No one said concrete must resist sea: bridge builder

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 January, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 January, 1997, 12:00am

A row over the concrete used to build the $7 billion Tsing Ma Bridge could leave the Government with a bill for more than $100 million.

The bridge's main contractors, Anglo-Japanese Construction, say that they have been left out of pocket because of the need for a special type of concrete which is resistant to salt water. Acting Chief Justice Noel Power gave permission yesterday for London silk Philip Boulding to be admitted to the Hong Kong Bar so that he could represent the joint venture in the adjudication process.

After the brief hearing, a lawyer for the company said that it had not been aware of the extra expenditure required when it took on the contract.

The company carried out additional tests to establish the right mix for the concrete and brought in specialised equipment.

This was to ensure that sea water did not seep through the concrete structure and attack the metal reinforcements.

The private adjudication hearing is expected to last four days and to take place next month.

The adjudicator for the hearing will be former chairman of the Bar, Gladys Li Chi-hei, QC.

Mr Boulding was called in by the company because of his expertise in law relating to the construction industry.

Overseas barristers can take on arbitration work without being admitted to the Hong Kong Bar. But the situation is not clear with regard to adjudication, the court heard.

The bridge, one of the new airport's core projects, has towers 206 metres high and spans the Ma Wan channel from Tsing Yi to Ma Wan.

The contract was awarded in 1992 and is expected to be completed later this year.