The December 2017 deadline set by the Hong Kong government for the completion of their portion of the Hong Kong –Zhuhai-Macau Bridge looks increasingly unrealistic, according to a report from Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP).
The report points out that the project, which includes an artificial island where the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) will be located, has been struck by several delays, which have resulted in the Highways Department recently applying for a 4.5-year extension to the land use of the HKBCF site office.
The previous concession will expire in July this year, while the Highways Department’s application represents an extension to December 31, 2020.
Civil engineers told HKFP that it “is normal for site offices to be maintained for about a year after a project has been completed,” which seems to mean that the Hong Kong government is expecting to complete the project not by December 2017 – as mentioned previously – but in 2019, although some engineers have already expressed that “that date might be too optimistic.”
In response to questions on this topic, the Highways Department reaffirmed statements made during the Legislative Council Public Works Subcommittee in December 2015: “While we anticipate that the absolutely essential works for commissioning the HKBCF would be completed by the end of 2017, there would be remaining works not absolutely essential for the commissioning of the HKBCF that would be completed beyond 2017.” Hence, the department proposed to extend the land use time to end in 2020 for the site offices of the resident site staff and contractors. However, engineers seem unconvinced, as they say that contractors generally aim to close the site office down as soon as possible due to it being expensive to maintain.