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Old January 10th, 2014, 04:34 AM   #661
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Can't wait for this to open. Taking the MTR intercity to Shanghai was nice but takes way too long.
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Old March 29th, 2014, 08:43 PM   #662
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China’s urban delta force
20 March 2014
Business Standard

With work on the Pearl River Delta bridge in full swing, China’s grand plan to turn the region into a one-hour living zone is on course

While China’s idea of a tunnel across the Taiwan Strait remains a dream, a bridge across the Pearl River Delta to connect Hong Kong with Guangzhou through Macau and Zhuhai will soon emerge into reality. Work is well on schedule and hopefully by the end of 2016, travellers from one side of the delta will be able to drive over to the other in just about 45 minutes, instead of four hours that it now takes to go by roads skirting the top of the delta. There are, of course, steamers and ferries, but it’s not the same thing as direct driving, with time and circumstances under one’s control.

First bred in the mind of Hong Kong tycoon Gordon Wu, which many had once thought was a crazy idea, the governments of Hong Kong, Macau, and China have now joined in earnest and are sharing the $9 billion cost of the 42-km sea link. It will actually consist of a six-lane network of bridges and a 6.7-km stretch of undersea tunnel. Two artificial islands will support the cross-over, one off Gongbei in Zhuhai and the other west of the boundary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR).

In fact, China is so interested in bridging the delta that it’s contemplating another link to bring Shenzhen, a bustling special economic zone across the border from Hong Kong, and Zhuhai, also marked as a special economic zone but hasn’t yet quite started to bloom, closer together. Zhuhai is still an affordable and relatively under-populated (1.8 million) location, and businesses from Shenzhen, many of which are from Hong Kong, are looking across the delta as they struggle with high land and labour costs. They just need a quick cross-over.

At 51 km, the new link will be longer than the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai connection and will take off from some 20 miles north of the Hong Kong border to reach the city of Zhongshan, just next to Zhuhai. It’s going to cost around $5 billion and is scheduled for completion by 2021.

All this is part of China’s grand design to turn the Pearl River Delta into the world’s largest mega-city, and a grander one to make it a one-hour living zone. It means all the nine delta cities – Shenzhen, Dongguan and Huizhou in the east; Zhuhai, Zhongshan and Jiangmen in the west; and Guangzhou, Foshan and Zhaoqing in the centre – will be within an hour’s distance of one another. So will be Hong Kong, which retains a separate identity but plays an important economic role in the development of the delta. With a population of more than 60 million, the delta region accounts for nearly 30 per cent of China’s exports. Connectivity within the region is, therefore, absolutely essential and more than 150 major projects to improve its infrastructure, especially in the areas of transport, water, energy supply, and telecommunications are underway.

A blueprint made public in 2008 contemplates a colossal transport network of more than 4,000 km of roads, tunnels, bridges, and intra- and inter-city rapid transits to tie up the entire area, so that residents may live in one city and go to work in another within an hour or even less. Hong Kong travellers can similarly “beep” around the delta, in fact to 16 cities around it, using their Hong Kong-specific Octopus smart cards. Besides, Hong Kong on its part is building a 140-km express rail link, with its terminus in West Kowloon, to further enhance connectivity with its north and west, When it becomes fully operational in 2015, travel time between Hong Kong and Guangzhou will be reduced to a mere 45 minutes.

Connectivity is becoming so crucial an issue for Hong Kong business circles that its government is even toying with a proposal to open up part of its northern border buffer zone and turn it into a commercial district with an eye on the delta. Some Hongkongites don’t like the idea for political reasons but the government thinks it’s not such a bad one since Hong Kong is already closely knit with South China anyway and there’s no way the SAR can prosper on its own any more.

