Tunnel excavation works for Kai Tak Transfer Scheme starts

The Kai Tak Transfer Scheme entered a new phase with the launching of tunnel boring machine which signified the start of excavation for a drainage tunnel from Kowloon Tong to San Po Kong.

Speaking at the Tunnel Boring Machine Launching Ceremony for the scheme, the Director of Drainage Services, Mr Raymond Cheung Tat-kwing, said today (August 21) that it marked an important step in the Government's efforts in solving the flooding problem in Mong Kok.

The scheme is a drainage tunnel system designed for intercepting and transferring stormwater flow from the existing decked nullah at the junction of Waterloo Road and Hereford Road in Kowloon Tong to the Kai Tak Nullah in San Po Kong.

"This will resolve the flooding problem in Mong Kok by substantially reducing the surface runoff discharged into the downstream drainage system in Mong Kok area during heavy rainstorms," the Director said.

"The 1.45 km long drainage tunnel, with internal diameter 4.4m, will be constructed by underground boring without road openings and will substantially eliminate the need for the construction of huge box culverts through the busy streets in Mong Kok , " said Mr Cheung.

"As a result, the impact and disturbance to the public arising from prolonged road openings, temporary traffic arrangement and utility diversions during construction will be avoided," he said.

The HK$382-million Kai Tak Transfer Scheme, being the first drainage tunnel system to be built in Hong Kong, is part of a comprehensive drainage improvement programme to solve the flooding problem in West Kowloon. This $5-billion programme comprises 58 km of drains improvement, an underground flood storage tank at Tai Hang Tung and two stormwater transfer tunnels.

To date, about 16km of stormwater drains have been enlarged or replaced including the local drainage improvement works in Nathan Road, Mong Kok, the area worst affected by flooding in 1997. The upgrading works for another 28km of drains are underway. In addition, about half of the Tai Hang Tung storage tank is completed.

Upon completion of this transfer scheme, the flood storage tank at Tai Hang Tung and the relevant drainage improvement works in West Kowloon before the rainy season of 2004, the flooding problem in Mong Kok will be resolved.

End/Wednesday, August 21, 2002