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Government to review construction checks on Hong Kong highway project

12 Feb 19 There is to be a review of the monitoring of construction work on a road link to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge following the contractor’s late submission of thousands of forms, Hong Kong’s chief executive has said.

Carrie Lam has announced the review
Carrie Lam has announced the review

Lam said the Highways Department has appointed an independent consultant to review the construction process.

The move is in response to the late submission of more than 10,000 Request for Inspection & Survey Checking (RISC) forms by the Hong Kong Link Road project’s contractor.

The late submission of the RISC forms for works relating to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge’s link road does not involve quality issues, the Highways Department said earlier thus week. The department added that before the bridge opened to traffic, it was confirmed that the works were carried out according to contract requirements, and the works’ technical and safety requirements were met.

The project concerned is the Hong Kong Link Road section between Scenic Hill and Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities, with Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Limited as the engineering consultant and China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Limited the main contractor.

The Highways Department said in July last year that the engineering consultant’s resident site staff reported that the contractor had not submitted over 10,000 RISC forms in time. This accounted for about 28% of such required forms.

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At the department’s request, the resident site staff filed site construction records in last August. Such records were then scrutinised by an independent consultant appointed by the department. The independent consultant found the resident site staff were able to provide ample evidence in a short time, showing the engineering consultant had all along kept systematically a large number of photo records. The staff interviewed were familiar with details of the supervision works.

During the scrutiny, no forgery of documents was found, the department added.

It also said according to contract requirements, the contractor filed the concerned RSIC forms with the dates indicating when the forms were signed - instead of the construction dates - to show they were submitted late.

The department has reflected in quarterly reports the unsatisfactory performances of the engineering consultant and the contractor, and urged them to improve. 

Lam referred to the Highways Department statement confirming the safety and integrity of the construction work. “So I hope there is no question about the safety of this piece of infrastructure which is now being patronised by thousands of passengers on a daily basis,” she said. She added that the government takes the quality of public works very seriously. “But in the process of monitoring the project, whether there is room for improvement, whether there are lessons to be learnt as a result of this incident, I have asked the secretary for transport & housing, together with the director of highways, to thoroughly review the process.”

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