1903 Public Works Report
A scanned copy of the original document is available online at HKGRO.
WORK UNDER THE BUILDING ORDINANCE
16. General Remarks.—The Naval Yard Extension and Messrs. Butterfield & Swire’s Shipyard Works were still in progress throughout the year. In the case of the former, the sea wall and inner-wall or quay forming the pier on the north side of the Basin, a portion of the east wall of the Basin and the Murray Pier Extension and roundhead beyond it were all brought above low-water level, whilst the cofferdam enclosing the site of the graving dock was completed and the water pumped out. In the case of the Quarry Bay Shipyard Works, the side walls of the graving dock for more than half its length were in progress and the excavation for the remaining portions well advanced, whilst the cofferdam to enclose the site of the entrance was nearing completion. Substantial progress was also made with the levelling operations, large masses of rock having been excavated and tipped to form the reclamation. The large blocks of buildings on the Praya Reclamation between Ice House and Pedder Streets were in progress throughout the year, the triangular block at the junction of Des Voeux and Chater Roads, designated “Alexandra Buildings,” being nearly completed. The south-eastern section of Princes Build-dings was roofed in before the close of the year. The buildings for the Electric Tramway Power Station, on the east side of Bowrington Canal, were nearly completed, and a new Chinese Theatre was erected near the Gas Works, West Point. Substantial progress was made with the reclamation at Tsim Sha Tsui between Blackhead’s Point and Kowloon Marine Lot 6.
602 THE HONGKONG GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 31st MARCH, 1904.
44. Re-constructing and Repairing Roofs, Government Civil Hospital.—As the roof's of the verandahs of the Main and Lower Hospitals and of C. Block, as well as the main roof of the latter, had been in an unsatisfactory condition for some time past, it was decided to execute extensive repairs, and to re-construct them where necessary. The roofs of C. Block were first undertaken, the main roof being, to a large extent, renewed and the verandah roofs, which had formerly been of timber and Canton tiles, being re-constructed with iron joists and bars and cement concrete, covered with a layer of asphalte 1/2" thick. Good progress was made with the work by the end of the year, but it was still uncompleted.
Public Works Extraordinary.
45. Law Courts.—The contract for the foundations of this building was finally completed in April, much trouble having been experienced with the Contractor, as mentioned in last year’s Report, towards the conclusion of the work. The tenders received for the superstructure were so unsatisfactory, principally from their excessive amount, that none of them could be accepted and after several futile attempts to arrange satisfactory terms with some of the Contractors who submitted the most favourable tenders, it was decided that the only practicable course was to carry out the work departmentally, the principal difficulty with regard to this being insufficiency of staff for the purpose. Whilst arrangements were being made to enable this course to be followed, a reasonable tender was received from Mr. Chan A Tong, who had previously been unable to submit one, and, after some negotiations, a Contract was entered into with him in July. As the building is faced with dressed stone throughout, some time elapsed before enough of this could be obtained to admit of a substantial start being made, but work had progressed sufficiently to enable the foundation stone to be laid by His Excellency the Governor (Sir HEMRY BlakE) on the 12th November, and at the close of the year a large quantity of granite had been delivered on the ground and the walls had been built an average height of 4 feet above the foundations. Great care is being exercised in the selection and dressing of the stone for this important public building. It was unfortunately found necessary to dispense with the services of the Clerk of Works who had been obtained from England specially to supervise the work and up to the close of the year his successor had not arrived in the Colony.
46. Western Market.—The contract for the foundations was completed in March and a contract for the superstructure was entered into with Messrs. Sang LEE & Co. in November. The delay in arranging the latter arose through the large number of important works for which drawings, specifications and quantities had to be prepared and the great amount of trouble experienced in connection with the Law Courts. Work on the building was begun at the close of the year.
47. Harbour Office.—A contract for the superstructure was entered into with Mr. Chan A Tong in June. Some delay occurred in obtaining suitable bricks and in preparing the dressed stone for the principal front. The walls were however built to an average height of about 10 feet above the foundations and nearly all the door and window frames on the ground floor were fixed.
48. Survey of New Territory.—The cadastral survey was completed early in May, the following being the areas surveyed during the year :—
Un Long, Tai Lam Chung.
Kowloon, Tsun Wan.
New Kowloon, The whole.
Sha Tau Kok, Won Hang and Luk Keng.
Lamma Island, The whole.
Pu Toi Island, The whole.
Tung Hoi District, / 4 small areas which had
\ formerly escaped notice.
In the case of New Kowloon and Sha Tau Kok, the work consisted of a re-survey to enable maps of these districts on a scale of 32 inches to the mile to be prepared, those formerly prepared on a scale of 16 inches to the mile having been found unserviceable on account of the minute sub-divisions of the land.
THE HONGKONG GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 31st MARCH, 1904.
A considerable area of cultivated land in the Kowloon Peninsula, south of the old boundary, was also surveyed and mapped on a scale of 32 inches to the mile.
The areas above enumerated amounted to 2,653.65 acres and included 28,245 holdings which, in addition to being surveyed and mapped, were also demarcated.
The staff engaged upon this portion of the work in the early part of the year consisted of 1 Inspector, 24 Surveyors, 32 Indian Chain-men and about 45 Chinese coolies, but, on its conclusion early in May, the Inspector, 20 Surveyors and 30 Indian Chain-men were sent back to India ; the number of Chinese coolies being also reduced. Prior to this, 2 Surveyors and 1 Indian Chain-man were invalided back to India, both the former dying on the voyage. The remaining 2 Surveyors were retained for office work.
The Surveyor who had been engaged upon traverse work and one of the Indian Chain-men referred to above were sent back to India in March, this work having also reached completion.
