1906 Public Works Report

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22. General Remarks: The Naval Yard Extension Works and Messrs. Butterfield & Swire’s Shipyard works were in progress throughout the year. ln the case of both undertakings, substantial progress was made.


The Hongkong Milling Cos new flour mills were completed and started running before the close of the year.


The erection of a large block of godowns for the Ocean Steamship Co. on Kowloon Marine Lot 88 was begun, the piling for foundations having been completed. The buildings consist of steel framework, filled in with brickwork, and are the first to be erected in the Colony, in which this style of construction has been adopted


The Standard Oil Co.’s large storage depot for oil in bulk on New Kowloon Marine Lot 2 at Lai Chi Kok has made good progress, the erection of the tanks, several of which are 90 feet in diameter, having been commenced. Unfortunately a serious slip occurred of a portion of the sea wall whilst it was in course of erection and it is probable that this will delay the ultimate Completion of the work to some extent.


The Green Island Cement Co. made large extensions to their works on Kowloon MarineLot 40.


The Matilda Hospital (Sharp’s Memorial) at Mount Kellett and the Military Hospital above Bowen Road were practically ready for occupation at the close of the year.


The following is a statement of the reclamation Works in progress during the year :—-



Marine Lot 285, near North Point,         201,132sf

Inland Lot 1,723, near North Point        37,o60sf

Sui Kong Marine Lot 2, Junk Bay (original scheme not carried out), 149,410


In Progress:

Kowloon Marine Lot 85, To Kwa Wan        140,000

New Kowloon Marine lot 2,  Lai Chi Kok,    345,928

Kowloon Marine Lot 87, Yaumati        145,350

Kowloon Marine Lot 49, Yaumati        165,000

Marine Lot 290, Shaukiwan Road        53,800


The areas stated are those of the lots which in several cases extend for some distance above the old highwater mark and, though largely so, are not therefore exclusively reclaimed from the sea. ln some cases considerable additional areas beyond those stated have to be reclaimed for roads.


3. Mining Leases: An ordinance authorizing the issue of Prospecting Licences, Mining Licences and Mining Leases was passed in June and Regulations with reference to the same were published in August. Prospecting Licences were issued to Sir C. P. Chater during the year for various parts of the New Territories and one Mining Lease for an area of one square mile at Ma On Shan, on the South shore of Tolo Harbour, was granted to the same gentleman. The lease authorizes the working of deposits of iron ore which were discovered there in the course of prospecting operations.


work of the breakwater which protects the Boat Shelter at Causeway Bay was disturbed to a considerable extent. With few exceptions, the necessary repairs and restorations had been completed at the close of the year. The timber portion of the Kowloon City Pier was however in such a decayed condition that, in view of the fact that it has been decided to replace it with a reinforced concrete structure, no repairs were undertaken. The old timber pier at Stonecutters Island, formerly used in connection with the Gunpowder Depot there, was handed over to the Military Authorities and, by arrangement with the Hongkong and Kowloon Wharf and Godown Co., the Praya Wall in front of their premises at Kowloon Point was taken over by them. A pier at Cheung Chau Island which was destroyed was not renewed.

The following is a statement of the principal items of expenditure in the shape of ordinary repairs ; all repairs resulting from the typhoons being charged to a special vote :—

  • Praya East Sea Wall...     $557
  • Arsenal Street Wharf and Sea Wall      523
  • Kennedy Town Pier     505
  • Lai Chi Kok Pier     455
  • Queen’s Statue Pier     383
  • Murray (Temporary) Pier      3(83
  • Blake Pier...     202

38.    Maintenance of Public Cemetery.—The provision of more burial space for general use having become necessary, a scheme for forming three new terraces was undertaken and the work was nearly completed at the end of the year. Permits to the number of 59 were issued for the erection and repair of monuments.

39.    Maintenance of Public Recreation Grounds.—The Wongneichong and Queen’s Recreation Grounds were maintained in good order, portions of both being re-turfed. The latter was treated with a ton of artificial manure, which improved the growth of the turf considerably.

40.    Dredging Foreshores.—The total quantity of material dredged during the year amounted to 23,062 cubic yards, of which 5,861 cubic yards were dredged from the dust-boat stations at the expense of the Scavenging Contractor whilst 6,758 cubic yards were removed in forming a channel for the escape of water from the nullah adjoining the Paper Mills at Aberdeen. The latter work was undertaken in connection with complaints received as to the offensive condition of the neighbourhood in question on account of the foul liquid discharged from the Paper Mills.

The dredger was docked for cleaning and painting in the month of March, the expenditure incurred being $297. Fortunately, the vessel was at work in a sheltered position at Aberdeen on the morning of the 18th September and so escaped damage from the typhoon.

41.    Maintenance of City and Hill District Waterworks.—The year opened with the Rider Mains in operation over a considerable section of the City and intermittent supply in force in the district lying East of Arsenal Street in which the rider mains had not then been laid. Up to the 3rd February, the supply was turned on in the Rider Main Districts for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon, but, on the date mentioned, it was found necessary to restrict it to one hour in the morning only and. on the 15th March, it was found advisable to resort to general intermittent supply to the whole of the City and Hill District. Owing to the occurrence of a considerable rainfall early in April, it was found possible to revert to constant supply on the 19th of that month, except in the Rider Main Districts. Constant supply to the whole City was only begun on the 18th September and was discontinued again on 1st November, when the Rider Mains were once more brought into operation. Universally constant supply was thus in force for 44 days ; universally intermittent supply for 35 days and partially intermittent supply for 286 days.

