Construction for the Sha Tin to Central Link has been further pushed back by a year, according to the government.
Its construction was initially delayed by 11 months last year after the discovery of ancient relics on the construction site. Back in December, the Antiquities Advisory Board decided on the cheapest HK$10 million no-delay option to “preserve” the third Song dynasty well and aqueduct found at the future MTR To Kwa Wan Station on the Tai Wai-Hung Hom section of the link.
In a paper to be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting of the Legislative Council railways subcommittee, the government said the link’s Tai Wai-Hung Hom section, originally scheduled for 2018, will be delayed to 2019. The Hung Hom-Admiralty line will be delayed to 2021.
The government paper said the archeological works at To Kwa Wan Station will incur delay and additional expenditure. Funding for the Sha Tin to Central Link does not cover these extended archeological works and construction costs arising from the finds.
“The current contingency will not be sufficient to meet the expenditure,” the Transport and Housing Bureau and the Highways Department said in the Legco paper.
The two branches would work with the Development Bureau to seek additional funding from the Legislative Council to do the work.
The overall progress of the construction work at the station will depend on the progress of the recording work and dismantling of a well and the associated water channel, the government added.
On the Hung Hom-Admiralty stretch, the government said that to allow flexibility for the construction of new convention facilities above the Exhibition Station, additional piles would be built next to the station.
Because of geological conditions, it is initially estimated that this will result in a delay of at least five months in the construction of Exhibition Station.
In addition, it is estimated that the handover date of critical sites adjoining the junction of Expo Drive East and Convention Avenue will be delayed by six months because of the need for the reclamation and tunnel works.
“Owing to the heavy road traffic at Wan Chai North, the main construction works for Exhibition Station have become highly complicated and the construction progress will be at risk,” the government said.
The current estimate is that the commissioning date of the Hung Hom to Admiralty Section will likely be deferred to mid-2021. Construction of the 17-kilometer rail link, with 10 stations, is already costing HK$79.8 billion.