Graft investigators have arrested 21 employees of a civil engineering contractor for allegedly falsifying concrete compression test reports on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is holding the group, aged between 20 and 59, under custody, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
ICAC investigations found that some of the tests were not conducted within the set time frame in breach of contract requirements.
Sources said the contractor might have altered the dates on the testing equipment to make it appear the concrete was fully tested for strength.
The investigation stemmed from a complaint to the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD).
A spokesperson for the government said it is unable to to obtain information about the relevant portions of the affected works as investigations are under way.
However, he said the the Highways Department has completed comprehensive inspections of the bridge to ensure that the strength of concrete meets the contract requirements.
The inspections will continue in the next three weeks. The government is scheduled to give details at a press conference on Thursday.
Secretary for Development Eric Ma said any reconstruction will depend on the severity of the falsified test results.
Ma did not say whether the incident will delay the opening of the bridge.
In January 2013, the CEDD engaged the contractor to conduct compression tests on samples of concrete to be used in the bridge project.
The tests for each sample were to be carried out within a set time frame and all samples were required to pass the test.
[Chinese version 中文版]
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