The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) could expand its use of design and build contracts to cover virtually all work, including station construction.

After reviewing the success of its West Rail project, KCRC senior director capital projects James Blake said the rail company is looking for even greater involvement of contractors during the design phase of future projects.

Giving contractors the responsibility for detailed design could enhance the construction process, improve buildability for quality projects, and allows contractors to innovate which could lower construction costs.

Blake said KCRC is looking at design and build for the tunnel section of the US$1.28bn Lok Ma Chau-Sheung Shui spur.

Tunnel design for the 7.3km long line is well advanced, in parallel with the environmental assessment study.

Blake said the mixed ground conditions between Sheung Shui station, Long Valley and Chau Tau could be tunnelled with confidence using the same EPB tunnelling machine used to construct the

Kwai Tsing tunnels, built by DragagesZen Pacific JV as part of the West Rail project. The spur line’s 4.3km long tunnelled section also includes the main structural works for the Kwu Tong station.

The 2.5km viaduct between Chau Tau and Lok Ma Chau would be tendered against a consultant design, but contractor alternatives were likely.

The KCRC is also looking to expand the use of design and build on the Kowloon southern railway which will connect the corporation’s east and west rail networks. With most of the railway planned to be built underground, the project would offer other potential design and build opportunities.

Blake said that in particular, the environmental constraints underlined the need for greater participation by contractors during the design and planning stage. With a large portion of the link running under Canton Road and a station near major Wharf properties there is significant pressure to minimise disruption during construction.

Related Files
Tunnel section of the Lok Ma Chau-Sheung Shui spur