Hong Kong’s mega bridge to Zhuhai and Macau: did the white elephant just get whiter?
I was shocked to see the recent photographs in the local newspapers of the artificial island at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. These seemed to show that the tetrapod wave barrier placed as protection around the perimeter of the island is collapsing to a major degree.
Some reports surmise that waves have displaced these tetrapod concrete interlocking “‘jacks”. This would be impossible.
The story about the movement at the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) reclamation was first reported in 2015, and civil engineers considered the problem serious, but the government downplayed the issue. It appears from the current photographs that the issue of mud-movement has not been solved.
The downward pressure of the island causes the mud to squeeze out like toothpaste from a tube. It appears that the lower tetrapods have been squeezed out with the liquid mud, and the upper portion has collapsed because of lack of support.
It seems that the problem with the HKBCF is that it hasn’t been left long enough and it is still settling.
Since the 1997 handover, our government has seemed incapable of handling large engineering projects and they are continually beset by major engineering problems, causing interminable delays and cost overruns.
The opinion of one experienced engineering consultant was that “once again Hong Kong has allowed itself to be bullied into building too quickly” to meet a political agenda.
One may assume that such major movement will have severe safety implications for the tunnel and thus the viability of the bridge. The elephant is becoming a whiter shade of pale.
Frank Lee, Wan Chai