Connecting HK Island to Kowloon 1961 report proposing a bridge or tunnel?

Many thanks to IDJ for sending this article in.

Thanks also to SCT for proofreading the following copy of the newspaper article. The images below did not appear in the original article.

Cross-harbour report expected early 1961


The report of the joint consulting engineers investigating the possibility of a harbour bridge or an alternative link between Hongkong and Kowloon, is expected to be released publicly early next year.

Mr K.B. Allport, Director of Victoria City Development Co Ltd, sponsors of the bridge plan, told the China Mail this morning that the report would be an exhaustive study into every aspect of a cross-harbour link.

Conceptual Representation Image 2

Conceptual Representation of the Victoria Harbour Bridge proposed by Victoria City Development Co Ltd , 1961. Source: Instagram

The consulting engineers are the British firms of Scott, Wilson, Kirkpatrick and Partners, and Freeman, Fox and partners.

Mr Allport said that under the engineers’ terms of reference investigations were not restricted to a bridge but ”improved methods of cross-harbour communication.

Their first task, said Mr Allport, was to find the type of strata under the harbour and how deep it was below the surface.

To determine this, it was necessary to carry out borings as well as a geophysical survey of the harbour which gave results as to the depth from surface to bed rock, which would enable the engineers to decide upon the design of the foundations.

A Bridge Crossing Victoria Harbour Date Unknown Source Reddit

A proposed bridge crossing Victoria Harbour. Date: unknown Source: Reddit

Traffic experts

In addition, the engineers engaged the Road Research Laboratory, which is a section of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in London, who are experts in traffic engineering.

The Laboratory carried out an exhaustive survey in Hong Kong which is reported to have been the most exhaustive survey ever carried out in the British Commonwealth.

This was to get some idea of the traffic volume – both vehicle and pedestrian throughout the Colony and to provide figures  for the estimated traffic load expected traffic load expected to be carried on a bridge or other form of crossing, in addition to the potential growth over a period of years.

The Laboratory also had to arrive at other basic data which would enable the engineers to decide upon the size of the bridge or tunnel, the most suitable location, how many lanes there should be, the number of toll booths and the parking areas required for this traffic.

Proposed Inron Bridge Connecting HK Island Kowloon

This survey also gives information of the size of link roads for traffic approaching or going away from the bridge, and other traffic information.

They had to investigate the requirements of people such as airways, shipping firms, the military and the utilities. All this required close co-ordination between the engineers and the various Government departments concerned with planning and other related matters.

The report will contain all the relative information as to cost, income and other factors concerned with a scheme of this nature.

On its receipt it will be considered by the sponsors who if satisfied that a scheme can be implemented economically will submit their report to Government for consideration.

HF: In the end no bridge was ever built connecting HK Island and Kowloon. However, the first cross-harbour tunnel was opened in 1972. For further information about this please see a couple of articles written by our contributor Tymon Mellor below.

The recently opened cross harbour tunnel connecting HK Island and Kowloon 1972

Source: China Mail 15th December 1960

This article was first posted on 7th January 2024.

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