Construction of the Tseung Kwan O extension by the Mass Transit Railway Corp (MTRC) is ahead of schedule, according to chairman Jack So Chak-kwong. The topping-out of Po Lam station, the terminal station of the new extension line, has been completed six weeks ahead of the original schedule. But the company did not say whether the extension would become operational before December 2002, the scheduled completion date. Mr So, speaking at the topping-out ceremony, said 60 per cent of the civil works for the construction had been completed, making the underground railway operator well-positioned to deliver the project in late 2002. The 12.5 kilometre extension comprises five stations connecting Po Lam through Eastern Harbour Crossing to the existing Quarry Bay station on the Island Line. The estimated cost of this sixth railway line of the MTRC has been revised down to HK$21 billion from the original budget of HK$30.5 billion, as a result of the economic downturn and efficiencies achieved. Mr So said the tendering date of the property projects at four locations within the project had not been fixed.