Another bridge scandal: Govt probing use of ‘fake’ concrete
In yet another Hong Kong-Macau bridge scandal, government departments are reviewing the concrete used in the project after reports that lab tests were falsified.
According to the Apple Daily a lab technician had certified ‘fake concrete’ made from sub-standard materials for contractors on the Hong Kong section of the bridge. The ICAC has arrested a government laboratory staffer and is investigating others involved in certifying the results.
Development Secretary Eric Ma said yesterday the Highways Dept and CEDD are now reviewing the results of the lab tests, RTHK reports.
In the worst-case scenario the entire affected section of the bridge would have to be rebuilt, according to a former head of the Geotechnical Engineering Office, Raymond KS Chan. However, if the fake concrete affected just one or two localised sections, they could be separately replaced.
Legco may also get involved, with members expressing concern about the incident.
The chairman of Legco’s Transport Panel, DAB lawmaker Ben Chan, said he’s extremely concerned about the incident as it could jeopardise the safety of the bridge. He called on the government to fully investigate the allegations and get to the bottom of the matter.
Democrat member Lam Cheuk-ting described the alleged incident as “extremely serious,” and that because it involved public interest and safety the public had a right to know. He said he would ask the Transport Panel to discuss as soon as possible.
The incident is the latest in a series of accidents, delays and cost overruns that have hit the bridge project since it began in 2009.