Early relief to flood problem in Mong Kok (23/9/1998)

1 January 1997

The Drainage Services Department (DSD) will adopt a fast track programme for an early completion of drainage improvement works in an effort to bring about significant relief to the flood problem in Mong Kok.

"Instead of adopting the traditional method which would take at least several years for the works to complete, we will close a northbound section of Nathan Road between Lai Chi Kok Road and Boundary Street for 19 months from October 11 (Sunday)," DSD Assistant Director/Sewage Services, Mr Raymond Cheung, said at a press conference today (Wednesday).

"This means the completion date will be brought forward from the year 2004 as originally scheduled to May, 2000, in time for the wet season," Mr Cheung said.

"We realise the closure of this section of Nathan Road is bound to have effect on traffic so a traffic management scheme has been devised with extreme care," he stressed.

During the closure, extensive main drains and gully connections will be constructed.

These works form an important part of the West Kowloon Drainage Improvement Project Stage I. Works under two other contracts, for Yau Ma Tei/Kowloon Tong and Sham Shui Po/Lai Chi Kok, began in April and July respectively.

Mr Cheung pointed out that while Stages II and III of the project were expected to be completed in 2004 and 2007 respectively, the flood situation in West Kowloon would improve progressively with the completion of each phase of works.

"The whole project will cost more than $3.5 billion and about 100 kilometres of drains will be replaced," he said.

Also speaking at the press conference, the Chief Traffic Engineer (Kowloon) of the Transport Department (TD), Mrs Joanna Kwok, said the traffic on the closed section of Nathan Road would be diverted to Portland Street via Lai Chi Kok Road to reach Cheung Sha Wan Road /Tai Po Road via the junction of Portland Street and Boundary Street.

Mrs Kwok said traffic condition during the closure would be very closely monitored both on the ground and by closed-circuit television in the area traffic control room in the TD.

"This will enable us to take immediate action to deal with any problem that may arise," Mrs Kwok said.

She said traffic diversions would be introduced in three phases to ensure smooth implementation.

"Phase I will come into effect at about 10 am tomorrow, after the morning rush hours, and involve changing the traffic on a section of Portland Street between Yu Chau Street and Boundary Street from southbound to northbound," Mrs Kwok said.

Details of the other phases are as follows:

Phase 2 (Effective from Tuesday, September 29)

* Change the traffic on the section of Portland Street between Lai Chi Kok Road and Prince Edward Road West from southbound to northbound.

* Install a new set of traffic lights at the junction of Lai Chi Kok Road and Portland Street.

* Install a new set of traffic lights at the junction of Portland Street and Prince Edward Road West.

* Provide a new signalised pedestrian crossing at Portland Street near its junction with Ki Lung Street.

* Ban traffic from Arran Street onto Nathan Road.

* Ban eastbound traffic on the section of Prince Edward Road West between Portland Street and Tai Nan Street.

* Suspend the existing bus-only lane on Nathan Road southbound between Playing Field Road and Nullah Road.

Phase 3 (Effective from Sunday, October 11)

* Close northbound lanes of Nathan Road between Lai Chi Kok Road and Boundary Street.

* Re-route 37 bus routes along the closed section of Nathan Road and relocate corresponding bus stops to adjacent roads which are within walking distance.

* Modify the existing traffic lights at the junction of Nathan Road and Prince Edward Road West.

* Install a new set of traffic lights at the junction of Portland Street and Boundary Street.

* Ban traffic from Playing Field Road eastbound onto Nathan Road.

Mr Cheung said the proposed works and the traffic diversion scheme had the support of the Yau Tsim Mong Provisional District Board (YTMPDB) and DSD would report regularly to the concerned group under the Traffic and Transport Committee of the YTMPDB on the effectiveness of the scheme.

"Also, an inter-departmental Traffic Management Liaison Group formed by representatives of the DSD, TD, Highways Department, Police and other concerned departments, together with the contractor and the consultant, will work closely on this," he added.

"Every effort will be made to minimise disturbance to the public. The traffic diversion scheme is designed in such a way that normal activities in the area are maintained.

"In addition, there are provisions in the contract to keep noise level, dust and vibration to a minimum," Mr Cheung said.

"A 24-hour hotline (2741 9039) will be set up to ensure that complaints and enquiries are dealt with promptly," he said, also pointing out that a dedicated patrol team would monitor site conditions during construction.

End/Wednesday, September 23, 1998

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