The Water Supplies Department today (December 6) signed a $223 million contract for the replacement and rehabilitation of about 19 kilometres of aged water mains in Lo Wu, Tai Wo and the Lion Rock Tunnels.
The contract forms part of the department's 15-year comprehensive programme to replace and rehabilitate some 3,000 kilometres of aged water mains throughout the territory in four stages at a total cost of about $15 billion.
The Assistant Director of Water Supplies, Mr Ng Chi-ho, said after the signing ceremony, "With the implementation of the comprehensive water mains improvement scheme, incidents of water mains bursting and leakage causing inconvenience to the public will be greatly reduced in the future."
The contract is the last of 17 awarded under stage two of the programme. It includes the rehabilitation of 7.5 kilometres of large diameter fresh water mains running underneath the two Lion Rock Tunnels.
Stage three of the programme, covering about 800 kilometres of water mains with an estimated cost of about $3.8 billion, will be completed by the end of 2013. The last stage, covering about 850 kilometres of water mains at an estimated cost of about $4 billion, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.
Mr Ng pointed out that apart from being a strategic transportation link between Kowloon and the New Territories, the two Lion Rock Tunnels also carried five large diameter fresh water mains providing an essential link in Hong Kong's water supply network.
Three of the five water mains, housed in the first tunnel, was built in the 1960s as part of the department's scheme to bring treated water from the Sha Tin Water Treatment Works through the hilly barrier to Kowloon. With the growth both in traffic and water demand, the second tunnel, which houses two more water mains, was built in the 70s.
On the challenge faced by the project team for the rehabilitation work, Mr Ng said, "As both the tunnels and the five water mains are essential links in the territory's transportation and water supply networks, the biggest challenge is to complete the rehabilitation work within a tight schedule while maintaining normal traffic and water supplies throughout the construction period.
"Upon completion of the rehabilitation, the five water mains can have another 50 years' of service life," he added.
The contract was awarded to Wo Hing Construction Company Limited. Work will start tomorrow (December 7) and is scheduled for completion in 2011.
Ends/Thursday, December 6, 2007
Issued at HKT 20:05