1934 Public Works Department Annual Report
A copy of the original is available at HKGRO: http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkgro/view/a1934/903.pdf
REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS FOR THE YEAR 1934.
During the year under review the operations of the Public Works Department were carried out under a Head Office Staff, by eleven sub-departments, namely the Accounts and Stores, Architectural, Buildings Ordinance, Crown Lands and Surveys. Drainage, Electrical, Port Development, Roads and Transport, Valuations and Resumptions, Waterworks Construction, and Waterworks Maintenance offices.
2. The European staff comprised 160 officers and the non- European approximately 623.
3. The following is a summary of works carried out during the year: —
4. Works completed were:—New Markets at Bowrington Canal and Arsenal Street; temporary Barrack Sheds for Police on Caine Road; new Quarters for Wireless Operators at the Peak Wireless Station; Fire Appliance Sheds at Aberdeen and Aplichau; new Stores for the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps; new Laboratory Building at the Junior Technical School; quarters for a Sexton at Chai Wan Cemetery; a block of Quarters for Nurses at Kowloon Hospital; new Residence for the Director of the Royal Observatory; new Markets at Mong Kok and Tong Mi; a new Fire Sub-Station at Shamshuipo; a temporary Post Office at Kowloon Point; two Postal Kiosks; a Revolver Range at King’s Park, Kowloon; Government Bungalow at Fanling; a new Dormitory Block at Lai Chi Kok Prison; a Furniture Workshop and Store at Hung Hom and a temporary Court Room Building at the Yaumati Magistracy.
5. Works under construction were:—New Gaol at Stanley; new Government Civil Hospital at Pokfulum; new Upper Levels Police Station and an Outpatients Department Building at Kowloon Hospital.
In addition to general maintenance, numerous minor alterations and improvements to Government Buildings were also executed during the year.
6. Works completed were:—A new road to the bathing beaches (South-east of Repulse Bay); Robinson Road, between Peak Road and Glenealy, including a bridge; Blue Pool Road, path to Cape D’Aguilar Wireless Station; Magazine Gap Road (from May Road to Stubbs Road); Middle Gap Road; approach path to “ Tanderagee ” and Garden Road (from about the Helena May Institute to Macdonnell Road) were widened, and to the latter a new type of non-skid slab footpath was laid; 1st section of the new road between Causeway Bay and Ming Yuen; and a further section commenced towards the end of the year; surfacing was laid to the 40-foot roads on the Praya East; Waterloo Road was widened from the Disinfecting Station to the Railway Bridge; a path to a temporary park to the Southeast of Waterloo Road near the Disinfecting Station; approach road to the Botanical and Forestry Quarters at Lai Chi Kok; portion of Pratas Street from Castle Peak Road was formed; a path to the East of the Polo Ground from Boundary Street; half width of roadway immediately East of La Salle College: access path at Chuk Un leading to experimental block for Kowloon City Villagers; Sai Kung Road was extended eastwards; a typhoon signal station with quarters between Kowloon City and Kowloon Tsai; area levelled for a children’s playground at Kowloon City, South of Prince Edward Road; improvements to bends on Taipo Road at 5 3/4, 6 1/2 and 6 3/4 miles; surface between 12 1/2 miles and 16 miles was strengthened and improved; approach paths leading to the Senior Police Officers’ quarters and to the District Officer’s Land Court at Taipo were widened and surfaced with concrete; a parking area was formed at the junction of the Fanling-Sha Tau Kok Cross Road; Sha Tau Kok Road was improved and strengthened in the vicinity of Sha Tau Kok Police Station and also the main road from Fanling-Sha Tau Kok Cross Roads to Fanling Cross Roads via Fanling Village and Sheung Shui Railway Station: main bridge at Sheung Shui was extended by the addition of one extra span; road leading to Lok Ma Chau Police Station was strengthened and improved; road to Kam Tin was widened; a length of the main road between Castle Peak and Un Long was tar-painted for a distance of two miles; ear parks on the Castle Peak Road between 10th and 13th miles; streets at Sha Tau Kok, Taipo Market and Un Long were surfaced, kerbed and channelled in front of new houses.
7. Works under construction were:—New 100-foot Shaukiwan Road, 1st and 2nd Sections from Causeway Bay to Taikoo Sugar Refinery.
