1907 Public Works Report

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Work under the Buildings Ordinance


32. General Remarks.—Water was admitted to the New Admiralty Dock on the 15th June and substantial progress was made with the removal of the cofferdam and the closing of the gaps in the quay walls. The various workshops, &c., which are of an extensive nature, were all practically completed.

Water was admitted to Messrs. Butterfield & Swire’s new Dock on the 22nd June and the erection of the various offices, workshops and stores was in a forward state.

The large blocks of godowns for the Ocean Steamship Co. on K.M.L. 88 were being roofed in at the close of the year.

The Standard Oil Company made good progress with their works on N.K.M.L. 2 at Lai Chi Kok, the various buildings comprised in the scheme being in a forward state. The storage tanks for oil in bulk were completed.

The Green Island Cement Company made further additions to their buildings on K.M.L. 40.

The Matilda and the Military Hospitals were completed and occupied, the erection of some of the quarters for the staff being still in progress at the latter at the close of the year.

The erection of a large Brewery on N.K.M.L. 3 at Lai Chi Kok was begun, the foundations being nearly ready for the superstructure.

The large sanitarium erected on I.L. 1698 at Happy Valley in connection with the French Convent was completed.

Work was begun in connection with the extension of the Dock Company's No. 1 dock at Hunghom, a work involving the removal of a great mass of earth and stone from the hill into which the dock extends.

The Kowloon Star Ferry Pier which was severely damaged during the Typhoon of the 18th September, 1906, was entirely reconstructed on a new plan, being arranged for the ferry steamers to go alongside parallel with, instead of at right angles to, the quay wall.

Messrs. Jardine, Matheson and Company’s old offices at the corner of Des Voeux Road and Pedder Street (M. L. 100) were pulled down and the foundations for a new and handsome block of offices were begun.

Among other works of less magnitude which have been commenced or completed during the year the following may be mentioned:—

Works commenced.

Shops and houses on K.I.L. 609.
Club House for the Royal Hongkong Yacht Club.
Club House for the Victoria Recreation Club.
Workmen’s quarters on S.M.L.s 2—10, Quarry Bay, (32 bouses) in connection with Quarry Bay Dockyard.
Godowns and tenement houses on P.R.M.L. 57.

Works completed.

Block of 14 houses on P.R.M.L. 15.
Church in connection with the Italian Convent, Caine Road, (I.L.s 58, 148, 149 and 578).
Block of 7 houses in Glenealy (I. L. 140a).


A mining lease for a further area of one square mile in Sai Kung district on the South shore of Tolo Harbour was issued to Sir Paul Chater. It authorizes the working of deposits of iron ore. A mining licence was issued to Mr Grant Smith for an area of 28.32 acres on the Southern portion of Mount Davis

Some further progress was made with the surveys in connection with the surveys in connection with the exchange of land under the Lewis Agreement ; the War Department properties at Lyemun, Sywan Hill, Pinewood, High West and Kowloon East Battery, and an area of land between Bowen & Kennedy Roads below the new Military Hospital, which has been transferred to the War Department, being demarcated. IL. 1565 which was handed over to the Military Authorities for the erection of a slaughterhouse for the use of Sikhs was transferred back to the Colonial Government, the sum of $330 being credited to the War Department in the Lands Account. The Colonial Government arranged to pay $1 per annum for an obelisk marking the Cable Reserve which has been placed on War Department Land at Hung Hom Point.

The Naval Authorities having completed the extension of Murray Pier which it was arranged they should carry out for the accommodation of the Victoria Recreation Club, the area was handed over to that Institution and the erection of the Clubs new premises was begun.

Fortunately, there is but slight damage to record under this heading. the Colony having escaped visitation by any storms of great severity. The following houses were however damaged to such an extent by the storm of the 14th September as to necessitate their partial reconstruction:


Nos. 5 7 Tank Lane.

No. 184 Queen's Road East (Spring Gardens).

No. 154 Praya East.


30. Collapses: The following collapses occurred during the year irrespective of Typhoons:


City of Victoria.

Hongkong Hotel (verandah of South-east win —all floors).

N0. 146 Queen’s Road Central (portion of main room, 2nd floor).

No. 12 Albany Street (cross wall at rear).



No. 67 Station Street South (Balustrade and Verandah Beam). "



No. 10 Main Street (roof).

