13 December 2001
The completion of the KCR West Rail viaduct
KCR West Rail today (Thursday) celebrated the completion of the construction of its viaduct section at a ceremony officiated by the Financial Secretary, the Hon. Antony Leung. The event also marked the completion of the entire 30.5 km West Rail alignment from Nam Cheong in the south to Tuen Mun in the north.
The West Rail viaduct, measuring 13.4 km in length, is the longest bridge structure in Hong Kong. Running from Kam Sheung Road Station to Tuen Mun Station, it passes through the most varied and diverse part of the New Territories.
KCRC Chairman and Chief Executive, Mr K Y Yeung, said, "Since the West Rail alignment in the Northwest New Territories runs across one of the most flood-prone areas in Hong Kong, the adoption of the viaduct structure is the best construction method. It can minimise the impacts on residents during construction as well as satisfy many disparate requirements, including those of the environment, planning, reliability and ease of maintenance."
Careful consideration was given to the design of the viaduct. Extensive noise mitigation measures including full noise enclosures, acoustic materials along trackside and the central/side plenum, together with the floating slab track system and the skirting of the train cars, will make West Rail one of the quietest railways in the world. The cost-effective design of the viaduct does not require the usual element of bearings in construction and therefore maintenance cost is greatly reduced.
"KCRC had successfully overcome various challenges and completed the viaduct on time and within budget. It demonstrates again that KCRC possesses the ability to undertake large-scale projects," Mr Yeung said.
"We will continue to make every endeavour to devote our dedication, professionalism and experience to assist the Government in implementing the HK$200 billion new railway projects planned for the next 15 years," Mr Yeung said.
With a maximum height of 26 metres, the HK$2.1 billion viaduct requires a total of 748 piles, one of which goes as deep as 80 metres underground and is possibly one of the longest piles in the world. The construction work of the viaduct commenced in July 1999 and it took only 30 months to complete the entire structure.