Date
22 September 2019
The Central Tunnel Portal of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass on Jan. 20. The construction of the 4.5-kilometer highway, including a 3.7-km tunnel, took nearly nine years to complete at a total cost of HK$36 billion. Photo: HKEJ
The Central Tunnel Portal of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass on Jan. 20. The construction of the 4.5-kilometer highway, including a 3.7-km tunnel, took nearly nine years to complete at a total cost of HK$36 billion. Photo: HKEJ

Central-Wan Chai Bypass to fully open from Feb 24

The Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link (CWB) will be fully open from 7 a.m. on Sunday, about a month after its partial opening, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The full commissioning of the CWB means motorists will be able to drive from the bypass entrance on the Island Eastern Corridor in North Point to the Western Harbour Crossing in just about 10 minutes if the traffic is smooth, the Transport Department (TD) said in a press release.

Motorists traveling from Eastern District to Western District will be able to follow directional signs and get in the middle or fast lane before exiting the CWB tunnel, and then travel via the Rumsey Street Flyover direct to Western District or the Western Harbour Crossing instead of making a U-turn via the at-grade road of Connaught Road Central, the department said.

The construction of the 4.5-kilometer highway, including a 3.7-km tunnel, took nearly nine years to complete at a total cost of HK$36 billion.

The first phase of the bypass opened on Jan. 20. It took workers about a month to complete the alteration work for the westbound carriageway to connect with the Rumsey Street Flyover.

During the period, the bypass received a host of criticisms, including traffic jams at the exit in Central and confusing directional signs and road markings.

The TD said directional signs and road markings near the CWB entrance on the Island Eastern Corridor in North Point, at the entrance at Tsing Fung Street and the exit in Central have been updated to guide motorists on the new traffic routes.

Sufficient distance is also given to enable motorists to take heed of the directional signs and get in the appropriate lanes.

Eddie Leung Siu-kong, the department’s chief traffic engineer, said a 300-meter-long lane has been reserved to allow westbound vehicles to turn around on Connaught Road Central in order to ease the congestion seen in the past month.

The department has further enhanced the arrangements for the directional signs and road markings before the full commissioning based on feedback from professional drivers, the District Council and members of the public, Leung said.

After the stage one commissioning of the bypass, around 40,000 vehicles per day use the bypass on weekdays, and 30,000 during weekends and holidays, with most of the motorists traveling to Eastern District choosing to use the bypass, he said. 

Leung added that the traffic condition on Connaught Road Central and Gloucester Road during rush hours has improved.

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