- Tsing Yi Bridge
Tsing Yi Bridge (zh-tspcy|t=青衣大橋|s=青衣大桥|p=Qīngyī Dàqiáo|cy=ching1 yi1 daai6 kiu4) is the first
bridgeto Tsing Yi Islandof Hong Kong. It crosses Rambler Channel, connecting Tsing Yi Island and Tsing Chauof Kwai Chung. The bridge spans 610 metres (about 2,000 feet) and is 26 metres (85 feet) high. It contributed significantly to the development of Tsing Yi Island, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s.
The bridge was built by Tsing Yi Bridge Company Limited (青衣大橋有限公司), a joint venture of six Hong Kong companies on the island, namely,
China Light and Power, Hong Kong Cement(香港水泥), International Containers(國際標準貨箱), Mobil Oil(美孚石油), Gulf Oil(高富石油) and Standard Oil(標準石油). In 1970, they budgeted 18 million Hong Kong dollars to build the bridge, and Hong Kong Governmentcontributed 7.5 million to the road connection. The construction was by Gammon (Hong Kong).
Its final cost was 17 million Hong Kong dollars and was completed in February
1974. On 28 February, 1974, Sir Murray MacLehose, the Governor of Hong Kong, opened the bridge. Upon completion, the bridge was given to Hong Kong Governmentand the Government built roads to link up various areas on the island.
There are two
lanes on the bridge. Before the rebuilding, the bridge was two-way; afterwards, two lanes are outward bound, and the Tsing Yi Doubling Bridge serves inward traffic.
It is also known as Tsing Yi South Bridge (青衣南橋), or simply South Bridge (南橋), upon the completion of
Tsing Yi North Bridgein 1987.
A stone was erected on the Tsing Chau end of the bridge in memory of the completion. The stone was moved to the Tsing Yi end to spare space for building the Tsing Yi Doubling Bridge.
Tsing Yi Bridge is connected to
Tsing Yi Roadand Tsing Yi Heung Sze Wui Roadon Tsing Yi Island, and Kwai Tsing Roadand Tsing Kwai Highwayin Kwai Chung.
Tsing Yi Bridge is formed by 5
levers, identical pairs of arms supported by stands, 18 metres (60 feet) above the water, in the middle, with round-shaped caissons on the seabed.
The arms are made of
pre-tensioned concrete. Their cross section is of hollow boxes. There are some power cables and two oil pipes inside the boxes. Both sides of hollow boxes have water pipes for the Tsing Yi Island.
On the bridge, 7 metres (24 feet) width is provided for vehicles with a 1.5 metre (5 foot) wide
pedestrianwalkway on each side.
The bridge is designed to withstand
typhoons, strong waves and accidental collisions by ships.
Ships operating in nearby water and passing through have collided with the bridge several times, and caused minor damage to the bridge. Protection islands are built on the channel to avoid further accidents. Warning signs have been erected reminding that only ships under 17 metres are allowed to sail through the channel. Ships are prohibited from staying or operating near the bridge.
Aging and reborn
Tsing Yi Bridge once was the sole connection of the Tsing Yi island to the rest of Hong Kong. As residential population grew, the bridge loading was exceeded. The two lanes become a traffic bottleneck and serious
traffic congestionensued.Heavy overloading, with dramatic increases in heavy vehicle traffic, made the bridge age quickly and the gap edge bent downward. Though later Tsing Yi North Bridgewas built thus alleviating the congestion a bit, and the bridge was closed once in 1989(after the opening of the North bridge) for renovation, the safety of the bridge was still a major concern. Finally, a rescue plan was implemented. A new bridge, Duplicate Tsing Yi Bridge, was built alongside to at first to replace Tsing Yi Bridge temporarily while Tsing Yi Bridge was closed for fixing in 2000. [ [http://www.td.gov.hk/publications_and_press_releases/press_releases/transport_department/index_releasemonth_12_releaseyear_1999_uid_359.htm Press release by Hong Kong Government] ] Some tensioned steel cables replaced the aging cables inside the bridge to straighten out the bent parts. After the project completed, the Tsing Yi Bridge, together with its 'new' brother, served the island again.
On the 10th
birthdayof the bridge, a carnivalwas held on the football field, near Chan Lai So Chun Memorial School, of Cheung Ching Estateon the Tsing Yi Island.
*cite web|url=http://www.fso-tela.gov.hk/accessibility/eng/locations_details.cfm?Photo_Num=00983|title=Tsing Yi North/South Bridges|publisher=The Film Services Office|accessdate=2007-02-24
Other cross-channel bridges:
Duplicate Tsing Yi Bridge
Tsing Yi North Bridge
Tsing Lai Bridge
Ting Kau Bridge
Ma Wan Channel
Tsing Ma Bridge
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