MTR Corporation (MTRC) has stopped all excavation work at the Exhibition Centre station in Wan Chai, after reports revealed that 14 areas around the station have sunk beyond acceptable limits, as reported by Hong Kong Free Press.
Work at the station—part of the upcoming Shatin to Central Link—is monitored for three different levels of sinking: ‘alert’ at 12 millimetres, ‘action’ at 18 millimetres, and ‘alarm’ at 25 millimetres.
Currently the most severe sinking occurred close to the former Wan Chai ferry pier—83 millimetres—much higher than the ‘alarm’ level, while a water pipe near the Eastern side of the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel on Fleming road sank 37 millimetres, almost 50 per cent over the alarm level.
There were 16 locations where the sinking reached ‘alert’ level, whilst four reached the ‘action’ level. 707 monitoring devices set up near the site. Of which, 264 were on the ground, 224 were for public facilities, and 219 were for buildings. Devices set up at nearby buildings did not detect sinking that exceeded limits.
Reports surrounding the sinking at the Exhibition Centre station came after similar reports of sinking building near the To Kwa Wan station and also along the Shatin to Central Link.
More than 20 buildings near the MTR’s To Kwa Wan station construction site have been found to have sunk. Despite acceptable limits being exceeded, construction work was not halted and residents were not notified.
The issue was raised in an internal consultant report written in June 2017 and obtained by Apple Daily, which stated that 23 buildings have sunk beyond acceptable limits, with the worst being BMW House, which sank 62.9 millimetres or 34 per cent over the limit.
Meanwhile, 17 above ground and underground water and gas pipes have also sunk. The gas pipe next to BMW House sank 54.2 millimetres.
Jacob Kam, who was appointed the new projects director just three days ago, said that digging was stopped to allow time to review all relevant records and to ensure safety.
He said if the public believed their properties and buildings were affected by rail projects, they can contact MTRC to send contractors and engineering staff to inspect the situation. Residents who suffer loss due to nearby MTR construction are regularly referred to an independent claims adjuster to determine compensation. — Construction+ Online