8. New sewers and storm water drains were constructed in Hong Kong to a length of 11,997 feet, open nullahs to a length of 384 feet and parapet walling to open nullahs 933 feet. Anti-malarial Campaign work was completed at Lyeemun and continued at Mt. Parker and Sookunpoo. Streams were trained to a total length of 19,597 feet. In Kowloon, New Kowloon and New Territories, new sewers and storm water drains were constructed to a length of 14,641 feet; open nullahs lull section 113 feet, part section 1,278 feet; parapet walling 232 feet; channelling 1,116 feet. Anti-malarial work at Kowloon Tong:—Nullahs and channels were constructed to a length of 2,642 feet, and " cutting and filling ’’ amounting to 6,928 cubic yards was carried out.
9. In Hong Kong the following lengths of new mains were laid to improve the distribution system:—432 feet of 12", 2,826 feet of 10", 566 feet of 8", 3,910 feet of 6", and 13,574 feet of smaller sizes. 274 feet of 2" subsidiary main were laid in back lanes. The Jardine’s Lookout Section of the Eastern Pumping Scheme was practically completed by the end of the year. The scheme includes two turbine driven ram pumps each capable of delivering 3,600 gallons per hour from Eastern Filter Beds to a service reservoir at 778 A.O.D. through a 5" diameter rising main 2,687 feet in length. 4,680 feet of 3" and 4" diameter distribution mains were laid and a 45,000 gallons balance reservoir above Tai Hang at 533 A.O.D. was nearly completed. A scheme for a similar installation to serve the Middle Gap and Mount Cameron Districts was investigated. A scheme to improve the water supply to the Stanley District was investigated and reported on. In Kowloon and New Kowloon the following lengths of new mains were laid:—300 feet of 18", 6,295 feet of 12", 1,286 feet of 10", 1,135 feet of 8", 6,278 feet of 6", and 1,460 feet of 4". In addition 9,619 feet of subsidiary mains of from 1 1/2"-4" diameter were laid. At Taipo 7,838 feet of 6" and 780 feet of 7" supply mains were laid. At Un Long the first section of a new water supply was nearly completed. The scheme includes intake works with rough filters and 11,600 gallons storage; 22,764 feet of 5" and 6" piping were laid and the irrigation dam was being reconstructed to provide a dry weather supply for cultivation.
10. The new five million gallons Service Reservoir at Yaumati Hill was completed.
11. The Second Section of the West Catchwater and the removal of silt from the Lower Reservoir were completed and with the termination of these works the Aberdeen Valley Water Scheme was completed.
12. The Tytam Tuk East, Dragon’s Back—First Section, Pottinger Peak—Second Section and Mount Parker—First Section Catchwaters were completed and the Second Section of the Dragon’s Back Catchwater was commenced.
13. Preparations were made for the laying of the Second Cross Harbour Pipe, and by the end of the year most of the materials had arrived in the Colony.
14. At Tsat Tze Mui, a further seven and a half acres were reclaimed. This completes the reclamation of a section of about twenty-one and a half acres; work was commenced on a further instalment which will bring this reclamation to its seaward limit. The construction of about 700 feet of the sea wall to protect the reclamation at Kennedy Town was continued. A length of about 2,700 feet of the rubble foundations for a sea wall to protect a reclamation of about forty acres at Kun Tong in Kowloon Bay was constructed.
15. Works completed were:—Telephone cables laid from No. 1 Police Station to Shaukiwan and between Kowloon-Canton Railway Station and Water Police Station; automatic traffic signal and improved type of traffic control lights installed at Pedder Street and Magazine Gap Road; two police recall signals installed at Sha Tau Kok and Cheung Chau Police Stations; Kowloon-Canton Railway Chinese Staff quarters A and B blocks rewired; one fifty-line telephone switch-board installed at Kowloon Railway Station and an underground lighting cable laid between Goods Shed and Signal Cabin; forty-two telephones installed in various places; four telephones installed at Shing Mun Valley; twenty-six buildings in various places rewired; two S.B.W. 4b. Transmitters installed at Cape D'Aguilar W/T. Station.
16. In addition to minor works the usual maintenance of Wireless Stations, telephones, lights, fans, hells, lifts, ferry pier hoists, traffic lights, etc., was carried out. The installations were all maintained in good order.
BUILDINGS ORDINANCE OFFICE.
17. The volume of new building works coming under the jurisdiction of the Public Health and Buildings Ordinance shewed a considerable decline when compared with 1933 but the industry was nevertheless fairly actively engaged throughout the year on works mostly of small magnitude.
