Legislators will review public works projects with a value totalling nearly HK$48 billion at money-of-the-day (MOD) prices when the Public Works Subcommittee of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council meets Wednesday.
The subcommittee will be looking at three projects, all of them big-ticket items with the Tuen Mun to Chek Lap Kok Link being the biggest item, valued at HK$44.8 billion (MOD).
According to a paper submitted by the Transport and Housing Bureau, the link was required to improve transport links between Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Macau and Shenzhen.
The project will consist of two main sections, the Northern Connection at 5.5 kilometres length and the Southern Connection at 3.5 kilometres length.
The Northern Connection will consist of a dual 2-lane sub-sea tunnel from Tuen Mun Area 40 to the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge while the Southern Connection will consist of a dual 2-lane sea viaduct linking the HKBCF and North Lantau.
The costs of the tunnel and sea viaduct are estimated at HK$16.2 billion and HK$3.7 billion respectively at September 2012 prices before addition of the inflation (MOD) factor.
Other items of work include reclamation at Tuen Mun Area 40 (HK$1.2 billion), toll plaza (HK$864 million) and building works (HK$625 million).
One interesting item of cost is the provision for the Fire Services Department to establish a dedicated rescue team at a cost of HK$30.7 million due to the proposed use of tunnel boring machine for the sub-sea tunnel.
“The construction of the proposed TBM tunnel will require compressed air work at pressure as high as 5.2 bar, much higher than the normal 3.45 bar for compressed air works in Hong Kong,” the bureau said.
As such all workers and firemen would need to undergo special training first.
The cost of this item comprises mainly of essential training and rescue equipment.
For the reclamation at Tuen Mun Area 40, the bureau said it would adopt non-dredged method for the main reclamation while conventional dredging method would be used for the seawall so as to strengthen the foundation of the seawall.
The project will use several procurement methods.
The Northern and Southern Connections are planned to be carried out under design-and-build contract on a lump sum basis “because the works under these contracts are extremely complicated and highly specialized” the bureau said.
The toll plaza and tunnel buildings would be done under standard re-measurement contract due to the possibility of quantities for piling and foundation works varying due to actual ground conditions.
Lump sum contract will be used for the traffic and control surveillance system.
The remaining work, which will be the subject of a future funding request, is the Tuen Mun Western Bypass, a nine kilometer dual two-lane highway connecting Kong Sham Western Highway in the north and the Tuen Mun – Chek Lap Kok Link in the south.
The government plans to start work within this year for substantial completion of the Southern Connection by end of 2016 in tandem with the commissioning of the HZMB while completion of the Northern Connection will have to wait until end of 2018.
According to the government gazette, Highways Department invited applications for prequalification registration for the Northern Connection in May last year for tendering later in September.
However for the Southern Connection , the department conducted an open tender exercise in October last year with tenders to be submitted in February this year.
Legislators will also be looking at funding requests of HK$983 million (MOD) for the reprovisioning of Yau Ma Tei Police Station and HK$1.9 billion (MOD) for the reprovisioning of Yaumatei Specialist Clinic at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Both of these projects have come about due to the construction of the proposed Central Kowloon Route.
The Architectural Services Department invited applications for prequalification from contractors in March last year.