Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel commissioned (with photos)

The Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, today (October 18) officiated at the commissioning ceremony of the Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel, marking the completion of a long-term solution to relieve the flooding problem in northwest Kowloon.

Construction of the $1.7 billion Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel commenced in November 2008. Situated in the northwestern part of the Kowloon peninsula, the 3.7-kilometre tunnel comprises a 1.2km main tunnel excavated underneath the Lai Chi Kok urban strip and a 2.5km mid-hill branch tunnel. Stormwater is diverted into the branch tunnel through six intakes installed along its length before being drained away via the main tunnel for discharge into the harbour near Stonecutters Island. This innovative method of intercepting stormwater for direct conveyance will raise the flood protection level in areas like Lai Chi Kok, Cheung Sha Wan and Sham Shui Po to withstand rainstorms with a return period of one in 50 years.

Throughout the planning, design and construction stages, the project team conquered various challenges and achieved a number of breakthroughs in engineering technology. For instance, sophisticated techniques were employed in driving the tunnel boring machine safely below four operating railway lines and past the numerous foundations of existing infrastructure in the busy district of Lai Chi Kok. To avoid any adverse impact on these facilities, construction personnel worked under hyperbaric pressure of up to 4.2 bar, breaking the record in Hong Kong's tunnelling history. Advanced hyperbaric know-how was specially brought in from overseas. Having achieved the highest safety standards, the project has set a new direction for hyperbaric applications in Hong Kong's construction engineering.

In addition to completing the Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel, the Drainage Services Department has been working on various major flood prevention projects in phases. They include the Hong Kong West Drainage Tunnel that was commissioned in August and the Tsuen Wan Drainage Tunnel, to be completed in the middle of next year. The Happy Valley Underground Stormwater Storage Scheme is also under way. These projects will further enhance Hong Kong's overall flood protection capability.

Mr Leung and another officiating guest, the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, gave special thanks to the front-line construction workers for their dedicated efforts that brought about smooth completion of the project.

Other officiating guests at today's ceremony included the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Wai Chi-sing; the Director of Drainage Services, Mr Chan Chi-chiu; and the Chairman of the Sham Shui Po District Council, Mr Kwok Chun-wah.

Ends/Thursday, October 18, 2012
Issued at HKT 12:50


Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel commissioned Photo 1 Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel commissioned Photo 2 Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel commissioned Photo 3 Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel commissioned Photo 4 Lai Chi Kok Drainage Tunnel commissioned Photo 5