The Tolo and Fanling highways are expressways in the North East New Territories of Hong Kong, connecting Sha Tin, Tai Po and Fanling. The widening of the Tolo and Fanling highways is a HK$4.5bn ($580.8m) road project.

The project is aimed at relieving traffic congestion, which is commonplace in the territories, and meeting future traffic demand.

In addition to widening the highways, the project includes several infrastructure improvements between the Island House interchange and Fanling.

The highway widening project will be implemented in two stages. Stage 1 involves widening the Tolo highway between Island House Interchange and Tai Hang.

The construction of the stage 1 project began in August 2009 and is scheduled for completion by 2014.

Stage 2 will involve road widening on Fanling highway between the Tai Hang and Wo Hop Shek interchange.

The Fanling Highway widening project is scheduled for completion in 2018.

Tolo and Fanling highways widening project background

The Tolo and Fanling highways are part of a strategic trunk road, Route 9, which connects the New Territories.

The road replaced the old route system of 1974 with the rationalisation of a route number system in January 2004.
Starting from Shing Mun Tunnels, the route connects Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Sheung Shui, Fanling, Tai Po and Sha Tin.

The 12.3km-long Tolo highway has seen upgrades since it was opened in 1985 such as the widening of the road to British motorway standards in the Ma Liu Shui and Tai Po section to dual-four lane in 2003. The dual-3 Fanling expressway was built between 1985 and 1987.

Hong Kong highway widening project

“The project is aimed at relieving traffic congestion, which is commonplace in the territories, and meeting future traffic demand.”

The Tolo and Fanling highways widening project involves widening several interchange sections from dual two-lane to dual three-lane at the Lam Kam Road interchange, Tai Po North interchange and Island House interchange. The southbound carriageway at the Tai Po North interchange will be widened from two lanes to four lanes.

The project also involves the realigning of various slip roads on the Tolo and Fanling highways. The work will include widening the Wo Hop Shek interchange southbound slip road, the realignment of the Tai Wo service road from Nam Wa Po to Wai Tau in the west, and from Tong Hang Tung to Kiu Tau in the east.

The traffic-congestion relieving project also includes the reconstruction and modification of at-grade carriageways, vehicular bridges, footbridges and subways. In the addition, cycle tracks, footpath-access tracks and associated walkways for vehicular bridges will be constructed.

The two stages of the highway project involves road widening of a 5.7km-long section on the Tolo highway and a 3km-long section on the Fanling highway.

The stage 2 project includes the road widening of a 3km section on the Fanling highway from dual three-lane to dual four-lane. Stage 2 of the project is expected to cost around HK$1,231m and is currently under review.

Road widening project contracts

The Hong Kong SAR Highways Department awarded the construction of stage 1 of the Tolo highway widening project in two separate contracts. Contract 1 was awarded to China State Construction Engineering and the construction work began in August 2009.

The works include online widening of a 2.4km-long section between Island House interchange and Ma Wo, increasing the existing dual three-lane carriageway to a dual four-lane carriageway with standard hard shoulders either side. Five new bridges will be constructed and modifications will be made to three existing bridges, including deck jacking, tilting and stitching.

“Stage 2 will involve road widening on Fanling highway between the Tai Hang and Wo Hop Shek interchange.”

In February 2010, HK$2.38bn contract 2 for the widening of the 3.5km-long section between Ma Wo and Tai Hang was awarded to Gammon Construction. The works include the widening of the existing dual three-lane carriageways to dual four-lane carriageways.

Major works in the contract involve the construction of nine new vehicular bridges and the modification of four existing bridges using jacking and stitching operations.

Gammon will provide a temporary traffic arrangement (TTA) system for traffic maintenance during construction.

The construction of the project began in February 2010 and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2014.

The engineering and construction supervisor team responsible for the highways widening project is a joint venture of Hyder, Arup and Black & Veatch joint venture (HABVJV).

Arup will provide auxiliary design services such as earthworks, road works, noise barriers, drainage works, waterworks, landscaping and civil provisions for the traffic control and surveillance system (TCSS). The company will also provide traffic studies and traffic-control equipment placement design along the open highway.

AECOM Asia is the environmental consultant and Mott MacDonald the independent environmental checker. The consultant for the preliminary design of stage 2 project was Mott Connell.

China State Construction Engineering was awarded a $323.6m contract in August 2013 to widen a stretch of the Fanling Highway between Tai Hang and Wo Hop Shek Interchange from dual three-lane to dual four-lane carriageway.

Highway widening project safety measures

Fire hydrants, traffic control and surveillance systems will be installed to ensure safety along the highway. Noise barriers and retaining walls will also be constructed.

The ancillary work of the highway widening project includes geotechnical works, and the landscaping and construction of water-mains and drainages.

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