Chek Lap Kok-Tuen Mun tunnel to open by year-end

The HK$47 billion road and tunnel link between Chek Lap Kok airport and Tuen Mun will open by year-end.

The connection is the final and most expensive piece in the HK$120 billion HK-Macau bridge project.

It connects north from the Chek Lap Kok boundary crossing to Tuen Mun via a 5km undersea tunnel. A flyover connects south to the North Lantau Highway.

The new road-tunnel connection, which has taken nine years to build and carries the clunky title of Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link (TM-CLKL), reduces the journey time for vehicles in Zhuhai or Macau to Shenzhen.

But precious few are making the trip. The number of passengers making the crossing fell 90% in February and to as few as 200 vehicles per day in July.

It has also attracted the ire of Tuen Mun residents, who complain that it does nothing to solve their chronic traffic congestion problems.

It does open up an alternative path to the airport, however.  The freeway link from Kowloon was cut for several hours when a barge struck a support on the Kap Shui Mun bridge in October 2015

In her policy address last year CE Carrie Lam floated the idea of waiving tolls on both the Lantau Link and the new tunnel to save travel costs for Tung Chung residents.

Nothing has been heard of the idea since, however.

Lam says after the tunnel is opened it will be easier for Hong Kong vehicles to drive north into Shenzhen, although details are still to be worked out.

Because of the limited capacity of Hong Kong roads, it won’t be a reciprocal arrangement, she said yesterday.

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