to," Deputy Director of Administration Susan Mak said. "You are asking for all reports since 1990, but this covers a huge range, so I ask you to be more specific." After repeated failure, a nonbinding motion was lodged by lawmaker and Action Group on Protection of the Harbour convenor Kwok Ka-ki, urging the government to furnish the panel with "all raw reports and data on feasibility studies on new or existing government headquarters, including demand analysis, site impact, environmental assessment and traffic analysis."

Democratic lawmaker Lee Wing-tat amended the motion to "avoid any possible misunderstanding," specifying that the government should provide any information pertaining to "building a new office, extension, demolishing, refurbishment, remodeling, converting, in-situ redevelopment, and all related information to the development of the new building."

The motion passed with five legislators voting in favor and only pro- government Alliance lawmaker Abraham Shek, who represents the construction sector, abstaining.

A previous motion, passed unanimously by the panel on December 17, called for a review of the planning for the Central waterfront and Tamar site, but was snubbed by the government three days later when it announced it was pushing ahead with the project by inviting bidders to apply for prequalification for the project's proposed design-and-build contract.

The government did not say whether it would abide by Thursday's motion.
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Old February 10th, 2006, 05:33 PM   #92
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Show all on plans for HQ, government told
Legislators discuss calls for public to have say on Tamar
10 February 2006
South China Morning Post

Legislators yesterday passed two motions calling for the release of all documents prepared since 1990 on the expansion, relocation or reconstruction of the government headquarters.

The move came as legislators responded with scepticism to repeated government denials of the existence of a secret report saying the headquarters could be redeveloped on its present site instead of moving to Tamar.

The separate motions were moved by Kwok Ka-ki and Albert Chan Wai-yip at a meeting of the subcommittee to review planning for the Central waterfront.

Democratic Party leader Lee Wing-tat pressed for information about the report, said to have stated that the government's office needs could be met by renovating the Central Government Offices and using the maximum allowed density for the Murray Building.

"The key point is that Jose Lei, former director of architectural services, confirmed the existence of such a plan," said Mr Lee, citing a report on Monday in the South China Morning Post. "I have known Mr Lei for years, and he is not the type of person who would lie."

Susan Mak Lok Suet-ling, deputy director of administration, denied that such a plan existed. She reiterated the government statement that it had been looking into options for coping with the demand for office space in the Central Government Offices and Murray Buildings since the early 1990s.

Legislator Choy So-yuk, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, urged the government to fully review its proposal to move the government headquarters to Tamar.

The meeting also discussed submissions from more than 20 individuals and groups on the Tamar development. All submissions - among them those from Central and Western District Council, the Hong Kong Institute of Planners, the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and harbour activist groups - demanded more public participation in deciding the overall design and land use of the Tamar site.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 10:12 PM   #93
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Oct. 18, 2005



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Old February 14th, 2006, 07:02 AM   #94
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Reclamation is only option for bypass, say engineers
14 February 2006
South China Morning Post

A report from government engineers has found only one viable option for the controversial Central-Wan Chai bypass - reclamation.

The bypass is aimed at easing traffic congestion and providing a traffic link to proposed development on harbour reclamation.

The government wants to build its new offices on the Tamar site in Admiralty, as well as a large commercial district.

Critics have stepped up lobbying against the plans, with one group releasing a proposal calling for the entire area to be converted into a harbourfront park.

The report, which will be presented behind closed doors to a subgroup of the Harbourfront Enhancement Committee today, says engineering consultants believe a deep-water tunnel for the site would require too much additional harbour reclamation at an entrance in North Point.

An inland tunnel is dismissed as unfeasible because of existing tunnels, buildings and utility cables.

The report says the only other options are a flyover or a shallow water tunnel, which is the government's preferred option.

The convenor of the civic group Designing Hong Kong Harbour District, Paul Zimmerman, said the proposals would be discussed and then undergo a further assessment by another team of engineers.

"We are still in the learning stage. It's a bit hard to make an assessment now without having engineers look at them as well," Mr Zimmerman said.

"There will be discussion about it today and then we will take it away for further consultation."

The report has no financial comparisons or advantages and disadvantages for either proposal.

"It's hard to see the trade-offs between the various options from what we have in front of us," Mr Zimmerman said.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 12:23 AM   #95
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So... I'm really confused about the reclamation plan going on. They are ONLY going to reclaim in Central/ Wanchai but they're not going to reclaim land to meet up with the HKCEC? I believe they're going to have a "gap"? Is that right?

What's happening to the proposed reclamation in Causeway Bay? Is that not happening? Also, after ALL this planning/ reclaiming is done, there will be no more reclamation plans ever right?
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Old February 15th, 2006, 12:37 AM   #96
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I'm confused as well.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 02:09 AM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raymond_tung88
So... I'm really confused about the reclamation plan going on. They are ONLY going to reclaim in Central/ Wanchai but they're not going to reclaim land to meet up with the HKCEC? I believe they're going to have a "gap"? Is that right?

What's happening to the proposed reclamation in Causeway Bay? Is that not happening? Also, after ALL this planning/ reclaiming is done, there will be no more reclamation plans ever right?
Yes, there will be a gap between Central and Wanchai in the present plan. The Causeway Bay reclamation is not going to happen. Originally the HKCEC wanted to expand on that land.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 04:46 AM   #98
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They should do that deep water tunnel with commercial and park development on the extra reclaimed land. I don't see what people are protesting about.
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Old February 15th, 2006, 02:45 PM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Yes, there will be a gap between Central and Wanchai in the present plan. The Causeway Bay reclamation is not going to happen. Originally the HKCEC wanted to expand on that land.
Will they build a bridge to connect the Central and Wanchai in the future? The gap is for Ferries ? Right!
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Old February 15th, 2006, 05:40 PM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannykylaw
Will they build a bridge to connect the Central and Wanchai in the future? The gap is for Ferries ? Right!
That one unreclaimed section is going to cause a lot of headache. The original plan was to have the underpass and MTR extension go underneath the waterfront promenade. The Airport Express would go from Asiaworld Expo right to HKCEC.
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