Legco subcommittee to review $853 million funding requests

Projects, Slider 11 Mar 2013
Legco subcommittee to review $853 million funding requests

Legislators will be scrutinizing three public works projects with a total cost of HK$852.7 million at money-of-the-day (MOD) prices that the government is seeking funds for.

The Public Works Subcommittee of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council will meet on Wednesday to look at the funding applications and make recommendations.

The biggest funding application is for the relocation of the Court of Final Appeal to the recently vacated former Legco building at 8 Jackson Road.

In a paper submitted by the Judiciary Administration, the government said: “The current accommodation of the Court of Final Appeal at No.1 Battery Path is manifestly inadequate for the smooth and efficient functioning of the court. There is no room for on-site expansion of the present CFA building, which is a declared monument.”

As such the government is proposing to relocate the court to the former Legco building at a cost of HK$463.6 million at MOD prices.

The former Legco building was actually the former Supreme Court of Hong Kong until 1978 and was converted to the Legco building in 1985.

The former Legco Building at Jackson Road in Central is set to be converted for use by the Court of Final Appeal  (Danny Chung)

The former Legco Building at Jackson Road in Central is set to be converted for use by the Court of Final Appeal (Danny Chung)

The government announced in 2009 that it would relocate the Court of Final Appeal to the Legislative Council building on Jackson Road after the council relocated to the new council building complex at Tamar.

On completion of renovation in March 2015, there would be two court rooms, eight chambers for judges, two galleries, a judges’ retiring room, a library, two conference rooms and various other rooms.

A breakdown of the cost before adding the MOD factor for inflation shows that building works including heritage preservation, building renovation, structural and building repair works and construction of an underground chiller plant room would cost HK$203.6 million.

Building services will cost HK$72 million, external works HK$22.9 million with furniture and equipment coming in at HK$50.9 million.

Tenders for this project were submitted last November to Architectural Services Department.

Assuming the subcommittee makes a recommendation to provide funding on Wednesday, the Finance Committee will meet a month or two later to finally give the funding green light.

The Tseung Kwan O – Lam Tin Tunnel project is set to start in earnest if the subcommittee recommends funding for design and site investigation, estimated to cost HK$196 million at MOD prices.

“At present, the Tseung Kwan O Tunnel is congested during peak hours and it is envisaged that the TKO Tunnel cannot cope with the anticipated traffic demand as Tseung Kwan O is further developed,” the Transport and Housing Bureau said in its submitted paper.

This project for design and site investigation was one of the projects announced in government’s budget last month.

According to the breakdown of cost before MOD factor, detailed design and supervision of site investigation works would cost HK$88.6 million with the site investigation works coming in at HK$50 million.

Remuneration of site resident staff would cost HK$4.8 million.

The bureau plans to seek funding later for the remaining items for the tunnel project.

According to the bureau’s paper, the project would consist of a dual two-lane highway about 4.2 kilometres long of which about 2.6 kilometres would be a tunnel.

It would link Po Shun Road of Tseung Kwan O in the east with the Eastern Harbour Crossing and Cha Kwo Ling Road of Kwun Tong in the west.

Related works include slip roads, depressed roads, viaducts, an interchange, a ventilation building, tunnel portal facilities and reclamation of about three hectares of land to construct the depressed roads.

Detailed design and site investigation works is due to start in November 2013 for completion in December 2016.

The third funding request is for improvement works at Mui Wo phase 1 at an estimated cost of HK$193.1 million at MOD prices.

The works consist of a segregated pedestrian walkway and cycle track along the waterfront between Mui Wo Cooked Food Market and River Silver, a footbridge, a civic square and other ancillary works.

Danny Chung

 

 

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