18. The total number of plans approved shewed only a small decrease but works were largely in the nature of alterations and additions to existing buildings. The number of new buildings included in such approvals were appreciably fewer (see Table XIII).
19. Amongst the more important works for which plans were approved, the following may be noted:—New Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank on Queen’s Road and Des Voeux Road, Central; Clinic and Health Centre on Johnston Road; new Chinese Methodist Church in Wanchai; extension to Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home on Anton Street; extension to Messrs. Sincere Co.’s building on Connaught Road; new Headquarters for St. John’s Ambulance Brigade on Tai Hang Road; Confucius Hall on Caroline Hill Road; site development and Gas Holder at West Point; Repulse Bay Lido, development of Mount Cameron, Middle Gap, and new Tai Hang Road as residential districts; reclamation and Gas Holder on To Kwa Wan Road; School and Church on Waterloo Road; site forma-tion on Waterloo Road; Peiho Theatre in Peiho Street; Mary- knoll Convent School on Waterloo Road and Boundary Street.
20. Buildings of importance completed were:—Hong Kong Stock Exchange Building in Ice House Street; Cheero Club in Queen’s Road, Central; Kam Loong Restaurant in Des Voeux Road, Central; China Fleet Club on Praya East Reclamation; School of: Surgery, Hong Kong University; Peel Engineering Laboratory, Hong Kong University; St. Louis Industrial School on Queen’s Road, West; National Lacquer and Paint Product Co.'s Factory on Shaukiwan Road; Commercial Press Ltd.’s Printing and Book Binding Factory on Shaukiwan Road; Alhambra Theatre on Nathan Road; Paint Factory in Arran Street and Canton Road; Book Factory in Pak Tai Street; Pastor’s quarters at All Saints School in Hak Po Street; Extension to Chinese Y.M.C.A. in Waterloo Road; Lead Pencil Factory on Castle Peak Road.
20. Of the 280 Chinese tenement houses for which occupation permits were granted it is of interest to note that thirty-two were erected on the Praya East Reclamation making a total to date on this area 1,005 houses. Forty houses of this type were erected in other localities in Hong Kong and 208 were erected in Kowloon and New Kowloon.
21. Occupation permits for eighty-five dwellings of European type were granted, of which twenty-eight were erected on the Island and fifty-seven in Kowloon District.
22. Mount Cameron, Middle Gap and new Tai Hang Roads are proving very popular as new residential districts.
23. Buildings of non-domestic or commercial character completed shew an increase over the returns of the preceding year, but these, apart from the buildings noted in paragraph 20 were of a minor character.
24. A comparative statement of the number and type of buildings in respect of which plans were deposited is given in Table XIV.
25. The number of water flushed sanitary appliances approved amounted to 1,403.
26. Twenty-four fires were reported. The most disastrous was that caused by the ignition of escaping gas from a large Gas Holder in Hong Kong Gas Co.’s premises at West Point at approximately 11.00 a.m. on the 14th May. The following houses were involved:—Nos. 13-17 Chun Shing Street; Nos. 1-12 Clarence Terrace and No. la Yu On Terrace. Of these houses. Nos, 2, 4 and 8 Clarence Terrace were completely gutted, while the remainder were all more or less seriously affected. A great number of lives were lost and many persons were injured.
27. Eleven fires occurred in Chinese tenement houses of non fire-resisting floors and staircases; in nearly every case the houses were gutted—casualties amounted to four.
28. Six fires occurred in Chinese tenement houses of fire- resisting construction and in almost every case the fire was confined to the storey in which it originated.
29. The value of R.C.C. construction in preventing the spread of fire has been amply demonstrated and the security afforded to occupants by concrete stairs with alternative exits, marks a definite step forward in this class of property.
30. Reclamation of I.L. 2918 was completed, and work on I.Ls. 3538, 3539 and 3540 remain in progress. An area of approximately 207,000 square feet is embraced in the above. Reclamation work on Kowloon Marine Lot 102 was continued, the total area involved being about 200,000 square feet.
31. Minor landslides occurred as a result of heavy rains. They were not of a serious nature nor were there any casualties.
32. The Chinese Cemeteries in Hong Kong and Kowloon were maintained in good order and, where required, provision was made for additional burial areas.
33. Table XY shews the number of notices dealt with in connection with dangerous structures and miscellaneous works, private street improvements and nuisances.