1900 Public Works Report

A copy of the original document is available online at HKGRO. (You may need to click the link twice to see the document.)

Excerpts:

[...]

4. The following particulars of Land Sales and Survey Work are taken from figures furnished by Mr King, at present in charge of this branch:-

[...]

Inland Lot 1625, to the South of Morrison Hill Road, was granted to the Natives of Northern India for a "Dharma Sala"; and Inland Lot 1613 Kennedy Town was granted to the Trustees of the Tung Wah Hospital for extensions, both under 75-year leases. There were also two free grants at Kowloon, one of 30,000 square feet to the Church Missionary Society for the erection of a Home for Chinese Girls at Kau Pui Shek; and the other of 15,000 square feet to the Hildesheim Mission for Blind Girls at To-kwa-wan.

[...]

28.    Governor s Peak Residence. —The plans for this building, which promises to be the largest and handsomest building at the Peak, were prepared by Messrs. Palmer & Turner. The site and approach roads had been formed under special votes at a cost of $5,575.46. A contract for the building was let to Mr. Sang Lee for $97,715.69 and fair progress was made with the work during the year. The kitchens and servants’ quarters were nearing completion when the typhoon of 10th November occurred, and, as the masonry of the walls was unset and the roof only partly framed, considerable damage was done. The stone foundations of the main building were well advanced before the close of the year, and the woodwork of the doors and windows was in course of preparation.

29.    Pokfulam Conduit Road.—This new road was carried as far as inland Lot 1,549 during the year at a cost of $9,684.73. The amount of premium from sale of sites for houses on the road has already reached $48,050, with an annual income from Crown Rent of $1,991 besides the rates and taxes. Similar results have followed the opening of all new roads in the Colony. Plans and Estimates are ready for the completion as far as a junction with Robinson Road.

30.    Harlech Road.—The road from the upper Tram Station to High West, which has been thus named, was commenced (owing to an arrangement kindly suggested and carried out by His Excellency Major-General Gascoigne) by working parties of the Royal Welch Fusiliers. The earth cutting and removal of boulders was completed for three-quarters-of-a-mile by the soldiers, at a total cost of $990.61. Owing to the extravagant demands by Chinese contractors, the rock blasting and masonry works have not been commenced. It is now decided that this road should be taken over and completed by the Military Authorities, to give access to sites for batteries on High West and sites for buildings beyond and to the North of the saddle.

31.    Gaol Extension.—A new wing containing 78 separate cells was completed during the year, but could not be used owing to the non-arrival from England of the special Gaol locks ordered. They have since been received. The upper yard was surfaced with concrete and covered in. The total expenditure under this heading in the year was $16,959.06.

32.    Quarters for Gaol Staff.—These quarters should have been completed in the year and available for use from the 1st January, but owing to the dilatoriness of the contractor were unfinished, The brickwork is completed and the roofs are being fixed. The total expenditure in the year was $20,855.93.

Comments

4. The following particulars of Land Sales and Survey Work are taken from figures furnished by Mr King, at present in charge of this branch:-

Inland Lot 1625, to the South of Morrison Hill Road, was granted to the Natives of Northern India for a "Dharma Sala"; and Inland Lot 1613 Kennedy Town was granted to the Trustees of the Tung Wah Hospital for extensions, both under 75-year leases. There were also two free grants at Kowloon, one of 30,000 square feet to the Church Missionary Society for the erection of a Home for Chinese Girls at Kau Pui Shek; and the other of 15,000 square feet to the Hildesheim Mission for Blind Girls at To-kwa-wan.


 

The owners of 53 lots on Praya Reclamation amounting to 290,289 square feet were permitted to enter into occupation,The annual rental on the lots being $5,346.

 

The principal item under extensions during the year was Quarry Bay Marine Lot 2; the area so granted amounting to 323,800 square feet, Crown Rent $1,487 and the premium $32,380.

