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Impact of metal object found in Wan Chai Development Phase II project area on Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Shatin to Central Link projects

A spokesman for the Highways Department (HyD) today (May 21) said that due to the discovery of a large metal object within the project area of Wan Chai Development Phase II (WDII), work plan for the Central-Wan Chai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link (CWB) and the Shatin to Central Link (SCL) projects may be affected.

"Further to the discovery of the large metal object at the seabed near the former Wan Chai Ferry Pier at the end of last year, the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD) indicated that time is needed to assess and deal with the object. The reclamation and associated works at the area have been suspended. Therefore, the construction of the section of CWB tunnel structure near the metal object is also affected," the spokesman said.

The HyD has entrusted the construction of the concerned section of tunnel structure, which is part of the main tunnel for CWB, to the CEDD for implementation under the WDII project. According to works arrangement, upon completion of the tunnel structure by the contractor of the CEDD, the contractor of the HyD still has to carry out subsequent works, including installation of electrical and mechanical facilities, paving of road surface, and system testing and commissioning, under a very tight schedule. As the completion date of this section of CWB tunnel structure may be affected, the HyD anticipates that commissioning of CWB by 2017 as originally planned will be at a high risk. Regarding the exact commissioning date, after the CEDD has completed the assessment on the impact on the progress of the relevant works and advised the anticipated completion date of this section of CWB tunnel structure, the HyD will assess accordingly the commissioning date of CWB as soon as possible.

Moreover, according to the work plan of WDII and SCL projects, the reclaimed land will be handed over to the contractor for SCL in end December 2016 for the implementation of temporary traffic arrangements to facilitate the construction of the Exhibition Station. Since the discovery of the metal object has affected the progress of reclamation works thereat, the handover date of the works area will highly likely be deferred, and may have an impact on the SCL Exhibition Station works. After the CEDD has completed the assessment on the anticipated handover date for the reclaimed land, the HyD will assess as soon as practicable the impact on the completion date of Exhibition Station as well as the SCL Hung Hom to Admiralty Section.

The HyD will continue liaising with the CEDD closely and take feasible measures in a timely manner to minimise the impacts on CWB and SCL Hung Hom to Admiralty Section due to the incident, with a view to completing and commissioning the two projects the earliest.

Ends/Thursday, May 21, 2015