LCQ2 : Gov't explains road maintenance and resurfacing works

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Kam-lam and an oral reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works, Dr Sarah Liao, in the Legislative Council meeting today (November 27) :-


I notice that the surface of many carriageways become damaged and rugged shortly after maintenance and resurfacing, which may affect traffic safety. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the average life span of the surface of various categories of carriageways;

(b) the average interval between two rounds of maintenance and resurfacing works on busy carriageways; and

(c) the mechanism in place for monitoring the quality of road maintenance and resurfacing works?


Madam President,

(a) Carriageways in Hong Kong are paved with either bituminous materials or concrete. The life span of the surface of a carriageway mainly depends on the material used and the category of the carriageway. Generally speaking, the design life span of a bituminous road surface is 15 to 20 years and that of a concrete road surface is 30 to 40 years. Highways Department will carry out repair works according to the condition of the road surface in order to ensure road safety and serviceability.

(b) The wear and tear of the surface of a carriageway will be affected by the traffic flow encountered and the age of the carriageway. The staff of the Highways Department regularly inspect all public roads to identify the degree of damage and prioritise maintenance works accordingly.

Road maintenance works can be broadly classified into remedial repair works and planned maintenance works. Remedial repair works are carried out to repair damages identified during road inspections. Such works include filling potholes and repairing the damages that may pose an immediate risk to traffic or pedestrians.

Planned maintenance works mainly include road resurfacing and reconstruction. These works are usually of a larger scale and more costly, but will keep the road serviceable for a longer period of time. Take the bituminous road surface as an example. The Highways Department will decide whether to resurface or reconstruct a road in light of the wear and tear of its surface and sub-base, its usage and the environmental factors in its neighbourhood. Normally, a busy road paved with bituminous materials needs to be resurfaced every three to five years to ensure road safety and serviceability. A road paved with concrete normally does not need resurfacing in a period of 30 years. However, if the road sub-base is damaged, reconstruction works on a larger scale will have to be carried out.

(c) When maintenance works are carried out, the Highways Department will arrange its staff to oversee all aspects of the works for quality assurance. It will also test and examine the materials used and the workmanship in order to ensure that the specifications are met. Moreover, the Highways Department will also dispatch independent monitoring teams to conduct random checks on works underway or completed so as to ensure their quality in terms of procedure, materials and workmanship.

End/Wednesday, November 27, 2002