 

The Conversion of Farm and Garden Lots in Hong Kong were as follows: - Portion of Farm Lot No 64 owned by Mr HO Tung was converted into Inland Lot 1611 with an area of 11,314 square feet, Crown Rent $31.00 per annum and a premium of $905.12. Garden Lot 1, was converted into Inland Lot No 932 with an area of 17,050 square feet, Crown Rent $79.00 and a premium of $511.50

 

Survey Branch

 

The demand for land, as evidenced by the large sales effected, necessitated an unusual amount of work in the survey branch

 

Special surveys were also made, one in connection with the extension of water Storage in the Tytam Valley, a re-survey of Wong Nei Chong reservoir in order to ascertain the exact storage capacity, and a survey of the Military Reserve North of Austin Road Kowloon. In all it is estimated that nearly 1,000 acres were surveyed.

 

5. Plans were deposited for 148 European and 752 Chinese houses, and for 1,332 Miscellaneous structures. Certificates were granted under section 52 of Ordinance 15 of 1889 for 368 houses, and permission was given for the erection of 227 Verandahs.

 

7. Private buildings have been going up very rapidly both in HongKong und in British Kowloon, there was probably never such activity in the building trade before, and this, in spite of greatly enhanced prices of all materials and of wages. Many new and handsome houses designed for European occupation have been completed on MacDonnell Road and elsewhere, but the wealthier Chinese now purchase and occupy such houses and are willing to pay enormous prices for them, the scarcity of houses for Europeans increases and rents still go up.

8. Large blocks of land have been sold with the express condition that only European houses should he erected thereon, and a very good number of such buildings were completed and came into use in 1900, while others in the Happy Valley are nearing completion. But there is no law by which such buildings can be reserved for European occupation, so the relief in rents is not felt.

9. Maintenance of Buildings

 

Maintenance of Praya Walls and Piers

 

9.19. General repairs and tarring were executed to the timber pier at Stonecutters’ Island and to the Police pier at Tsim Sha Tsui. Under authority of C.S.O. 816/1899 the Ice House Street  Wharf was rented to the “Star” Ferry Co. on the completion of the Blake Pier. The timber pier at Sham Shui Po was washed away by the heavy gale which occurred during the Autumn ; it was in a decayed state. No works requiring special mention were executed to the Praya Wall.

Maintenance of Roads and Bridges in Victoria

9.21. In accordance with the scheme set forth in C.O. Tel. of 6th August, 1897, the work of widening Queen’s Road was undertaken by the Naval Authorities, the surfacing. kerbing and channelling, &e. being carried out by this Department at their expense. The portion from the City Hall to Murray Road has been completed with the exception of the strip to be taken off the Cricket Ground opposite Garden Road, which may convenient to be left over until the widening of Murray Road is taken in hand. The widening of Queen’s Road East in the neighbourhood of Wellington Barracks was about completed at the close of the year.

 

Maintenance of Roads and Bridges out of Victoria

9.22. With the exception of Pokfulam Road nearly all these roads are surfaced with decomposed granite or such material as can be found within a reasonable distance, consequently they suffer much in the rainy season. During the period under review the Road leading from Wanchai Gap to Aberdeen was coated with small broken granite obtained along the roadsides, although the material is soft, yet it makes a sufficiently good surface for Bridle Roads. The old wooden Bridge near the top of this road, having fallen into decay, was replaced by a brick arch at :1 considerably higher level, thereby much improving the gradient of the road which was very steep at this place

Maintenance of Roads and Bridges in Kowloon

9.23. lt can hardly be said that the main Roads in Kowloon have been maintained in a satisfactory condition during the year, for they have been very much cut up by the Siege Train connected with the China Expeditionary Force. The roads were not constructed to stand such heavy traffic and consequently a considerable expenditure, not met by the ordinary maintenance vote, will he necessary before the principal thoroughfares in Kowloon can he thoroughly repaired and I believe the time has arrived to lay down Macadam here, as the Peninsula. has grown to such an extent that the requirements of the ordinary traffic must be provided for.

