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LCQ15 : Constraints on conducting public works at Tin Shui Road explained

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Wai Yip and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works, Dr Sarah Liao, at the Legislative Council meeting today (November 20) :

Question:

I have received complaints from residents in Tin Shui Wai that the road opening works at a section of Tin Shui Road between Tin Chung Court and Tin Wah Estate, which started more than two years ago, have not yet been completed. Since there are some ten bus routes with bus stops at that section of the road, with buses queuing up to pull in at the stops during rush hours and illegal parking in the vicinity, the area often experiences severe traffic jams. Moreover, as the pedestrian traffic lights there are still not in service, pedestrians have to cross the road with no crossing facilities. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the reasons for the slow progress of the above works despite my request two years ago to the Administration for their completion as soon as possible, and the measures the Administration will take to solve the problem once and for all;

(b) as there have been reports from residents that very often no workers are working at the site, whether the relevant departments have monitored the progress of the works closely; if they have, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(c) of the number of prosecutions instituted last year in respect of illegal parking on that section of Tin Shui Road, and the measures the Administration will take to solve the problem of illegal parking there; and

(d) given that Tin Chung Court and Tin Wah Estate have been occupied for more than two years, whether it has assessed the impact of the delay in completion of the works, the traffic jam at the relevant section of the road and the lack of road-crossing facilities on the residents in the area; if it has, whether there are specific improvement plans; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

Madam President,

(a) The works at the junction of Tin Tan Street and Tin Shui Road involve laying of water pipes, drainage repairs, road resurfacing and installation of traffic signal system, etc. Since there is limited space around the junction, the works have to be carried out in stages.

In early 2000, the Government carried out laying of the major water pipes near the junction. As the contractor performed poorly and failed to complete the contract, the outstanding works were assigned to another contractor. When the waterworks were substantially completed in mid 2001, the Government started the drainage repair works.

The drainage repair works were also beset with difficulties. Due to the busy traffic and the limited working space at the junction, the contractor had to excavate the road in stages in order to repair the drains. In the course of the works, the contractor found that part of the drain which needed to be replaced was located under the valve of another fresh water pipe and therefore could not replace the drain by direct excavation. As such, the Government considered diverting the drain. However, the information obtained from the trial pit revealed that as there were too many utilities serviced at the junction, it was not feasible to replace the drain by diversion.

The Government therefore arranged for the contractor to carry out a CCTV drainage survey to ascertain the extent and the location of damage to the drain. In the light of the survey result, the Government decided to repair the damaged drain by using internal lining method. The contractor has now completed the repairs of all the drains.

(b) During the period, the consulting engineer of the Government sent resident site staff to monitor the works and their progress. In order to complete the works as soon as possible and to minimize their impact on the busy traffic, the Government and the consulting engineer met with the contractor regularly to discuss the progress of works and the difficulties involved and to explore ways of solving the problems. The Government had also interviewed the senior staff of the contractor and issued warning letters to them on account of the unsatisfactory progress of works.

(c) According to the development plan of Tin Shui Wai New Town, all the public and private estates are required to provide adequate parking spaces in compliance with the town planning standards. Multi-storey carparks are therefore provided at Tin Chung Court and Tin Wah Estate, which are situated along Tin Shui Road, and a temporary open car park is also available at Tin Tan Street to meet the parking demand. But many motorists often park their cars, trucks and heavy vehicles at places around Tin Shui Road overnight just for the sake of convenience. Such illegal parking not only threatens the safety of road users but also seriously disrupts the public transport services. In view of this, the Police have stepped up enforcement actions and issued 852 fixed penalty tickets against illegal parking at Tin Shui Road and the roads nearby over the past six months. Upon stepping-up the enforcement actions, illegal parking in the area has now been reduced significantly.

(d) In view of the constraints and for the reasons mentioned above, the works has taken a longer time to complete. During the course of the works, the departments concerned have, in light of the actual situation, taken measures such as installing temporary traffic lights as road-crossing facilities and resurfacing the uneven places at the above road junction to minimize the nuisances caused to the residents. The works have now been substantially completed. The remaining road-resurfacing works and installation of the traffic signal system are scheduled for completion in December.

End/Wednesday, November 20, 2002

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