on 14 November 1997
ITEM FOR FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 60 - HIGHWAYS DEPARTMENT
Subhead 273 Highways maintenance
Members are invited to approve supplementary provision of $30.79 million.
The approved provision of $717,368,000 under Subhead 273 Highways maintenance for 1997-98 is insufficient to meet increased expenditure on maintenance and repair works as a result of the exceptionally heavy rains in the past few months.
2.We propose supplementary provision of $30.79 million.
3.We had an exceptionally wet summer this year marked by record levels of rainfall caused by heavy and prolonged rainstorms. The amounts of rainfall recorded for both June and July were more than twice the normal figures. On 15 October 1997, the running rainfall total at the Hong Kong Observatory since the beginning of the year reached 3 269 millimetres, making 1997 the wettest year for Hong Kong since records began in 1884. The normal annual rainfall for Hong Kong is 2 214 millimetres.
4.The heavy rain caused many incidents of severe flooding and landslides, damaging many roads and roadside slopes. During the first four days of July alone, over 140 cases of landslides and about 130 cases of flooding were reported. Major incidents include the closure of all six lanes of Tuen Mun Road due to flooding, the landslide at the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery near Sha Tin in July, and serious flooding in the Yau Tsim Mong area in August. We had to attend to these incidents immediately and call upon contractors to carry out the necessary clearance, repairs and remedial works. Such emergency works include -
- repairs to damaged slopes;
- resurfacing of carriageway and patching of potholes;
- replacement of drains and construction of additional gullies;
- replacement/installation of overflow weirs; and
- clearing of choked gullies, gully sumps and stormwater connection pipes.
So far this year, the Highways Department has issued a total of 3 090 emergency works orders. A summary of the extra works and the cost of the repairs is at the Enclosure
5.The Director of Highways (DHy) has carefully reviewed the work programme and commitments to see whether the increased expenditure arising from the above exceptional circumstances could be met by rescheduling the normal maintenance work without jeopardising road safety and serviceability. He concludes that there is little scope for rescheduling the normal maintenance work.
6.Based on the works completed and those that need to be carried out in the coming months, DHy estimates that the total expenditure in 1997-98 under Subhead 273 will exceed the approved provision of $717,368,000 by $30,790,000, calculated as follows -
|$ ' 000
|Actual expenditure to date||370,641
|Add||Estimated expenditure for the remainder of 1997-98||377,517
|Estimated total expenditure for 1997-98|
|Less||Approved provision for 1997-98|
| Supplementary provision required|
7.If Members approve the proposal, we will offset the supplementary provision required by deleting an equivalent amount from Head 106 Miscellaneous Services Subhead 251 Additional commitments.
8.The approved provision of $717,368,000 under Subhead 273 Highways maintenance in the 1997-98 Estimates is for the normal maintenance and repairs of roads, tunnels, pavements, bridges, lighting and other installations. Expenditure on highways maintenance is on the rise as a result of new roads, bridges, pavements and street lighting completed or installed.
Enclosure to FCR(97-98)55
Head 60 - Highways Department
Subhead 273 Highways Maintenance
Summary of extra works and costs for repairs for 1997-98
due to exceptional rainstorms and wet weather
|Hong Kong||(1)||Repairing slope damages|
|(2)||Resurfacing carriageway and patching of potholes|
|Kowloon||(1)||Flooding problems in Yau Tsim Mong area -||
|a.replacement of defective road drains and construction of additional gullies|
|b.replacement/installation of overflow weirs|
|c.other similar drainage remedial/improvement works to be completed in 1997-98|
|(2)||Other maintenance activities -|
|b.water jetting to clear stormwater connection pipes|
|(1)||Clearing choked gullies, gully sumps and connection pipes|
| (2)||Resurfacing carriageway and patching of potholes|
|(3)||Urgent repair works to roadside slope failures|
|(4)||Provision of stand-by gang to meet emergency cases|