6th November, 2014
HZMB Project Over-budget Up Ten-fold
According to the Highways Department’s documents submitted to the Legislative Council, The Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge (HZMB) see massive over-budget. The estimated cost of the Hong Kong portion of the HZMB project, which was to be USD39.2 million, has to be increased. The documents only mentioned that the over budget will be above US$64.5 million, without giving any specific numbers. The HKSAR Government today announced that the initial estimate shows the HZMB Hong Kong portion will require an additional US$645 million. Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, Secretary for Transport and Housing, said that the budget of any project is evaluated under no bias, and will report to the Legislative Council later on with more details.
A spokesperson of the Government said that the main reasons for the increase of the budget are higher salary for construction workers and higher costs for materials and machinery, which increased the budget of the project over the original one approved by the LegCo in 2011. The spokesperson also said that when the final budget is confirmed, the Government will explain it to the LegCo and will request extra funding from the LegCo’s Financial Committee and Public Works Sub-Committee.