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HyD's response to media enquiries on Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities project

    Regarding media enquiries on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) project, the Highways Department (HyD) today (September 23) responded as follows:

     The HZMB is a large-scale and complex project. There are many challenges during its implementation. For the HKBCF project, the HyD, the consultant and the contractor are fully aware of the challenges in the reclamation works, and have strived to overcome the unforeseen difficulties and technical problems encountered in both the design and construction stages.

     In order to minimise the impact to the marine environment, a fully "non-dredged" design for the whole reclamation works including the seawalls, which is the first of its kind in Hong Kong, has been adopted with ground-strengthening measures to stabilise the marine mud below, and imposition of additional fill material as surcharge upon the reclaimed land for consolidation of the marine mud layers below. Since the existing soft and compressible marine mud layer underlying the reclaimed HKBCF artificial island was not dredged but left in place under the "non-dredged" design, the marine mud in different areas, with different thickness (ranging from about 10 to 30 metres), would be compressed/consolidated at different times when the reclaimed land is surcharged, which causes movements in the reclamation. This kind of movement is normally found among large-scale reclamation projects adopting the "non-dredge" method in the main reclamation, with the HKBCF artificial island of no exception. Various amounts of movement up to about 6 to 7 metres have been recorded in the HKBCF artificial island during the surcharge period of the construction stage (i.e. not moving 20 metres as quoted in a media report) since the early stage of the reclamation works back in 2014.  

     The HyD and the consultant will continue to closely monitor the reclamation contract and will take necessary measures and supervise the contractors closely in ensuring that the reclamation works are carried out safely and that the final land formation is stable for the safe construction of the HKBCF. Meanwhile, efforts have been made to co-ordinate with other superstructure and connecting projects with necessary measures to avoid impact on the respective works progress.

     We have awarded seven infrastructure contracts on the HKBCF island, the works of which are continuously ongoing. As planned, the reclaimed land would be given possession to the infrastructure contractors in stages.  In particular, piling works for the Passenger Clearance Building (PCB) have largely been completed and comply with requirements.

     We have reported to the Legislative Council in early 2015 that the HKBCF project would not likely be completed by end 2016 having regard to various challenges and difficulties.  The HyD is reviewing the anticipated completion date. We will endeavor to overcome the challenges and difficulties encountered for completing the works at the earliest.

Ends/Wednesday, September 23, 2015