Hong Kong’s Highways Department is demanding a detailed account from rail operator Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) following poor handling of safety issues on the construction of the Exhibition Centre Station.
The Highways Department has said that it is “deeply dismayed” after an initial review of information submitted by MTRC after excavation work on the station which will link the North Island Line and Sha Tin-Central Link was carried out without sufficient support.
A statement from the Highways Department has said that the contracting joint venture of Leighton and China State Construction proceeded with excavation exceeding the allowable depth before installation of the final layer of temporary steel struts and MTRC “allowed the situation to persist for a long period”.
The Highways Department has also criticised MTRC for not communicating about the issue and said that the department first became aware of the problem following media enquiries.
In a statement the department said: “The Transport and Housing Bureau and the Highways Department also deeply regret that the attitude of the MTRC as a project manager and the contractor in handling the incident has unsatisfactorily put the public safety at risks.”
The Highways Department added that a full review of the incident will be carried out and that it will also review MTRC’s implementation of the supervision system.
Construction of the station started in January 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2021.