The integrated Pearl River mega-city will create a 16,000 sq mile urban area that’s nearly 26 times larger than Greater London. Without an efficient urban connectivity, such an entity simply can’t work. What China is seeking to do is set a standard of urban mobility for current and future mega-cities that are coming to existence, by the sheer force of urbanisation, in Beijing, Shanghai, and other places in China and around Asia. Asian town planners have yet to wake up to the problem yet. Even the US, where Greater Los Angeles roughly parallels the Pearl River mega-city in geographical terms, hasn’t quite got its connectivity question fully sorted out.
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Old March 30th, 2014, 08:41 PM   #663
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I take it that the Zhong Shan to Shen Zhen bridge is a done deal no longer a proposal? What's the estimated start of construction?
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Old March 31st, 2014, 05:19 AM   #664
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post
I take it that the Zhong Shan to Shen Zhen bridge is a done deal no longer a proposal? What's the estimated start of construction?
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/artic...gshan-approved
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Old April 15th, 2014, 05:19 PM   #665
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From Railway Gazette:

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/i...ompletion.html

Tunnelling difficulties delay Express Rail Link completion
15 Apr 2014

CHINA: The expected completion date for the 26 km Hong Kong section of the Hong Kong - Shenzhen - Guangzhou Express Rail Link has been put back to 2016 and the opening to 2017 as a result of unforeseen tunnelling difficulties, MTR Corp announced on April 15.

During a severe rainstorm on March 30 a section of partly completed tunnel connecting Tsat Sing Kong and Tai Kong Po was flooded after soil and debris blocked the surface drains. This damaged the tunnel boring machine, which now requires substantial repairs including replacement of its electronic components. Studies are now being undertaken to determine whether an alternative method should be used to complete the tunnel, and the construction programme is expected to be delayed by up to nine months.

There are two other locations of concern, according to MTR Corp. At the site of the West Kowloon Terminus the rock strata is higher than expected, requiring more time to excavate. Progress has also been hindered by boulders and uncharted utilities.

The second critical challenge involves complex geology at the cross-boundary section of the tunnels. This passes under protected wetlands and marble caverns are known to be present, so boring has to proceed with extreme care.

‘The Express Rail Link project is a very large undertaking and immensely complex’, said Projects Director TC Chew. ‘Since construction began, we have been presented with numerous challenges which have put pressure on our schedule. We have been very focused on catching up through fine-tuning designs and adjusting the construction works but this latest situation with the TBM makes it clear that completion of the project by 2015 is not achievable.’
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Old April 15th, 2014, 05:36 PM   #666
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Seems some of the reasons are well-known already and not related to that recent storm. Perhaps they wanted to bundle it to blame the weather and soften the impact?
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Old April 16th, 2014, 04:57 PM   #667
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Lawmakers blast rail project delay
16 April 2014
South China Morning Post









Hong Kong’s transport minister and the MTR Corporation are facing calls to come clean about the reasons for the delay in building the multibillion-dollar high-speed railway to the border, and about how much extra it might cost the taxpayer.

Lawmakers accused Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, the secretary for transport and housing, of being irresponsible for expressing surprise at news of the delay, as he is supposedly briefed regularly on the project’s progress.

Cheung yesterday declined to reveal how much more the project could cost. Nor would he say whether the government would hold the MTR responsible for the delay.

At a news conference yesterday, MTR officials also sidestepped questions over when the corporation had reported the delay to the government.

Michael Tien Puk-sun, a lawmaker for the New People’s Party, accused Cheung of lax monitoring.

“Last year, he told us it was OK but now he expresses surprise. That means he did not cross check what the MTR Corp told him,” Tien said.

Democrat Wu Chi-wai urged Cheung to “come clean”.

“I was surprised that he expressed surprise. As the principal official in charge of transport it is his job to monitor the MTRC to ensure the project is delivered on time.”

Albert Lai Kwong-tak, of the lobby group Professional Commons, has been a vocal opponent of the project. He questioned whether there could be a “cover-up” by officials, saying: “There had been media reports a year ago that MTR Corp had warned in some internal papers that the project could be delayed for a year or longer. But only now did it make the delay public.”

The Hong Kong section of the high-speed line was one of the 10 major infrastructure projects announced in 2008 to boost the economy. It is about 26 kilometres long, and runs underground from the border at Huanggang to its West Kowloon terminus.

In May last year, as news reports cited MTR papers warning of the project’s possible delay, officials maintained the project could still be completed on time.

A progress report submitted to the legislature in November said 55 per cent of the tunnelling work, including both drill-and-blast operations and excavation with boring machines, had been completed. It also said 60 per cent of excavation works for the terminus had been completed.

