12km Hong Kong link road to mega bridge to be completed this month, government says after previous delay
The project was nearing the finish line before jacking system fault halted operations
A key 12km stretch of motorway in Hong Kong leading to the multibillion-dollar bridge that will link to Zhuhai and Macau is set to be completed this month, authorities have said amid a one-month delay from the last projection.
The Hong Kong Highways Department issued a statement on Tuesday saying: “[The] project team has overcome the challenges encountered by the Scenic Hill Tunnel of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Hong Kong Link Road project, and is implementing the last bit of the works leading to the complete connection.”
The department said that the construction of the Scenic Hill Tunnel under the link road project was earlier progressing according to schedule, but the team then encountered a mechanical failure of some parts in the jacking system.
The fault halted jacking operations with just a few metres left from completing the connection of the road to the bridge.
“The project team immediately carried out urgent repair works and conducted a thorough inspection of the mechanical systems to ensure the safe operation,” the statement read.
The solution involved flying in the required mechanical parts from overseas, which were delivered to the site on Monday.
The statement added that the contractor was currently replacing the damaged parts of the hydraulic jacks at full speed, after which the last bit of the jacking operation would resume.
The department also reiterated that the Hong Kong section of the bridge was on track for completion by the end of this year.
Lawmaker Jeremy Tam Man-ho said the short delay was acceptable, but he was concerned about the safety of workers.
“What is more important is that they focus on the safety [of the construction sites],” he said, pointing out the serious dangers with the working platforms.
The bridge has been plagued by industrial accidents, delays, and cost overruns.
Two workers were killed and three others were injured last month when a platform they were dismantling under a viaduct outside Tai O suddenly collapsed.
Since construction began in 2011, a total of 275 incidents have occurred, leaving 10 workers dead and more than 600 injured.