No- 63 Main Street (roof)


The only collapse of any importance was that at the Hongkong Hotel which caused the death of 5 of the Chinese servants. An inquiry was held with respect to it, the finding being that no fault or negligence could he attributed to anyone, and that no evidence had been forthcoming to show what actually caused the collapse.


Up to 1902 the only establishment of this kind in the Colony was the one at Shektongtsui and bodies recovered in Kowloon had to be transported thither  across the harbour. In the year already mentioned, a mortuary of a temporary nature was established at Yaumati, matsheds being erected for the purpose. These have now given way to permanent buildings which were completed and handed over to the Sanitary Board early in September, the use of the office having been given to the Medical Officer of Health  a couple of months earlier. The site is in close proximity to the disinfecting Station, and has been obtained by levelling off a portion of the hill behind Yanmati. The buildings comprise the mortuary itself, which is divided into two compartments, containing respectively 6 and 8 tables, an office, two stores, a lavatory, and accommodation for a caretaker, the premises being enclosed where necessary by a boundary wall. They are of Canton red brick, pointed externally and and plastered internally, except where lined with glazed tiles and have roofs of double pan and roll tiling supported on timber purlins and principals. The walls of the mortuary are lined for a height of 6 feet above the floor with white glazed tiles obtained from England and the floor is laid with cement concrete, 5 inches thick finished of smooth with a layer of granolithic, 1 inch thick. The floors of the other apartments are of cement concrete, 4 inches thick, similarly finished, except that of the office, which is of hardwood, supported on hardwood joists. In addition to the ordinary outer doors, the mortuary is provided with inner doors of open construction, covered with mosquito-proof wire gauze and all openings for windows and ventilators are similarly protected. The tables and other fittings for use in the mortuary were obtained from England. The whole of the compound is covered with lime and cement concrete, 6 inches thick, and a special drain is provided for the building. The total cost of the work was $13,177.41.

This work was practically completed at the close of the year. It consists of a tower, 42' 6” high, square except as regards the treatment of the angles which are splayed off. The walls are of Canton red brick, built in cement mortar, with Amoy brick facings and granite dressings. The floors and roof are of cement concrete supported on steel framing and finished with granolithic, with the exception of the floor carrying the machinery which is laid with hardwood on top of the concrete. A circular concrete staircase ascends from the ground floor to the machine floor, access from  the latter to the flat roof being afforded by means of an iron ladder. The machinery for dropping the time-ball was in course of being transferred and fitted up but was not in working order at the close of the year.

A contract for the erection of a small market at the western end of the Shaukiwan group of villages was let in July and the building was practically completed at the end of December; The site has been reclaimed from the foreshore by filling in to an average depth of 8 feet 6 inches and the foundations of the building have been piled. The piers are of Canton red brick pointed in cement, the spaces between them, in the case of the external walls, being filled in with wrought iron grilles.The floor is laid with 4” lime and cement concrete rendered with cement ‘mortar, and the roof is covered with single pan and roll tiling. In addition to the market itself, which contains 20 stalls for the sale of meat, 20 for fish, 20 for vegetables and 8 for poultry, there is a small brick store.


Extension East and West of Conduit Road: This work, as indicated by its title, comprises two separate sections of road, the eastern extending from the elbow in Magazine Gap Road, across the Peak Tramway and Peak Road, past Queen’s Gardens and round Glenealy until it joins Conduit Road behind Belilios Terrace (l. L. 715) and the western commencing opposite the western boundary of I.L. 1544 and extending to Hatton Road which it joins opposite Victoria Battery. The width of the road in both sections varies from 15 to 16 feet.


The eastern section has a length of 4,315 feet (0.81 mile) and includes five bridges, - one of 12ft. span over the tramway, another of 17' 10" span over the Peak Road and the others of 10 to 19 Feet span over various nullahs and streams. All of these are constructed of reinforced concrete girders and flooring, with abutments of rubble masonry. In one case the height from the stream-bed to the floor of the bridge is 34’ 6”. To provide for the smaller streams, there are eight culverts varying from 16 to 124 feet in length and from 3’0"x 2'0" to 5'0" x 3’6” in cross section. By arrangement with the owner of I. L. 963 (Queen's Gardens), the private road, which gave access to the houses on that lot, was incorporated as part of the new road, being re-graded and improved so as to dispense with the steps which previously existed in it. Retaining walls of considerable extent were necessary for the support of the embankments and cuttings made in forming the other portions of the road. The steepest gradient on this section is 1 in 12.4.