 

Private Streets Improvements

9.34. During the year the important work of improving private streets by concreting, channelling, draining and providing them with lighting apparatus at the owners’ expense under the authority of sections 9 and 10 of Ordinance 34 of 1899 was begun. Eleven private streets running from Queen's Road Central to Des Voeux Road and immediately West of the Central Market, were taken in hand. Most of those streets were paved with large stone slabs which were very uneven and loose, and laid with wide joints through which Water found its way and lodged underneath causing a most insanitary state of things. The drainage was inadequate, and the streets were either very badly lighted or not lighted at all. New surfaces were formed by laying on the top of the stone paving from 4 to 6 inches of lime and cement concrete. The Drainage was properly provided for and sufficient gas lamps erected, the total expenditure being $7,491.82 chargeable against the owners of the land abuttmg on the streets.

The following were the principal items carried out under the vote for Miscellaneous Works:

 

10. The Extension to the general post office was taken in hand and completed in November

 

11. The approaches to Belilios Reformatory were improved and the slopes turfed at a cost of $800.(CSO 726/1898)

 

12. A public latrine of 40 seats Was built in the Taipingshan district at a cost of $2,644.41.

 

13. A new service reservoir above Glenealy was built at the expenditure of $3,995.

 

14. The landing pier at Kowloon City, referred to in last year’s Annual report, the timber work of which had become rotten and dangerous, was renewed at a cost of $2,316 additional to the sum spent in 1899

The WATER SUPPLY of THE COLONY.

 

17. The necessity for further storage in Hongkong again became apparent by the necessity which arose on the 1st May of putting the City on an intermittent supply, which, however, owing to the timely commencement of the rains, only had to be continued for 13 days. Wongneicheong reservoir, holding 33,000,000 gallons was completed in 1899 and the full benefit of it was obtained for the last dry season. The rainfall of 1899 had only reached 72.71 inches, or 16.29 inches below the average, and 1900 was again short, only reaching 73.71 inches. It has been decided to proceed with the construction of three more reservoirs in the Tytam Valley, and one will be commenced in 1901. The transfer of Mr. CROOK to Gibraltar and the delay in filling up the vacancy caused some delay in starting these works. These reservoirs arc estimated to contain 70,000,000, 40,000,000 and 20,000,000 gallons respectively and no doubt in a wet year all will fill and thus 530,000,000 gallons will he held up in Tytam Valley alone. Two of them till at the expense of Tutam, that is they are in the same watershed and above it. lt is also intended to raise Pokfulam two feet which will add 4,000,000 gallons to the supply.

 

18. The extension of buildings on the higher levels of the city rendered it necessary to construct a new service reservoir, to replace that to the south of Belilios Terrace. This new reservoir was completed at the end of the year, at a cost of $5,440.03 and now supplies all the new houses on the Pokfulam Conduit Road, besides affording greater pressure for Belilios Terrace and the Robinson Road houses. It is filled by the Arbuthnot Road motor and at new main of larger dimensions has been laid connecting them. Another new service reservoir, to be filled front the Bowen Road filter beds and reservoir, is required above the site of the Military Hospital and was commenced before the end of the year. A hydraulic motor is being fixed at Bowen lload.to pump up water to this reservoir, as well as to a third new reservoir to be built on the summit of Mount Gough.

 

19. Owing to the large and permanent increase in the population at the Peak, the supply in the summer months, was maintained with much diificulty, and not without more than one break down. The engine house at Bonham Road was enlarged during the year, and a new and much larger boiler fitted up. Steps have been taken and the necessary materials obtained from England to duplicate the rising main from Bonham Road to Victoria Peak, but the Peak; supply will be in a somewhat precarious and unsatisfactory state, until the Mount Gough reservoir is completed, and filled from Bowen Road motor. Particulars as to increased consumption of water, &c., will be found in Mr. HOLLINGSWORTH’S report and in the appendices.

