Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tate's Cairn Tunnel

Opened on 26 June 1991, Tate's Cairn Tunnel is a four-lane tunnel in Hong Kong. Constructed as part of , it links Diamond Hill, Eastern Kowloon and Siu Lek Yuen, Sha Tin in the New Territories.

Its toll plaza is situated on the Sha Tin side, leading to Tate's Cairn Highway, Sha Lek Highway and various local roads. The tunnel joins the Kwun Tong Bypass and is connected with Lung Cheung Road and several local roads on the Kowloon side.

Tate's Cairn Tunnel is the longest road tunnel in Hong Kong, with the northbound tube having a length of 3,913 and southbound tube having a length of 3,945m.

Tunnel facilities

*dual-tube, 4-laned
*9 manual toll booths and 5 autotoll booth
*24 cross passages
*160 fire alarms
*156 emergency telephones
*320 fire extinguishers
*82 hose reels
*78 hydrants
*18,268 fluorescent tubes
*3,277 tunnel wall panels
*44 CCTVs inside tunnel tubes
*10 CCTVs outside tunnel tubes
*16 ventilation fans

The BOT Concept

The Tate's Cairn Tunnel is a BOT infrastructure project funded 100% by the private sector. The BOT franchise was awarded to the Tate's Cairn Tunnel Company Limited for a period of 30 years by the Hong Kong Government in 1988.

As suggested by the term BOT , the Tate's Cairn Tunnel Company Limited is responsible for the construction and operation of the Tunnel until the end of the franchise period. During the franchise period, the Company is allowed to earn a reasonable but not excessive return through the collection of tolls. On expiration, the tunnel will be transferred to the Government. The statutory requirements to the Company is defined by the Tate's Cairn Tunnel Ordinance.

BOT projects are embodiments of public/private co-operation for a better Hong Kong. To resolve the conflict between the demand for a better road network and the Government's desire to maintain fiscal prudence, private sector participation in transport infrastructure development provides a solution. Flow of private capital through BOT projects allows for rapid improvement of transport infrastructure in Hong Kong without massive public expenditures. Successful public/private cooperation in infrastructural projects enables the development of a better Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, examples of major road projects built using the BOT model are Tate's Cairn Tunnel, Eastern Harbour Tunnel, Western Harbour Crossing, Route 3 and Cross Harbour Tunnel.

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