HK Marine Department eases height limits under Tsing Ma Bridge

NEW Hong Kong Marine Department regulations will relax the height restrictions at the Tsing Ma Bridge (TMB) this week from 54

26 January 2021 - 19:00
NEW Hong Kong Marine Department regulations will relax the height restrictions at the Tsing Ma Bridge (TMB) this week from 54.6 to 57.0 metres above sea level during specified hours.

Vessels with height exceeding 57 metres above sea level that wish to transit the TMB Area at low tide within should seek prior permission from the Vessel Traffic Centre, said the Marine Department Notice.

Roberto Giannetta, Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association chairman, was pleased with the decision. 'Hopefully, we will be able to bring back some of the 8,000 to 15,000-TEU vessels that have avoided coming here owing to these restrictions.

'With a height of 65.8 metres at the lowest point within the navigational channels under the bridge, we believe there is still room for further adjustments. But, we are happy to see this initial adjustment to 57 metres as a first step. We can monitor actual recordings and consider further adjustments once everyone is comfortable with such,' Mr Giannetta said.

'If we can see the material and economic benefits to HK as a direct result of this initial clearance adjustment, I believe all parties will be more willing to consider further clearance revisions,' he said.

Specified hours of each day will be published by notice by the Director of Highways on the following website of the Highways Department with effect from January 28.

Details of the Amendment Regulations are available at the following websites:-i)!enii)!en

The TMB Area is specified in the Fifth Schedule to the Shipping and Port Control Regulations. It is the area of the waters of Hong Kong bounded by the shore and straight lines joining the following co-ordinates (WGS 84 Datum) from (A) to (B), and (C) to (D):-(A) 22??21'18' N 114??03'54' E(B) 22??21'29' N 114??04'45' E(C) 22??21'04' N 114??04'54' E(D) 22??20'48' N 114??03'57' E

Masters, coxswains and those in charge of vessels are advised to closely monitor the height of their vessels and ensure that the highest point of their vessels does not exceed the specified limit.

Attention of masters, coxswains and persons in charge of vessels is drawn to the fact that the Marine Department may, pursuant to section 16(b) of the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance (Cap. 313), on safety ground give direction to an owner or his agent or to a master of any vessel with a height exceeding 54.6 metre above sea level not to enter or pass through the TMB Area under the circumstances where unscheduled or urgent inspections and maintenance of the TMB is required to be carried out by the Highways Department and its contractor.

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