 

21. lt is however now certain that in a few years Kowloon will have a plentiful supply of good water without any pumping from a reservoir to the North of the hills bounding the harbour,5&¼ miles from Tsim Sha Tsui below the new road leading to Taipo. Here an excellent site has heen found for a large reservoir, intercepting several perennial streams, and having a drainage area of 517 acres. A masonry dam is being designed which will eventually be 10o Feet high, or equal to the main dam at Tytam. It will impound 310,000,000 gallons of water with a top level of 455 feet above ordnance datum, thus allowing ample head after filtration and to command the highest part of British Kowloon as well as Kowloon City, Sam Shuipo and other places in New Kowloon still dependent on wells. The completion of this work will be a great boon to Kowloon in many ways, and will no doubt enhance the value of property greatly. At the same time the valleys now reserved for the present water supply will be available tor sale. and good building sites both for Europeans and Chinese will be opened up by the construction of cross roads between Hunghom and Yaumati, and similar roads traversing the peninsula from East to West. It is not unreasonable to suppose that before many years British Kowloon will rival Victoria in population and trade. With this in view broad and straight roads are being, and should continue to be laid out, and open spaces for parks and recreation grounds reserved.

 

22. New Law Courts: - The design for this building were, by direction of the Right Honourable the Secretary of State, prepared in England by Messrs. Aston Webb & Ingress Bell, Consulting Architects to the Colonial Office. The plans were carefully scrutinized and approved of locally with some slight alterations. The plans for the piled foundations were prepared locally, a satisfactory contract for the work was let in July, and good progress has since been made.

23. The Public Works Department Store at Wanchai was completed early in the year, the total cost being; $17,843.96. To it all the stores previously kept at Crosby Store and the rented building on Praya East were removed and then properly arranged and catalogued. The Storekeeper lives in the quarters built on the premises, and the work has proved a great success in every way, except that already more room is required.

24. No. 7 Police Station and Branch at Kennedy Town. A new Police Station was built on a site selected above the Cattle Depots on the road leading to the PokFulam Road. The work was completed on the 1st October at a total cost of $6,737.37. It is said to be a healthy and convenient station. Before Work could be commenced on the new No. 7 Station, temporary matshed quarters had to he erected to accommodate the Police required in this neighbourhood and this was done on the Government Reclamation opposite the Sailors’ Home. Good well built sheds including all necessary out-offices and cells were completed and are now occupied.

25. Disinfector Station and Quarters. - Plans and estimates were prepared for this building on a site close below the No. 8 Police Station in the Taipingshan resumed area, and a contract let for the work. It was completed after much delay on the part of the contractor in November at a cost of $11,508.43 after deducting a fine of $810 for delay. The old and unsightly building previously used near the Medical Staff Quarters has since been removed.

26. Chair Shelter at the Peak Tram Station: -  This Building should have been completed in November, but for various causes the constructor is much behind his time, and the work will not he out of hands until February. The masonry is completed and the roof on so that the coolies can even now obtain shelter from the weather. The building being in an exposed position is built in a very solid and massive way to defy Typhoons.

 

33.  Swine Depot, Kennedy Town: - This work which was commenced in the previous year was completed in February, the total cost being $9,115.33. lt is a handsome and well built structure. Further accommodation is already required.

34. Police Station at Sai Kung - Plans and Estimates were prepared and a contract let for the erection of a Police Station at Saikung. Owing to much sickness among the workmen probably due to their own careless manner of living rather than the unhealthiness of the site, there has been delay in the progress of the works, but thc masonry was well advanced towards completion before the end of the year.

35. Police Station at Shataukok:- Plans and Estimates were prepared, and a contract let for this work situated on a commanding site near the head of Starling Inlet, close to the Northern boundary of the New Territory. This work was completed and the station occupied before the end of the year. It is hoped that the Police stationed in the New Territory will enjoy better health when housed in these comfortable and well built permanent stations.