Professor Charles Ng Wang-wai, of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s department of civil and environmental engineering, was more sympathetic, describing the project as a “world-class challenge”.

Citing the building of the West Kowloon terminus, Ng said: “We are talking about excavating some 30 metres deep. That is like … a 10-storey building.”
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 06:03 PM   #668
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Call for authorities to take over MTRC dig
22 April 2014
The Standard

A think-tank is urging the government to take over archaeological excavations after thousands of ancient relics were found along the MTR Corp's planned route in Kowloon City.

It also demanded the MTRC explain whether the construction of the Sha Tin to Central Link will be delayed.

Most of the relics date back to more than 1,000 years.

Engineer Albert Lai Kwong-tak, the convener of Professional Commons, a public policy think-tank, said: ``The discovery is definitely important to Hong Kong and we think the authorities should take over from the MTR.''

Lai said experts from the community should be allowed to take part in the excavation to enhance transparency.

But engineering-sector lawmaker Lo Wai-kwok said it is crucial for the MTR to excavate well at this stage, and he believes that Hongkongers will accept the delay of the rail link.

One of the relics, a square-shaped well from the Song dynasty (960 to 1279), was found near one of Hong Kong's most important monuments, Sung Wong Toi, a stone with carvings indicating it once sheltered two 13th- century emperors.

The Sha Tin to Central Link is scheduled to come into service in 2018.

A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said it had told the MTRC and its contractors to closely monitor the progress of the rail link.

Close to 240 relics were listed, including eight stone buildings and seven others, 151 ditches, four ponds and pits, five wells and 16 burial points.
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 06:03 PM   #669
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Engineer offers explosive solution to railway woes
21 April 2014
South China Morning Post

Raymond Chan says MTR Corporation could blast tunnels after boring machine breaks

Explosives could be used to excavate tunnels for the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou if a boring machine cannot be repaired soon, a leading engineer says.

But Institution of Engineers president Raymond Chan Kin-sek also questioned why the MTR Corporation had not protected the machine from water damage in last month’s storms. Damage to the machine was cited as a key factor when a two-year delay to the controversial HK$67 billion project high-speed rail project was announced last week.

“Why was [the boring machine] not properly protected from the rain? It is something that should be looked into … If it cannot be repaired, other methods such as the use of explosives can be considered,” said Chan, a former head of the government’s Geotechnical Engineering Office.

But the engineer told RTHK’s City Forum that blasting would be time-consuming in itself.

“The components [to repair] the machine need to be sent to Hong Kong as soon as possible. As far as I know, components for this big machine cannot be found in Hong Kong,” he said. “I heard the electric motors were damaged because sand and mud got inside. If they need to be replaced it will take quite a long time.”

The MTR Corporation and the government pushed the finishing date for the line back to 2016 from next year and said services would not start until 2017. The announcement has caused controversy, not least because it was presented as a “surprise” and the result of “unforeseen difficulties”, despite the fact reports of a likely delay emerged as long ago as May last year. Besides the damage to the machines, tougher-than-expected geological conditions at the West Kowloon terminus were also cited.

Gary Fan Kwok-wai, deputy chairman of the Legislative Council’s transport panel, asked why the difficulties had cropped up, given that lawmakers gave the MTR HK$2.8 billion in 2008 for a survey that was supposed to identify project challenges.

Albert Lai Kwong-tak, chairman of the think tank Professional Commons, said a rainstorm in May last year was much more serious than the one last month. “There are nine such machines in Hong Kong at present. How come only the one in the high-speed rail project was damaged? And the rainstorm was much more severe last year. Why wasn’t the machine damaged at that time?” Lai said.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 03:13 AM   #670
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So it is now confirmed that the first senior management member responsible for the high (or not so high) speed rail project in MTR "is retired" !
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Old May 1st, 2014, 07:16 AM   #671
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Dr Greg Wong Chak-yan, a former president of the Institution of Engineers, said that because of the size of the range, surveying only the rim posed the risk of misjudging conditions.

"The MTR lacks some luck in this," he said, adding that the question now was whether it had done its best to get access to the golf range for its surveys.

The MTR said it would not comment as it was preparing reports for a Legislative Council meeting on the issue on Monday.

