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Work resumes on Hong Kong Station excavation after six-week stoppage

The Hong Kong highways department has agreed that Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Corporation can resume works for the Shatin to Central Link Exhibition Centre Station.

Hong Kong’s public transport operator MTR Corporation was ordered by the Highways Department to temporarily stop excavation work in August after settlement exceeded more than twice the acceptable levels in some areas.

The decision to start excavation again was made by the highway department after considering comments from stakeholders, including the relevant departments and utilities and the MTR Corporation’s confirmation that the move will not compromise public safety and there would be an updating of trigger levels

The excavation works, which were suspended on the 10 August, showed some settlement within the site or next to it which is up to 232% of the acceptable limit. Ground movement has also affected structures near the site with settlement of 83mm at the former Wan Chair ferry pier and 37mm – which is 50% over the alarm level – at on a water pipe on Fleming Road.

In a report seen by GE at the time, the ground movement at 16 locations reached alert levels and four sites exceed action levels, however, none of these locations are linked to buildings around the site. In total there are 707 monitoring points.

The Buildings Department and Highways Department have since confirmed that the private buildings are structurally safe and that other structures, public facilities and roads are now structurally safe and in safe operation.

“The safety and quality of railway projects are always the prime consideration of the Government. We will closely monitor the settlement condition of structures and public facilities in the vicinity of works,” the statement said.

This halt on excavation work follows on from an incident on the site in June where the contractor allowed the excavation to progress beyond the depth allowed before installing a final layer of temporary steel struts. MTR expressed “deep dismay” at the incident and the delays in reporting the error.

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