36. Taipo Road: -This important trunk road leading through the heart of the New Territory,and eventually to be carried on to Samchun on the Northern boundary, is described in paragraph 41 of the Annual Report for 1899. Early in 1900 the road was completed to the 9th mile from Kowloon Ferry Pier, a point a little beyond Tai-Wai village. Here the first stream of an any importance. one draining the Southern and Eastern slopes of the Tai-mo-shan range, has to be crossed. After an examination of the river and flood marks, and consulting the oldest inhabitants of Taiwai. the decision to leave 90 Feet of waterway and to make the platform of the bridge 16 feet above the bed of the stream was arrived at. One span of 90 feet would have been provided for but for the difficulties of transport of heavy iron work, and  good stone was fairly plentiful in the vicinity, it was decided to build two piers in the river’s bed,  and have three spans of 30 feet clear, bridged by rolled steel joists and a concrete platform. The foundations for both abutments and piers were formed of cement concrete in mass, resting on hard gravel 6 feet below the river-bed. The masonry was completed in 1900 and the iron work shipped from London early in December. The contractor who had constructed the road to the 9th mile, was so exorbitant in his demands for the next section that no terms could be made with him, and utter much delay a new contractor was found, but the progress  during the year fell far short of that made in 1899 and of what was hoped for. The 10th and 11th miles are perfectly level, and for the most part run on embankments close along the seashore, the slope on the seaside being pitched with stone laid in mortar and jointed in cement. Two more bridges occur in this section, one of 30 feet span and one of 10 feet span. In both cases cement concrete in mass was used for foundations, sand extending to a great depth below the surface. After reaching the large village of Fo-tan, it was decided to carry the road on a causeway direct across the bay a distance of 1,740 feet, rather than hug the coastline and so make a long detour. This proved a somewhat diificult work; as the tides topped the embankment daily, and a good deal of material deposited got washed away. The causeway was so far advanced in December that the flow of seawater was stopped except through the opening of 100 feet left at the Western end. This opening will be bridged by a timber bridge of 5 spans on piles. The 11th mile ends near the centre of this causeway.

 

The trace for the extension of the road on to Taipo has been completed, and a footpath opened along the same, which seems to be a good deal used, as it only rises 300 feet above sea level while the old path by which the Telephone line runs crosses a gap 1,000 Feet above the sea level.

 

37. Pier in Deep Water, Taipo:— This is rather a misleading title for this work which consists in connecting an island, up to which deep water extends and on which a small pier existed, by a causeway, across a shallow tidal flat, with the hills on which the Police Station and the official quarters, &c stand. A contract amounting to $4,887.70 was let for this work in April, and provided for a causeway tour feet wide on the top, the sen face pitched with stone. The work when well advanced was twice partially destroyed by storms. and consequently progress has been very slow. It was also found necessary to pitch the inside slope of the embankment as the action of the tides and rain constantly destroyed the banks. This is now being done. lt will be advisable to carry the Taipo road along this line when the causeway can be widened and considerably strengthened. The pier from the Island was totally destroyed by gales during 1900, and a permanent iron or stone pier running into 9 feet of water will have to he constructed later on.

38. Survey of the New Territory: - Mr TATE, the officer in charge of this work, reports that an area of 4,000 square miles has been triangulated and that the stations established in the New Territory for this purpose are being marked in order to preserve them.

 

For the production of a topographical map, on a scale of l inch to the mile, an area of 300 square miles has been surveyed and plotted.

Of the cadastral survey, 45,000 acres have been completed and mapped to scales of 16 and 32 inches to the mile. The former scale has been adopted in the wide valleys where the fields were of considerable area, but it was found necessary to adopt the larger scale for the narrow valleys situated among the hills.

 

A special survey of Kowloon City, including the walled portion was also made and plotted to a scale of 64 inches to a mile.

 

39. Praya Reclamation:- The report of Mr. J. R. Mudie Executive Engineer in charge of the Praya Reclamation Works, is quoted in full below:

Owing to scarcity of labour, and the starting of the Naval Yard extension works, and the reclamation and Dock works at Quarry Bay, the progress on the Praya reclamation during the year has not been very satisfactory. However, good and useful work has been done, sections 4 and 5 from Wing Wo Street to the end of Wing Lok Street where the Nam Pak Hong Pier stood, have come into full use although the roadways are unsurfaced. Building operations on the reclaimed land are in active progress and the draining and sewering of the land has been completed, as well as the laying of gas mains, erection of street lamps, &c., &c. The new Canton steamer wharf was completed and opened for use in November, just in time to take the place of the temporary pier at the end of Wing Lok Street which was almost completely destroyed by the typhoon on the 10th November.

40. The new pier opposite the end of Pedder Street, 200 feet. long by 10 feet wide, was completed in October, and opened to the public on the 29th November by His Excellency Sir HENRY A. BLAKE, G.C.M.G., who was graciously pleased to consent to name “Blake Pier."