The western section has a length of 2,930 feet (0.55 mile) and includes one 3-span bridge. (each span 16' 3" in the clear) across the ravine traversed by the road connecting Conduit and Robinson Roads. This bridge is constructed in a similar manner to those already described for the eastern section and its height is 29 feet.


There are six culverts in this section varying from 16 to 85 feet in length and from 3'0” x ‘2’0" to 5'0" x 3’6” in cross section. A length of 460 feet of 9" diameter pipes was laid behind I. L. 9413 to convey the storm water from above the road into a nullah running through that lot. This section of the road is practically level throughout.


That portion of the eastern section .to the eastward of Peak Road has been named May Road and that to the westward Queens Gardens whilst the designation Conduit Road was extended to include the whole of the western section. The total cost of both

sections was $58,108.82.


As it had not been found possible to make provision in the estimates for any new resumption scheme, the expenditure under this head was confined to the completion of the Mee Lun Lane Scheme which was referred to in last year’s report.


The two new streets, extending from Gough Street to Hollywood Road and named respectively Mee Lun Street and Shin Hing Street, were laid out with widths of 28 and 30 feet. Owing to the difference in level between Gough Street and Hollywood Road, they consist of flights of steps with short landings between, the steps and landings being of dressed granite. The necessary drains and water mains were laid.


The areas available for building purposes were roughly terraced including areas which will be required for the formation of scavenging lanes, they amount to about 17,870 square feet.


The total cost of the Mee Lun Lane Scheme: $289,655.1.6


The only sums recovered up to the present are those mentioned above, namely:

Sale of half of two party-Walls:  400.00

Sale of small area for extension of l.L. 60,   1,705.00

Total:     $2,105.00


As the construction of the Kowloon-Canton Railway entailed the demolition of the old Slaughter House and Depot near Hunghom, it became necessary to provide new buildings elsewhere. After full consideration, a site at Ma Tau Kok was decided upon as the most suitable in all respects and, in October, a contract was let to Mr. LI PING for the construction of the necessary buildings. They included a general Slaughter House (105' x 50'), another for the use of Indians (40' x 15'), 3 sheds with accommodation for 120 cattle, 200 sheep and 400 swine respectively, a fodder store and offices and shroffs’ quarters. Some alterations to a small building in the vicinity, which was taken over by Government from Messrs. Punchard, Lowther & Co. on the completion of their quarrying operations, in order to adopt it for quarters for an inspector, were also included. Ample space has been provided between the various buildings and the site will admit of large extensions in the future.


In view of the fact that the necessity for a new depot and slaughter house arose out of the construction of the railway, it was arranged that the Railway Fund should contribute a sum of $18,000 towards the work, and the expenditure incurred during the year, which amounted to $17,380.94, was defrayed from this source.


The expenditure included a sum of $1,616.61 which was spent in making temporary arrangements for the carrying on of slaughtering operations in the old depot as the early demolition of the slaughterhouse was required on account of the railway works. Good progress had been made with the new buildings by the close of the year, most of the brickwork being completed and some of the roof principals in position.


ln consequence of the decision of the Government to take over the staff and duties of the Hongkong Nursing Institute, it became necessary to again extend the Staff Quarters and a contract was accordingly let in August for the addition of two rooms at the eastern end of the building. The expenditure on the work, which amounted to $2,160.27 up to the close of the year, was defrayed from the Nursing Institute Fund which was handed over to Government.


Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Connaught accompanied by Princess Patricia visited the Colony, arriving: on the 6th and departing again on the 10th February. Stands were erected on Blake Pier, where an address of welcome was presented to Their Royal Highnesses on landing, and in the vicinity of the Queen’s Statue in connection with the unveiling of the statues of His Majesty the King and H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, the ceremony being performed by the Duke of Connaught shortly after his arrival. The statues themselves were the gifts of Sir C. P Chater, C.M.G., and Mr. J. J. Bell-Irving to the Colony. The statue of the Duke of Connaught, which had hitherto occupied a site in the centre of the plot of land to the south-east of the Queen’s Statue, was moved to a new site in Connaught Road opposite the base of Blake Pier, where it has been decided to allow it to remain permanently. The sum of $3,490 was expended

by the Public Works Department on the arrangements referred to above, being charged, to a vote of $6,209 which was taken under the heading “ Miscellaneous Services " to cover the entire cost of the arrangements made in connection with the visit of Their Royal Highnesses.