The MTR Corp Ltd says it will be challenging to finish the South Island Line on time, according to a document it sent to lawmakers. As of June 30, the overall work on the line was 96.8 percent complete.
“In view of the current progress, the target opening of South Island Line (East) would remain at the end of 2016,” MTRCL said in the paper. “However, the continual construction challenges at the extension of Admiralty station have put the target commissioning date at risk.”
It said remaining works critical to the target opening date would be the fitting-out, electrical and mechanical and building services installation works at Admiralty station. The corporation said the timetable to complete these critical works is extremely tight due to congested site conditions and logistic challenges in the busy station.
Ben Chan Han-pan, chairman of the subcommittee on railways in the Legislative Council, stated that situation remains unclear and blamed the rail operator for being secretive.
Chan said he doubted whether the project will be completed on time.
“It is not the first day the challenges at the Admiralty station surfaced,” Chan said yesterday. “At least there should be a progress report so we can get hold of the situation.”
He also said lawmakers had requested a site visit to check on the severity of the problems but it was turned down by the rail operator.
Wu Chi-wai, also a member of the subcommittee, said: “Construction challenges are understandable but the MTRCL should make a clear account to the public on the situation.”
The South Island Line will run from Admiralty to Ocean Park, Wong Chuk Hang, Lei Tung and South Horizons.
The cost estimate of the line dramatically increased from the original HK$12.4 billion in 2009 to the latest HK$16.9 billion.
The Kwun Tong extension is also an over-budget line, with the latest cost estimate up 22 percent from the previous HK$5.9 billion to HK$7.2 billion.
The extension of the existing Kwun Tong Line from Yau Ma Tei to Whampoa is 99.4 percent completed, according to the Legco paper.
It is likely the MTRCL will be able to meet the latest target to commission the line by October this year.
The commission date was originally set to be the middle of this year and the delay was due to construction challenges at Whampoa station, the MTRCL announced last year.
The rail operator will be responsible for the cost overrun of the two lines.
MTR Corp may struggle to meet deadline for South Island line