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LCQ3: Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge project

     Following is a question by the Hon Tang Ka-piu and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Transport and Housing, Mr Yau Shing-mu, in the Legislative Council today (May 27):


     The construction works of the Main Bridge of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge project (HZMB Project) commenced in 2009 and is targeted for commissioning in 2016, and the various other local infrastructural projects involving the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities and link roads connecting the existing transport network, including the Hong Kong Link Road, Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link and Tuen Mun Western Bypass (local projects) are expected to be completed one after another between 2016 and 2018. It is learnt that as affected by the judicial review case on Environmental Impact Assessment reports and the construction difficulties encountered, the works projects under the HZMB Project have experienced delay of varied durations, and the tight works schedule has resulted in excessive overtime work and a much higher risk of industrial accidents. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the latest progress of each works project under the HZMB Project (set out the differences between the expected and the current percentages of completion), and the latest anticipated completion dates;

(2) of the total number of works contracts involved in the local works projects under the HZMB Project; the key information of the contracts concerned, including the dates on which the contracts were signed and the completion dates;

(3) whether it knows if all the works projects under the HZMB Project involved workers undertaking overtime work in the past three years; the average monthly hours of overtime work per worker in each works project;

(4) in respect of each works project under the HZMB Project, of (i) the respective numbers of fatal and non-fatal industrial accidents occurred, and (ii) the number of days of work stoppage due to industrial accidents, in each of the past three years; and

(5) of the number of meetings on the HZMB Project held in the past three years between Secretaries of Departments and Directors of Bureaux of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and Mainland officials?



     The entire Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) project consists of two parts: (i) the HZMB Main Bridge; and (ii) the link roads and boundary crossing facilities of the three sides. The works of the HZMB Main Bridge are situated in Mainland waters and the HZMB Authority is responsible for their implementation, whilst the three governments are responsible for their own boundary crossing facilities and link roads.

     My reply to the five parts of the Hon Tang Ka-piu's question is as follows:

(1) The HZMB was targeted for completion by end 2016 when it was planned. The HZMB Authority and the three governments have been implementing the projects against this target. However, as the HZMB project is huge and complicated, there are many challenges during both the design and construction stages. Regardless of whether it is the HZMB Main Bridge or the related projects of the three sides, technical difficulties in construction and pressure in meeting the programme schedule are encountered.

      As the Secretary for Transport and Housing indicated at the meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Transport on January 16 this year, the Joint Works Committee of the Three Governments (JWC) had advised that it would be very difficult for the entire HZMB project to be completed by end 2016. The JWC and the HZMB Authority will further conduct an in-depth and objective analysis on the programme with a view to come up with a programme target. Besides, the Director of the Guangdong Development and Reform Commission advised at the press conference of the third session of the 12th Guangdong Provincial People's Congress held on February 10 this year that, as the HZMB project encountered many unforeseen difficulties and technical problems, it would be difficult to commission the entire HZMB by end 2016.

     As for the Hong Kong-related projects of the HZMB, according to the current progress, the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) and Hong Kong Link Road (HKLR) projects may not be completed in time by end 2016. The Highways Department (HyD) is reviewing the anticipated completion dates. Together with its consulting engineers as well as resident site staff, the HyD will closely monitor the works progress and supervise the contractors in endeavouring to implement the projects with the premise of ensuring safety and quality to dovetail with the commissioning of the Main Bridge.

     As for the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link (TM-CLKL), the completion time of its Southern Connection will dovetail with that of the HZMB Main Bridge whilst its Northern Connection is anticipated to be completed by 2018.

     As for the Tuen Mun Western Bypass (TMWB), the HyD proceeded with the preliminary design and related assessments after obtaining local support for its original alignment in 2010. However, some members of the local community have since expressed concern that the northern viaduct section of the TMWB and the portal of its southern tunnel section at Tsing Tin Interchange might affect nearby residents, and raised strong objection against the project. In the light of their views, the HyD has been endeavouring to examine if there would be room for changes to its proposed alignment, with a view to formulating a road scheme that would strike a balance in terms of technical feasibility, environmental concerns of residents, traffic performance and economic benefits. The HyD completed a preliminary review of the TMWB project early this year and presented a proposed revised alignment of the TMWB connecting Tuen Mun Area 40 with Tsing Tin Road to the Tuen Mun District Council in March 2015. We will further review the TMWB project, including the works programme and estimated cost, having regard to the latest views of the Tuen Mun District Council.

(2) The HKBCF, HKLR and TM-CLKL projects are being implemented mainly through 16 works contracts, the details of which are in Annex 1.  

(3) According to the records provided by the contractors to the HyD, workers (including imported workers) of each of the Hong Kong-related projects were required to work overtime for about 22 hours per month on average in the past three years (i.e. the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years). The contractors will ensure adequate rest time at appropriate places for their workers during their work time in accordance with the relevant requirements.

     As regards rest break arrangements for workers, employers shall, in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance, ensure so far as reasonably practicable the safety and health of their employees at work. The Labour Department has issued the "Guide on Rest Breaks" to put across the importance of providing employees with suitable rest breaks.

(4) The data on the industrial accidents of the Hong Kong-related projects in the past three years (i.e. the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years) are tabulated in Annex 2.

     In the past three years (i.e. the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years), the relevant works processes for the HKBCF and HKLR projects were suspended for a total of 85 and 55 days respectively on account of suspension notices issued by the Labour Department in connection with the occurrence of industrial accidents.

(5) The governments of the three sides hold regular meetings to monitor the works progress of the HZMB Main Bridge. In the past three years (i.e. the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years), the three governments held a total of 26 regular meetings. In addition, the Transport and Housing Bureau and other relevant bureaux as well as departments conduct site inspections from time to time. The Transport and Housing Bureau and the HyD also hold meetings with relevant Mainland authorities on issues of the HZMB works as necessary.

Ends/Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:05


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