 

The pier projects from a solid base of granite masonry 126 feet wide projecting 40 feet from the line of the Praya wall, with a flight of stone landing steps at each side. It is 200 feet long by 40 feet wide with eight flights of steps, four at each side. It was constructed by the Horseley lron Works Company from designs and specifications prepared by Messrs. Coode, Son & Matthews. It was erected here by Messrs. KINGHORN and MACDONALD under the supervision of Messrs. J. F. BOULTON and J.R. MUDIE, Executive Engineers. Difficulties were encountered, but successfully dealt with, owing to the great depth to which the piles had to be screwed, and the nature of the bottom -some of the piles being upwards of 60 feet below the high water mark. The base was designed to carry the new Clock Tower which it is proposed to erect to take the place of that which stands in Pedder Street and which has become an obstruction to the traffic. The cost of the Blake Pier was $122,771.00.

 

This typhoon which was of considerable severity —the centre passing within a few miles of the city did no damage to the Praya wall or piers, but the heavy seas which broke over the roadway of the Kennedy Town reclamation scoured out deep holes in it and washed off all the surfacing.

41. The following is a copy of the report on the damaging typhoon which occurred on the night of November 9th-10th :

 

Report on the damages to Government property and buildings due to the Typhoon which passed over Hongkong on the night of the 9th and morning of the 10th November 1900

 

This report deals only with damage done to roads, works and buildings in charge of the Public Works Department. The typhoon, which had been signalled for two days, seems to have rapidly approached the Colony during the night of the 9th and to have acquired damaging intensity and force about 2 a.m. on the 10th, apparently reaching a climax between 5 and 6 a.m. when the rapid veering of the wind from North and North-West to West caused the greatest damage.

 

Roads:—The force of the wind raised a very heavy sea in the harbour which (especially in the West) broke over the Praya Wall scouring away the surface and in some instances forming deep pits in the roadway. Owing to the Praya Wall resting on it rubble mound, the earth filling gets drawn out from under the road surface and subsidences such as described take place.

 

The heavy rainfall which accompanied the storm brought down much debris and silt from the hill sides, obstructing the side and cross drainage, and so causing damage to the road surfaces. The roads in Kowloon suffered much in this way, and the road into the New Territory slightly.

The damage was in no case so extensive as to stop the traffic. The repairs are being carried out as rapidly as possible, and will entail an expenditure of about $1,000.

 

Buildings (Permanent):- Every public building in the Colony suffered more or less, tiles and guttering and downpipes were torn from the roofs, causing leakage which damaged the ceilings and plastering; jalousies were smashed and the hinges and fastenings twisted and broken, while the destruction of glass was considerable in the eases where the shutters or jalousies gave way. The sun blinds of the Government Civil Hospital were destroyed and will cost $250 to replace. The cost of repairs to Government buildings will be about $2,000 and can be borne on the Estimate for Maintenance, (annually recurrent).

 

Buildings (Temporary):- Temporary matshed buildings were destroyed everywhere, the principal being the official matsheds at Tai-po which would cost about $1,500 to replace; the Government bungalow at the same place was badly damaged; the Police matshed at Sha-tin occupied by the Indian Police; the Assistant Engineer’s bungalow and out-buildings at Tai Wai which cost upwards of $1,000; the Kanpuishek Customs Station occupied by the Temporary Surveyor and his family, and an Overseer; the plague sheds at the Kennedy  Town Hospital, which will cost $850 to replace; and the sheds lately erected on the top of Green Island in connection with the new Signal Station.

 

If all these temporary buildings had to be replaced, the cost would not he less than $8,000 to $10,000, but some can be dispensed with until permanent buildings take their place, so that the expenditure on this account in restoring buildings absolutely necessary will probably not exceed $3,000.

 

Telephones.— The Government telephone lines were much damaged, both iron and wooden posts being thrown down, the wires blown down, twisted, and broken so that they could not be again utilized, the estimated cost of fully restoring the Government lines is $700.

