Date
22 June 2017
Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung  said the government has always given top priority to the quality of public construction works. Photos: Xinhua, CNSA
Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung said the government has always given top priority to the quality of public construction works. Photos: Xinhua, CNSA

Cheung: Highways department the victim in fake report scandal

The Highways Department, which oversees the construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, is just a victim of the fake reports scandal at the multibillion-dollar project, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung told lawmakers.

Speaking at a special meeting of the Legislative Council’s Panel on Transport on Monday, Cheung stressed that the government has always given top priority to the quality of public construction works, and urged the public to refrain from speculating until more test results and an investigation report on the matter are unveiled, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

On May 23 the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) said it has arrested 21 employees of a government contractor who were suspected of faking test reports on concrete cubes used for the mega bridge.

Staff of the Civil Engineering and Development Department had found the anomalies while checking the reports last year and reported the matter to the ICAC for further investigation.

Demand for the parties to reveal what part of the bridge used the problematic concrete cubes has not been satisfied until the Monday meeting.

According to data submitted to lawmakers by the Highways Department, the concrete cubes in question have been installed in 210 positions of the bridge, with 159 of them considered as “key” structures.

The department said it has conducted non-destructive core tests on 13 of the key structures so far, adding that an independent consulting firm will be hired to supervise future checks of the concrete tubes in question.

According to Cheung, there are 3,000 key structures at the bridge and 2,000 of them have passed non-destructive core tests conducted by the Highways Department.

The department is considering conducting destructive core tests on the samples later.

At the Legco meeting, Director of Highways Daniel Chung Kum-wah said injecting the concrete tubes in question into some of the 159 key positions which are underwater would be a very complicated process and might damage the structure.

But lawmakers insisted that complete sampling tests be conducted on the concrete cubes to ensure their safety.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

TL/AC/CG

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