April 9, 2018 — The director of Highways Daniel Chung publicly responded to reports of seawall displacement of an artificial island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Main Bridge today (April 9, 2018). He said that after a site review by the department, they’ve reached the conclusion that the design — the positioning of the dolosse — to be “scientific, reasonable and safe.” He also said that having inspected the building plans and photos taken over a period of time, they do not see that the dolosse have drifted away. Chung believes this to be enough to ally some of the public concerns over the construction of the bridge.
This has been the focus of public discussion for almost a week, during which the news media and members of the public have raised numerous concerns and speculations. And all the while, the Highways Department remained silent until today. We hereby express the DAB’s dissatisfaction and regret over the Department’s delayed handling and delayed response — both in word and deed.
The HZMB involves the collaboration of three governments; and from the responses of the Bridge Authority and the Highways Department, it is evident that the communication and notification mechanisms are found to be lacking. We feel that the recent experience with handling questions on the seawall integrity is a learning opportunity and a chance for the Bridge Authority to set up an internal communications and notifications platform as soon as possible and an official communications and press relations department so that the news media and the public can access accurate information and follow-up via reliable channels, and avoid causing unnecessary widespread fear due to suspicions, speculations and misinformation.
In regard to the explanation offered by the Highways Department today, the DAB is of the view that the department should have provided more evidence and information, including the original design blueprint, safety measures and standards, etc.; we also urge the concerned authorities to, in the future, regularly update the public of the safety works of the HZMB project, as efforts of ensuring and restoring public confidence in the safety and the reliability of the bridge.
Furthermore, the DAB has formally submitted a written request to the Legislative Council Panel on Transport to follow up on this issue.
Media Inquiries: Legislative Councilor Ben Chan (9274 7035)