 

Government Piers.—Very trifling damage was done to the Government Piers in Hongkong Harbour, except the timber pier at Sam-shuipo which was worn out and condemned and about to be replaced by a new pier. This was completely destroyed. The temporary pier used by the Harbour Master was carried away and an iron ladder connected with it. As a new pier for Sam-shuipo has been already sanctioned and provided for in the Estimates no special expenditure on this account is rendered necessary.

 

Lighthouses.—At Gap Rook the Derrick Crane lately renewed was broken and 12 counterpoint weights lost, the winding gear was damaged, and the telegraph wire broken, also one stay and halyards carried away from the flagstaff and sundry other damage done to the doors and windows of the buildings, all of which it will cost about $1,500 to restore.

 

Miscellaneous: - The yard of the signalling flagstaff at Tsim Sha Tsui was smashed and is being replaced by the Dock Company, -$170.

The turfed slope in front of the Belilios Reformatory was washed away and damaged to the extent of about $200.

 

On the whole, considering the severity of the storm, the damage caused was not great.

42. The following is Mr. Mudie’s report on the Praya Reclamation Works:

 

Section No. 1 West.—This work was commenced in April 1898, but owing to exceptional difficulties met with in forming the Toiliidations, progress has been very slow.

 

In his report for last year Mr. BOULTON narrated the unfortunate subsidences that over and over again occurred to the rubble mound when in course of being weighted and the slow and difficult work of recovering the weighting blocks by divers. The difiiculty was much increased by the great inconvenience it entailed of taking the plant away from Section No. 6—the busiest and most congested part of the whole line of \work.

 

On 23rd February, Mr. CHAN A Torre entered into an agreement supplementary to his original contract, to reform the mound -and he has deposited 4,828 cub. yds. of “Pierre Perdue ” which has brought the work almost into shape again, and as soon as the divers can be spared from Section No 6., a commencement to re-level and set the concrete blocks will be made. This, I trust, will be in the course of a fortnight. One advantage to be put against the delay is the large quantity of filling in that has been done by casual dumping from house building operations. Thousands of yard have been so filled in at the mere cost of a Watchman.

1,240 Blocks weighing 9,100 tons have been shifted onto the section for re-weighting.

 

Sections No. 4 and 5.—The work remaining to he executed viz. :—

5,414 cubic feet of Seawall Coping,

54,334 cubic yards Filling in,

9,000 lineal feet Curb and Channel,

103 Ring-bolts to fix,

1,366 square yards Cement paving,

2,979 lineal feet Storm-water drain pipes,

 

on contract No. 51 let to TSANG KENG on these Sections, was finished during the year, but the surfacing of roadways which was not included in contract has been most unreasonably delayed. An agreement was made by TSANG KENG to execute this work at the rates fixed in his contract No. 53 for Section No. 6, but only a small portion has yet been done. The reason given was the scarcity of workmen and the difliculty of getting materials, but as the contractor has acquired the Quarry farm for 1901, it is now probable that the work will proceed without further delay.

 

Section  No. 6 W. Work is proceeding fairly well on this section. The whole of the rubble in foundations has been put in by contractor and the diving stafi is busy levelling off, laying concrete bed, and setting blocks 650 lineal feet out of a total of 1,221 lineal feet has been finished ready for setting first course of granite masonry.

 

The principal items of work executed by TSANG KENG during the year were :—

35,482 cubic yards “Pierre Perdue,”

90,556 cubic yards Filling in,

250 cubic yards Portland Cement Concrete,

200 lineal feet Storm Water Drains completed

640 lineal feet formed, but left unfinished for settlement.

 

The whole length of work has been weighted with the usual load of 22 tons per lineal foot.

 

Sections Nos. 6 E. and 7 W: - The portion of roadway and stone platform — work which was suspended pending erection of Blake Pier - were completed by the middle of November and this work is now finished.

 

Blake Pier.—This work was completed by the contractors for its erection - Messers KINGHORN & MACDONALD - and opened for public use in November. its erection was commenced on the 1st December, 1899, and the somewhat lengthy period occupied was owing to considerable difficulties experienced in screwing the piles home. These difficulties were successfully overcome and the work satisfactorily completed.

 

His Excellency Sir Henry Blake GCMG, inaugurated the Pier on the 29th November.