A look ahead at some of the biggest and most exciting construction projects underway in Hong Kong in 2017

Hong Kong never stops growing. Few cities in the world change as rapidly and on such a large scale as the Fragrant Harbour.

The streets and skylines regenerate so frequently it can be easy to lose track of the status of the construction projects reshaping the territory.

01-hong-kong-copyright-david-feehan

It’s worth taking a step back once in a while to take stock and look at what’s going on around, under and above us. So with 2017 firmly underway, here’s a look at three of the biggest projects that are reshaping Hong Kong this year.

All of these are, incidentally, transport infrastructure projects.

Express Rail Link (XRL)
While construction will not finish in 2017, the Express Rail Link (XRL) – linking Hong Kong to Beijing via Guangzhou and Shenzhen – is entering its final stages.

The 26km long Hong Kong section of the line is fully underground and runs from West Kowloon to the border of Hong Kong and Shenzhen, connecting to China’s enormous 16,000km high-speed rail network.

Contract Dispute Consultants has been involved across a range of XRL projects
Contract Dispute Consultants has been involved across a range of XRL projects

Contract Dispute Consultants has worked on several projects related to the XRL project.

82% complete, the first trains began arriving back in September and it is hoped all will be up and running for passengers by Q3 2018, making 2017 a critical year for the project.

Third runway for Hong Kong Airport
Hong Kong International Airport is the tenth largest airport in the world, seeing over 60 million visitors in 2015 – a number that could rise to an incredible 102 million in the next fourteen years.

A third runway for the hub was given the final official go ahead in 2016 and will cost $145.5 billion in total. The so-called 3RS project includes 650 hectares of land reclamation and the building of 13km of sea walls. 3RS will literally reshape the map of Hong Kong.

03-3rs-hong-kong-copyright-david-feehan

It’s not just a new runway being built either. The project will also see major extensions and amendments to the existing terminal, reconfiguration of Terminal 2 as well as a host of other enabling works.

The existing Terminal 2 will be completely remodelled to serve the third runway concourse
The existing Terminal 2 will be completely remodelled to serve the third runway concourse

In fact, the sheer size of the project almost matches the scale of the original airport building project, and is easily the single biggest development connected to the airport since it opened two decades ago.

The Hong Kong to Macau Bridge
The final project for our list, and another one in which Contract Dispute have been actively involved, is the Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Bridge.

Started in 2009, the bridge was due originally due to be completed in 2016. With the erection of the final bridge tower in Chinese waters last June, the bridge is expected to be completed in 2018. The Hong Kong portion of the bridge comprises some of the largest projects ever awarded in Hong Kong.

Construction of the Hong Kong Link Road in progress at Chek Lap Kok
Construction of the Hong Kong Link Road in progress at Chek Lap Kok

It’s been a slow burner – the original proposal for the bridge was made in 1983. 50 kilometers in total, the bridge is designed to open up new land transport links between the east and west banks of the River Pearl, encouraging the flow of labour and capital and boosting economies on both sides of the river. Contract Dispute Consultants have been assisting contractors on the Hong Kong portion of the project.

As can be seen from these projects, which constitute a small portion of the work ongoing in the territory, 2017 promises to be another significant year of construction in Hong Kong.

For more updates like this, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn.

All images copyright of David Feehan.