The staff engaged upon office work was fully employed throughout the year and underwent but little change. One office assistant was dismissed in July for insubordination and an additional Chinese tracer was engaged in February to expedite the reproduction of the maps for Land Court purposes. The entire staff remaining at the close of the year under Mr. Newland consisted of 1 Inspector, 11 office assistants, 3 Chinese tracers, 8 Indian coolies, and 3 Chinese coolies.
The computation of areas was completed and statements furnished to the Land Court, the number of Demarcation Districts dealt with during the year amounting to 228.
Tracings of the whole of the Demarcation Districts, numbering 555 sheets in all, 45 of which were done in 1902, were made for Land Court purposes and a large number of these were reproduced by the sun-printing process. Tracings arranged after the manner of the Ordnance survey sheets of England are now being produced, 163 of these having been completed.
A general map of the New Territory on a scale of 2 inches to the mile is now being prepared. It will show all streams, roads, paths, cultivated areas and villages, the names of the latter being marked, whilst the hills will be indicated by contours.
A statement (Appendix C) prepared by Mr. Newland is attached which contains details of the cadastral survey work done in the whole of the New Territory. The area surveyed south of the boundary of British Kowloon is not included in the statement.
49. Additional Reservoirs, Tytam Drainage Area.—In accordance with the advice of Mr. Chadwick, (vide Report on the Sanitation of Hongkong, dated 10th April, 1902), the proposal made by Mr. COOPER in his Report of the 9th May, 1896, on the Water Supply of the City and Hill District, to construct additional reservoirs within the drainage area of Tytam Reservoir, which it was intended to carry out, was abandoned and the work executed under the above heading was confined to the construction of the Bye-wash Reservoir, which is situated immediately below the overflow of Tytam Reservoir and does not therefore encroach upon the catchment area of the latter. It intercepts streams from a drainage area of about 32.6 acres and receives in addition the overflow of the Tytam West Catchwater, which is at times very considerable. Any overflow from Tytam Reservoir passes into it. Its capacity has not yet been definitely ascertained, but it will amount to about 30 million gallons. The draw-off discharges into the same gauge-basin as the Tytam Reservoir.
The whole of the work was nearly completed at the close of the year, the dam being sufficiently advanced to enable about 20 million gallons to be impounded towards the end of the wet season. This water was utilized for the supply of the City. The bungalow for the caretaker was completed and occupied, being used temporarily for the accommodation of the Overseers employed upon the Bye-wash Reservoir and the works at Tytam Tuk.
50. Kowloon Water-works.—These works are being carried out under the supervision of Messrs. DEnison, Ram & Gibbs. Fair progress was made with the various portions of the scheme hitherto undertaken.
(i.) Storage Reservoir.—The excavations for the main dam, which included 10,300 cubic yards of rock and 23,500 cubic yards of earth, were practically completed at the close of the year. As the rock in the foundations, though hard and close, was of a very jointy nature, numerous holes were drilled in it, pipes being inserted into which cement grout was run with the object of filling up any fissures. Large quantities of broken stone, rubble and sand for the concrete hearting and of dressed granite for the facework had been collected ready for use in the construction of the dam. The bungalow for the caretaker was completed with the exception of painting, colour-washing and minor details.
(ii.) Main to Storage Reservoir.—The works executed under this Contract were completed in July. They comprised the laying of about 3 1/4 miles of 12-inch cast iron main, with connections to the old intakes above Cheung Sha Wan ; the construction of 5 new intakes, making 9 in all; the erection of a watchman's bungalow at the intakes and the taking up of the 4-inch main laid in 1900.
(iii.) Service Reservoir near Kowloon Tong.—A contract for this work was entered into with Mr. Tung Shing in February. The reservoir is sunk almost entirely below ground level and is constructed principally of cement concrete with granite pillars and brick arches to support the concrete vaulting which forms the roof. It is circular in form and has a capacity of 2 million gallons. About half the brick arches already mentioned were completed by the end of the year.
(iv.) Tunnels, Site of Filter Beds, &c.—A contract for the items mentioned and for the laying of a mile of 18-inch cast iron pipes was entered into with Mr. Wing ON in July. About half of the excavation requiring to be done in levelling the site for the filter beds was completed, the quantity of material removed amounting to 45,000 cubic yards. This was deposited to form a large flat area adjacent to the site of the beds. Instead of tunnelling through a spur of the hills in order to lay the main from the storage reservoir to the filter beds, it was decided to make an open cutting through it which will attain a maximum depth of l10 feet, the length being about 450 feet. The quantity of excavation done in this and in the open cuttings at the two ends of the tunnel through the main range of hills amounted to 8,500 cubic yards. The latter cuttings extend into the hill a distance of 200 feet at. the south end and 120 feet at. the north end, the remaining distance of about 560 feet having to be tunnelled. Actual tunnelling had progressed for a distance of 20 feet at the south end and 40 feet at the north end, the rock being met with some distance in in the case of the latter. The distance remaining to be done, which promises to be through solid rock, amounts to about 500 feet. Twenty-two tons of 18-inch pipes were delivered on the site of the works and a considerable portion of the track along which they are to be laid was completed.
51. Disinfecting Station, Kowloon.—Inspector's Quarters at Kowloon.—A contract for the erection of these buildings on a site at Yaumati was let in October. On setting out their positions on the ground, it was found that some of them would be in too close proximity to a quarry and it was therefore considered advisable to select another site in the neighbourhood. A suitable one was found a little way east of the Pumping Station, some squatters who cultivated a portion of the area having to be compensated. Work was begun at the close of the year.
52. Extension of Cattle Inspector's Quarters.—Very unsatisfactory progress was made with this trivial work, great difficulty being experienced in getting the Contractor to carry it out properly. It was however nearly completed, little remaining to be done except plastering, painting and colour-washing.