Lawmakers who visited the terminus this week were told there had probably been no survey of the golf-range area as the MTR was "not granted access".
- scmp.com Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 4:41am



scmp.com



tunneltalk.com
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 12:13 PM   #672
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyridgeline View Post
- scmp.com Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 4:41am

scmp.com

Possibly just another stupid excuse for bad project planning and implementation!

I am sure that a fairly accurate ground profile could have been obtained by drilling inclined holes from the perimeter of the golf court.
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Old May 27th, 2014, 04:20 PM   #673
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By fever04 from dcfever :

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Old June 11th, 2014, 06:17 PM   #674
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Hong Kong Rail Chief Jay Walder to Step Down
Move Comes as MTR Corp. Faces Criticism Over Mainland Rail Link

8 May 2014
The Wall Street Journal

HONG KONG—Hong Kong's rail operator MTR Corp. said its chief executive, American Jay Walder, will step down after his contract expires in August next year.

The announcement comes as the railway company faces harsh scrutiny from local lawmakers and the media over delays and cost overruns involving a high-speed express rail project linking the former British colony with mainland China.

MTR Chairman Raymond Ch'ien told reporters on Thursday that Mr. Walder had reached an agreement with the company and directors last August that he wouldn't renew his contract after it expires in August 2015.

Mr. Walder took over as head of MTR in January 2012 after leading New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority for two years.

Mr. Ch'ien said Mr. Walder's decision had nothing to do with the recent controversies over the high-speed railway delays, which have already led to the resignations of the company's project director and the top engineer overseeing the express rail terminus, a key part of the multibillion-dollar project.

MTR said in mid-April that the opening the express rail line could be delayed for two years to 2017 because of recent weather-related issues, and problems with the groundwork at the express rail terminus that hampered construction progress.

However, some lawmakers and the media have accused the company, which is 77%-owned by the city's government, of withholding information and for not making public the delays much earlier.

MTR executives have apologized for the delays and have said the company would work to meet the new completion target.

The controversy over construction delays has hurt MTR's strong global reputation of running a subway system with a 99.9% on-time rate. The company stands apart from its rivals because it has been constantly profitable without direct government support.

MTR hired Mr. Walder to head Hong Kong's sole rail transit system when the company was aggressively expanding its rail footprint outside the city, particularly in mainland China and Europe.

Mr. Walder was paid about $1.56 million in salary and bonus in 2012, more than four times his $350,000 annual paycheck at New York's MTA. He couldn't be reached for comment on Thursday.
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Old June 12th, 2014, 07:34 PM   #675
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Motion to probe rail delay voted down
12 June 2014
South China Morning Post

The Legislative Council voted down a motion by lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai seeking to invoke its special powers to investigate a delay to the Hong Kong-Guangzhou high-speed rail line. Fan wanted to find out if the MTR and the government hid key facts from the public before the delay was revealed in April, but the transport minister said a Legco inquiry might only cause further delays.
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Old June 24th, 2014, 10:48 AM   #676
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From Railway Gazette:

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/t...ut-faster.html

Flushing out faster
24 Jun 2014



CHINA: Smith Brothers & Webb is to install its Britannia automated emptying system for controlled-emission train toilets at the future Shek Kong high speed train depot on Hong Kong’s Express Rail Link.

This will be able to evacuate 800 l of effluent in 8 sec, allowing a single operative to clean the tanks on a 12-car high speed train in 10 min. There will be three installations at the depot, with a fourth as back-up.

‘The speed and ease of use of the new Britannia CET system makes it particularly attractive for high speed trains’, said Smith Brothers & Webb Chairman Harvey Alexander.

