A BRITISH-led team of consultants last week won the competition to design Hong Kong's £430M Stonecutter's bridge with plans for the world's longest cable stayed span.
The Halcrow-led group, which also includes Chinese engineer the Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute and Danish architect Dissing & Weitling, beat off 27 submissions by 18 groups to take first place, picking up £160,000 in prize money.
The landmark structure will span more than 1,000m across the Rambler Channel between container terminal nine on Tsing Yi and container terminal eight at Kwai Chung in Kowloon.
A cable stayed design was chosen for speed of delivery.
The bridge is expected to take four years to build, compared with five years for a suspension bridge.
At 295m tall, the bridge's towers will be 50% high than the Tsing Ma and Ting Kau bridges.
It will form part of Route 9, bypassing the existing Route 3 highway between the Lantau Link and Cheung Sha Wan which is expected to reach saturation in 2006.
The design features single towers built either side of the Rambler Channel linked by a main deck.
Independent technical and aesthetics panels agreed this was a better solution than the more conventional 'A'-frame design by the second placed Scott Wilson/Leonhardt Andre team.
Third was TY Lin International with Gensler Architecture Design & Planning. This produced proposals for parallel twin towers at each end.
Hong Kong Highways Department major works project manager Robert Lloyd told NCE: 'It will be something very different. The towers are very slender.'
Halcrow chief bridge engineer Stuart Withycombe added that the basic idea of the bridge was born within weeks of the Highways Department launching the competition in December last year (NCE 25 November 1999).
He said that the relationship between the partners had cemented to the extent that 'we are looking for further projects in Hong Kong and China.'
Lloyd said that with the design of the Stonecutter's bridge now fixed, documents inviting expressions of interest in detailed design and construction supervision would be issued by the end of the month with winners appointed next spring.
Detailed design is likely to take about 18 months before construction contracts are awarded in 2003.
Construction work is not expected to begin until March 2004 to allow time for the formation of container terminal nine, which is being reclaimed.
The Hyundai/China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation joint venture which is building terminal nine is due to make the site available in November 2004.