Tunnel leak another stain on MTR project

Top News | Staff reporter 14 Aug 2018

Leakage has been found in a tunnel of the SAR section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, which is scheduled to open on September 23.

Online media released two photos of the West Kowloon Terminus approach tunnel (south) project, which shows several water stains on the ground and water seepage on the adjacent wall.

Quoting senior civil engineer Ngai Hok-yan, HK01 said the terminus was built using the cut-and-cover method, adding there should be no leakage in the tunnel.

Ngai said construction of the waterproof layer may "not have been done properly."

As for the water on the ground, Raymond Chan Kin-sek, the former president of the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers, is worried that there may have been "a short-circuit causing a circuit break" in the underground cables. Should this occur, it would affect the normal operation of the railway.

Chan urged the MTR Corp Ltd to ensure that the electrical and mechanical communication facilities are waterproof.

According to the rail link's website, the contractor for the project is a Gammon-Leighton joint venture.

While the MTRCL did not deny the leakage, a spokesman said most of the construction work at West Kowloon station took place underground.

Diaphragm walls surround the station, while underground facilities and structures all adhere to the necessary requirements.

The spokesman said it is difficult to make the station completely waterproof as water could seep in through the seams in the wall.

Should it be present, it can be rectified through grouting.

The spokesman said the sewerage system is in place at the diaphragm walls and functioning properly. He said if water seeped in, the system should be able to drain it. Gammon Construction said it is aware of slight seepage at certain spots on the walls, and added it will hold talks with the MTRCL and perform grouting work if necessary.

According to the source who supplied two photos to HK01, they were taken between May and June this year. The seepage has not yet been properly rectified.

The source also said several sections along the Hong Kong section of the express rail suffer from similar problems.

However, the MTRCL opted not to inform the public, the source added.

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