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Company Reports - Central Reclamation Phase III Project  


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Central Reclamation Phase III Project

Preparing Hong Kong's Waterfront for Infrastructure and Development

Laura Clapper

CRIII is the final phase of the Central District Waterfront Reclamation Project and includes the first phase of the Central-Wanchai Bypass Project
Central Reclamation Phase III


The Central Reclamation Phase III (CRIII) project is part of a larger waterfront reclamation project in the Central District of Hong Kong Island that began with Central Reclamation I in 1991. The land reclamation project is required for the construction of the Central-Wanchai Bypass as well as future development of the Central waterfront area. CRIII is the last significant reclamation in the Central District and is expected to be complete by the end of 2011.



The CRIII Contractor is a joint venture between Leighton Contractors (Asia)Limited and China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Limited and Van Oord ACZ Marine Contractors B.V.(“LCSVOJV”).

The Project’s Client is the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR. Atkins China Ltd is the designer of the project and the Engineer for the Contract.

Work on the project has been and continues to be carried out by a number of local and globally-based subcontractors, including China Road & Bridge Corporation, Best Leader Engineering Ltd, Chevalier (M&E) Consortium, CP Engineering Co. Ltd, Hong Kong River Engineering Co. Ltd, Sam Woo Bore Pile Foundations Ltd, Richwell Engineering Ltd and the joint venture of Intrafor Hong Kong Ltd-Bachy Soletanche Group Ltd. 

The CRIII project team is led by Elias Zraicat, who has worked for Leighton Contractors since 1987. Zraicat has worked in Sydney, Melbourne and Macau. Most recently, he’s completed the Hong Kong Airport Refueling Facility at Tuen Mun.

Zraicat filled the position of Project Director when Brian Gillon, the previous Project Director, was promoted to Operations Manager. Other key people on the project include Project Manager David Packwood, Deputy Project Director David Ho, Commercial Manager Norman Croker and Superintendent Dale Rodgers.



Central Reclamation Phase III (CRIII) is a high profile project on the north shore of Hong Kong Island in Victoria Harbor. The newly created area of land is required for essential transport infrastructure that will provide much needed relief for traffic congestion in the busy Central and Wan Chai districts.

In addition to the reclamation of 18 hectares of land, the CRIII project involves the construction of: a one kilometre wave absorbing seawall; a 900 metre long dual-three lane road tunnel for the Central-Wanchai Bypass; 2.5 kilometres of at-grade roads; together with an underpass; interchanges for public transport; Star Ferry and public piers; several cooling water pumping stations; a 1,000 metre extension of drains and sewer systems; a footbridge and many landscaped green spaces.



The seawall has been the most important innovation of the project, involving seawall foundation, seawall structures such as cooling water pumping stations, bermstones, hand packed rubble, levelingcourse, seawall blocks, concrete coping and laying of geotextile. There are altogether 9 pump stations and 25 precast caissons, the heaviest of which is 9,500 tonnes.

The fabrication yard for the precast pump stations and caissons was at Panyu, Guangzhou, PRC.  Some of the precast units were cast on land and some on board a semi-submersible barge up to about 60% of their overall height.  All precast units were transported to the job site by semi-submersible barge and then the upper portion of the concrete structure was cast in-situ.

The vertical seawall has been designed as wave absorbing to reduce the effect of waves on the traveling vessels in the harbor. There were also some non-standard blocks to fit into the works which required precise quality control of correct dimensions.

The construction of the dual-three lane road tunnel for the Central-Wanchai Bypass involves the placement of up to 450 diaphragm wall panels and barrettes deep into the ground.  

“The diaphragm wall is one of the largest quantities of diaphragm wall in a single project in Hong Kong,” says Zraicat.

The diaphragm walls are on either side of the tunnel and consist of two contiguous concrete panels of 1.200-metre wide that is excavated and cast into the rock head up to 55 metres deep from existing sea level to prevent water seepage into the bypass tunnel construction and eventually into the tunnel itself. The barrettes are constructed along the centre of the tunnel to provide central support to the tunnel floor and roof. The bottom and top slabs of the bypass tunnel which form the tunnel floor and roof are connected to the diaphragm walls on either side of the future tunnel via closely spaced reinforcement bars extended from pre-embedded couplers in the walls. 



Safety is a top priority for LCSVOJV on the project.

“Everyone that comes through the site has to go through a one day training induction in Leighton’s training facility,” says Zraicat.

The facility caters for the common activities that occur on construction sites, including lifting, scaffolding work, working in confined spaces and working at height. Those workers engaged in specialist or high risk activities participate in daily Toolbox meetings. Additionally, the management team inspects the site on almost daily basis.

Every morning, workers participate in warm up exercises to reduce the risk of strain and injury on the job. Additionally, the staff is encouraged to keep fit and healthy by providing training and sporting areas. There are around 650 workers on the job, including 130 staff (approx) from Leighton and China State.

“We focus on high-risk activities, which count as Class I incidents / accidents,” say Zraicat. “We target those starting in design and going into harbor.” Leighton Contractors has an award-winning environmental program, which extends to the project as well.

We identify significant environmental aspects; such as, those activities that may result in significant environmental impacts of the project, then formulate appropriate mitigation measures for implementation on site in order to manage them so as to avoid causing any negative environmental impacts.

Water quality and sedimentation pits line the sides of the project to ensure that polluted water doesn’t enter the harbour. Additionally, there are wheel washers at the road access points that ensure that trucks entering the city do not track dust and sediment from the construction site.

A number of prominent green initiatives have also been implemented on site. One of them was the use of precast caisson units for constructing the seawall which greatly reduced the noise, waste and water pollution problems associated with traditional in-situ concreting methods.

The other green initiatives included the wide use of diamond-wire saw cutting methods rather than the use of traditional hydraulic breakers. This method was much quieter than traditional breaking methods. Those green initiatives significantly reduced the environmental impacts during the construction phase. This, in turn, contributes to the smooth progress of the project.



With less that a year to go before substantial completion of the project, much of it is already completed. The fill operations have been completed and the seawall is nearly 97 percent complete. The Central-Wanchai Bypass tunnel construction is over half way finished. Some of the sections of the project have been handed over to the client. “We are now working on completion of the Central-Wanchai Bypass after which the drainage and landscaping that is to be constructed on top of the tunnel will be completed,” says Zraicat. The completed Central Reclamation III project including the Central-Wanchai Bypass tunnel will have utilized over 3 million cubic meters of land fill, over 68,000 tons of steel reinforcement, over 400,000 cubic meters of concrete and over 100,000 cubic meters of precast concrete. 

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