‘With more trains now running at night there is less time available for maintenance. Consequently we have already received a number of enquiries from train operators who are moving toward more of a 24 h a day service. Operators want swift turnarounds of trains, and this fully-automated Britannia CET certainly delivers - it can empty three times as many tanks as a conventional model in the same time.’
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Old June 25th, 2014, 05:01 PM   #677
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Motion to probe rail delay voted down
12 June 2014
South China Morning Post

The Legislative Council voted down a motion by lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai seeking to invoke its special powers to investigate a delay to the Hong Kong-Guangzhou high-speed rail line. Fan wanted to find out if the MTR and the government hid key facts from the public before the delay was revealed in April, but the transport minister said a Legco inquiry might only cause further delays.
I would say let them focus on fixing the problem. After it's running smoothly this controversy won't matter.
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Old June 26th, 2014, 03:43 PM   #678
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Lawmakers to probe rail link delay
26 June 2014
The Standard

The Legislative Council has agreed to set up a select committee to look into the two-year delay of the construction of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

The decision was taken after 23 pan- democrats filed a joint petition to demand an in-depth investigation. But the committee will not have the power to summon witnesses.

Democratic Party lawmaker Wu Chi-wai said the committee will rely on information provided by the MTR Corp to get to the bottom of the issue and find out who should be held responsible.

Wu expects the probe to last at least six months. He does not think the committee's work will overlap with other investigations.

The government had earlier failed to announce any delay in completing the Hong Kong section of the link.

Later the government and rail operator revealed that officials had been informed of a possible delay last year but this had not been made public, Wu said.

``Also, there were apparent loopholes in the way relevant government departments monitored the construction progress as well as the MTRC's internal management so it is necessary for Legco to follow up the incident.''

Wu said since the government has failed to tell the public if the fault lies with it or with the railway it is necessary to find out who should be held responsible should the final costs go overboard.

Though none of the pro-Beijing lawmakers supported the petition, Legco president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing passed the request to establish the select committee as the number of members supporting the petition exceeded that required by the rules of procedure.

The government-controlled MTRC announced two months ago that the HK$67 billion high-speed railway project would be delayed by at least two years.

It also said that operations would not commence until 2017.

The news sparked a massive public outcry and raised concerns that the government and railway company had colluded to cover up the delay.
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Old July 12th, 2014, 05:31 AM   #679
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Deep cracks found in rail terminus ceiling
12 July 2014
South China Morning Post

MTR Corporation insists the fissures are the result of ‘normal shrinkage effects’; construction experts think the problem may be more serious

Deep cracks have been found in concrete ceilings at the West Kowloon high-speed rail terminus, raising more questions about the already delayed construction project.

The MTR Corporation insisted that the cracks did not affect the structural safety of the HK$67 billion railway project, but construction specialists called for immediate remedies.

The cracks were found in the ceiling of basement level three – the plant room – of the southern section of the terminus.

Beneath the level are rail platforms and above is a car park.

Photographs of the cracks seen by the South China Morning Post show about a dozen long cracks on the concrete slab ceiling of the basement. There are also metal structures erected to support the ceiling.

A person who provided the pictures said water had seeped through the cracks in the one-metre-thick slabs during heavy rain in late May and delayed other essential installations at the level.

“The cracks found in the slabs are obviously a failure in engineering standards,” the person said.

He said the contractor could have overlooked some procedures, such as concrete curing, as it rushed the project.

He described the cracks as a “safety issue” that could only be addressed by removing the cracked slabs, but he was worried the problems would be covered up.

In response to inquiries, a spokeswoman for the MTR insisted the cracks were the result of “normal shrinkage effects”. She refused to clarify the scale and locations of the cracks. She said only that cracks were discovered in “places” from basement one to two.

“Further investigation concluded that these are shrinkage effects, which are not uncommon in concrete construction and do not affect the structural safety,’’ she said.

She said the contractor, a joint venture of Liang O’Rourke, Hsing Chong and Paul Y that was awarded the HK$3.3 billion contract in 2010, had been asked to handle the cracks with injections.

The rail operator’s ability to manage the project was called into question in April when it was disclosed that its opening would be delayed by two years to 2017.

The delay is now the subject of an independent investigation initiated by the government.

Chan Chi-ming, head of construction at the Institute of Vocational Education, rejected the MTR’s explanation that the cracks were the result of shrinkage.

He said shrinkage would lead only to a web of surface cracks but the cracks in the basement, as shown in the photographs, seemed to have cut vertically across the slabs.

Chan also said the cracks appeared to have a directional pattern, suggesting they might not be sporadic but systematic.

The cracks could leave the building owner a big burden of maintenance in the long term, although they might not pose immediate structural safety threats, he warned.

