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CHAPTER 1.

INTRODUCTION
1.1

DEFINITION

A highway structure is a structure intended to carry highway vehicles, and/or bicycles


and pedestrians over, under or through a physical obstruction or hazard, and may be a bridge
(which may be in the form of a culvert exceeding 2 m in diameter or span), a flyover, a
viaduct, an underpass, a subway, a walkway cover, a cantilever noise barrier, a noise enclosure
or a sign gantry.
A walkway cover is an at-grade structure in the form of a roof cover intended to
provide shade and shelter from the sun and rain for pedestrians.
A railway bridge may be an underbridge or an overbridge. A railway underbridge is a
structure intended to carry railway tracks, together with the locomotives and rolling stock
using them, over or through a physical obstruction or hazard.
A railway overbridge is a structure intended to carry vehicles, pedestrians or services
over one or more railway tracks. A railway overbridge may be a highway structure if its
primary intention is not for carrying service installations.
A culvert is a drainage structure designed as a closed conduit for conveying
stormwater from one side of a highway or railway track to the other. A culvert exceeding 2 m
in span or diameter corresponds to a small bridge, and shall be treated as a highway structure
or railway bridge. A drainage conduit or nullah forming part of a more extensive drainage
system which incidentally passes under a highway or railway track at a point or points along
its route is a drainage structure, and for the purposes of this Manual is regarded as neither a
highway structure nor a railway bridge.
A wall designed to hold soil or rock in position is an earth-retaining structure. A wall
designed to act as an abutment to a highway structure or railway bridge, or to support an
approach to a highway structure or railway bridge, although in itself an earth-retaining
structure, shall be treated as part of a highway structure or railway bridge.

1.2

LIMIT STATE DESIGN

Highway structures and railway bridges shall be designed on the basis of the limit
state philosophy contained in British Standard 5400 - Steel, Concrete and Composite Bridges.
The two limit states to be adopted are the ultimate limit state and the serviceability limit state
as defined in Clause 3 of BS 5400 : Part 1. As mentioned in BS 5400 : Part 1, a design life of
120 years has been assumed unless otherwise stated.
Structures should be designed and constructed so that it is inherently robust and not
unreasonably susceptible to the effects of accidents or misuse, and disproportionate collapse.
Design for robustness against collision by vehicles and derailed trains shall be in accordance
with Clauses 2.7 and 13.4.

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All undated references to BS 5400 refer to the current edition except for loading
(originally given in BS 5400 : Part 2) which shall be as published in the current edition of the
United Kingdom Highways Agencys Departmental Standard BD 37/01.
However the provisions of some parts of BS 5400 and BD 37/01 are not relevant to
Hong Kong conditions, and for these, the recommendations of this Manual, or other
appropriate criteria approved for adoption by the Chief Highway Engineer/Bridges and
Structures, shall be substituted.

1.3

RAILWAY BRIDGES

Before the design of any highway structure crossing a railway track, or of any railway
underbridge, is commenced, the requirements of the appropriate railway authority shall be
ascertained. Preliminary and detailed drawings, with calculations if required, shall be referred
to the appropriate railway authority for comments. The approval of the appropriate railway
authority shall be obtained before any work is undertaken.
In the absence of specific comment, the contents of this Manual shall be deemed to
apply to railway overbridges and railway underbridges as well as to highway structures.

1.4

APPROVED
SUPPLIERS
OF
MATERIALS
CONTRACTORS FOR PUBLIC WORKS

AND

SPECIALIST

Main contractors engaged on projects involving the supply of special materials or


specialist works on highway structures shall either themselves be registered as approved
suppliers or specialist contractors in the appropriate category of the List of Approved
Suppliers of Materials and Specialist Contractors for Public Works, or shall be required to
engage one of the approved suppliers or specialist contractors registered in the category to
supply the special materials or to carry out the specialist works on highway structures.

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