Chan suspected that the cracks were caused by uneven work site subsidence that created larger-than-expected tension on the concrete. He called on the MTR to release more information about the cracks.

“They should have made some provisions about the cracks but apparently the cracks turned out to be worse than expected. Cracks like this should not appear in a well-managed construction project,” he said.

Chan also said the photographs indicated the cracks had been filled with injections.

Shown the pictures of the cracks, veteran structural engineer Greg Wong Chak-yan described the defects as “not good” and called for immediate remedies.

“The cracks are not ignorable defects. Cracks of such width and depth require remedial measures,” he said.

Still, he said that, while such cracks were undesirable, they “do occur in a few places” in a project of great size due to defective concrete or a poor pouring process. “As long as the defect does not occur in a significant percentage of the works, it is not alarming,” he said.

Wong said if the cracks were found at a similar location in each basement level, the problems could be related to design or structural defects like an insufficient number of steel reinforcing bars.

Another veteran engineer who was an adviser to the express rail project said that while cracks were inevitable in concrete structures, he could not ascertain if these had anything to do with rushing to meet deadlines.

He disagreed that site subsidence could be a cause, as the building was not erected on top of soft soil but on hard granite rock.

He said cracks wider than 0.2 millimetres would require remedies such as injecting chemicals into the concrete to fill the pores inside it.

“Frankly, the construction quality of the railway is not that bad. It sounds like a problem because it receives so much attention,” he said.
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Old July 19th, 2014, 07:46 AM   #680
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MTR saga highlights governance and accountability issues
South China Morning Post
18 July 2014

Events at the MTR are becoming increasingly curious. In May, shortly after we were told about the delay to the cross border express rail project, it was announced that MTR CEO Jay Walder would not renew his contract, but MTR chairman Raymond Chien Kuo-fung said the decision was made last year and was not related to Walder's handling of the express rail project.

At Wednesday's meeting when the MTR announced the findings of its internal enquiry it was also revealed that Walder would be leaving next month and Chien again added the phoney assurance that his departure had nothing to do with the report. Clearly Walder's departure has everything to do with the report. Wednesday's announcement was an exercise in damage limitation.

First the timing of the meeting was not insignificant, coming a few days after the Legislative Council session which meant the government and the MTR weren't subject to critical headline grabbing blasts from that direction. Blame was restricted to the two figures that had already been singled out, Walder and project director Chew Tai-chong. The hope is that by making Walder the principal fall guy, this will deflect attention from the Secretary for Housing and Transport, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, and Walder presumably will be well paid to do so. Cheung does not come out of this affair with any distinction.

When the delay to the cross border express was announced on Tuesday, April 15, his initial reaction was, "I was totally caught by surprise," adding that he had only heard of the delay a few days earlier. But documents were subsequently leaked showing that his bureau was aware of the delays in November, and exposed Cheung for being, shall we say, conservative with the truth.

However, the government does not want another high-profile departure from its ranks so is hanging on to him. But clearly the government's oversight for the project has been abject and even when it did learn about the delays it chose to keep quiet. This, as our colleague Jake van der Kamp has noted, raises governance questions since it is a publicly listed company and is supposed to announce sensitive information to the stock exchange and thus to the holders of its stock. This matter appears to have been brushed under the carpet. Clearly the MTR has been overstretched and has taken on too many projects at once.

It would be interesting to know its response when the government first discussed embarking on the high speed rail project. The Hong Kong government was directed to build it by the central government, but who determined the completion deadline - the government or the railway? How should minority shareholders feel about having politically defined projects thrust on the company? The MTR has become a political football ever since its partial privatisation in October 2000.

The then financial secretary, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was looking to realise HK$30 billion from the sale of part of its stake in two tranches, in order to fill a gaping budget deficit of about HK$40 billion. In any event, one tranche was sold for HK$10 billion. The merger with the Kowloon Canton Railway in 2006 was made for political rather than economic reasons.

The upshot is that the MTR now is neither fish nor fowl. Despite being a listed company it doesn't have the freedom to operate in the best interests of its shareholders. It is neither accountable to its shareholders, and because it has a board that is largely appointed by the government, it doesn't - as events have shown - appear to have a handle on what is happening within the company.
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