For a period of about a month, commencing about the middle of March, water-boats were stationed at a few points in the Central and Western Districts from which a supply of water was distributed free to the public. The total quantity so distributed was 964,990 gallons, the cost amounting to $4,630 or $4.80 per 1,000 gallons. As the charge for water supplied by meters from the City Waterworks in only $0.50 per 1,000 gallons, it will be seen that recourse to a supply from water-boats is a very costly expedient.


The Typhoon of September 18th, which was so disastrous to shipping, also did a considerable amount of damage to property on shore, Kowloon suffering to a greater extent than Victoria in this respect.


The following is a statement of the damage done to private property :—


Collapses involving the total reconstruction of buildings:


City of Victoria


Godown on Inland Lot 1,296, Kennedy town.

Godown on Marine Lot 245, Kennedy Town

House No.1 Fung On Lane, Yee Wo Street, East Point.




Godown No. 15 Macdonnell Road

House No. 88 Reclamation Street, Yaumati.

Houses No. 106-112 (even nos.) Reclamation Street, Yaumati.

Houses No. 243-247 (odd nos.) MacDonnell Road, Mongkoktsui

Houses No 148-150 Macdonnell Road, Mongkoktsui

Houses No 11 Praya West, Fuk Tsun Heung.


New Territories


House No. 209 Shamshuipo.


Collapses involving the partial reconstruction of buildings


City of Victoria


Houses No. 89 & 96 Praya East, Wanehai.

Houses No. 21 Yee Wo Street, East Point.




Godown on Marine Lot 34, Kowloon Point.

Houses Nos. 90 and 92 Reclamation Street South. Yaumati.

Houses No.120 Station Street South

Houses No. 48 and 50 Station Street South

Houses No. 29-39 (odd nos.) Macdonnell Road

Houses No. 116 Temple Street,

Watchman’s Quarters on Marine Lot 39, Yaumati.

Houses Nos. 87, 122, 127-133 (orhl nos), 189 and 233 Station Street North, Mougkoktsui.

Houses No. 37 Portland Street, Mongkoktsui.

Houses No. 102, 155, 157, 167, and 197, Macdonnell Road Mongkoktsuii.

Houses No. 167, 169, and 215 Reclamation Street, Mongkoktsui

Laundry on Inland Lot 1,157, Yaumati.

Houses Nos. 81-85 and 157-161 (odd nos.) and 165 and 167 Kramer Street, Tai Kok Tsui.

Oil Godown on Marine Lot 32, Tai Kok Tsui.

Houses Nos. 12, 18, 19, and 20 Praya West, Fuk Tsun Heung.


New Territories


House No. 74 Hok Lo Tsun.

Soy Factory, Ma Lung Kong.

House No. 131 Cheung Sha Wan.


Great havoc was done aniong the piers principally along the western portion of the City front and the western front of Kowloon. Nine permanent piers and three of a temporary nature in the former district and nine permanent piers in the latter were totally destroyed, Whilst nine piers along the City front and four along the Kowloon front were partially destroyed. Nearly the whole extent of the sea wall to the North of the Admiralty property in Kowloon was destroyed and one retaining wall in the City and another in Kowloon collapsed. The former fell on the coolie quarters of “Braeside” (Inland Lot 1,523) causing some loss of life.


20. Collapse: The following collapses occurred during the year, irrespective of typhoons:


Houses Nos. 226—230 (even nos.) Queens Road West.—Practically total.

Houses No 27 West Street and 207 Hollywood Road.—Party wall.

Houses No 15 Peel Street.—Portion of North party wall


Extension of Staff Quarters - This work was completed and handed over to the medical department in March. The extension comprises a dining room, a sitting room, 6 bedroom, 3 bathrooms, a box-room and pantry and 4 rooms for servants. The building is faced with Amoy bricks and granite dressings to correspond with the original building

The new Harbour Office was formally opened by His Excellency the Governor on the 16th July. Erected on The Harbour front, about 370 yards to the Eastward of the site of the old office, which had been relegated to an inland position by the carrying out of the Praya reclamation Scheme, it is rendered conspicuous by being flanked on either side by buildings of the ordinary Chinese tenement class, from which it differs greatly in character.


The main building, which extends round two sides of a quadrangle, is partly two and partly three stories in height, the remaining two sides of the quadrangle being occupied by outbuildings, principally utilized as quarters for boatmen


The main building contains the following accommodation:Boat-shed with store, Offices for the Harbour Master, Assistant Harbour Master, Marine Surveyor, Assistant Marine Surveyors, Boarding Officers, Correspondence Clerks, Imports and Exports, Emigration, Entry and Clearance, and Junk Registration branches (10 in all), a Marine Enquiry Court, an Examination Room for officers and engineers applying for certificates, a telegraph office, a look-out tower with mast for signals, one spare room, lavatories and quarters for the First Boarding Officer (4 rooms). The outbuildings contain quarters for an Indian Constable, an interpreter, 29 single boatmen, 3 rooms for married boatmen, servants quarters for First Boarding Officer, two strong-rooms for records, 2 store-rooms, and the necessary kitchens and latrines.


The walls are of Canton red brick built in lime mortar and plastered externally, with the exception of the verandah on the ground floor which is built entirely of dressed granite. The roofs are covered with double pan and roll tiling, laid on timber purlins and principals and the floors are generally of hardwood laid on hardwood joists. The boathouse is paved with granite slabs, 4" thick, laid on lime concrete foundations and the floors of verandahs,  strong-rooms and lavatories are of cement concrete, the first floor verandah and lavatories being finished with encaustic tile paving. The walls of the lavatories are tiled with white glazed tiles for a height of 4 feet and the main staircase from ground to first floor is of granite. A circular, granite staircase leads from the first floor to the roof for communication with the look-out tower.


The Marine Enquiry Court is fitted up with a Bench, Dock, Witness Box and other necessary accessories.


The total cost of the building including foundations, fittings &c was $160,198.94


This building was completed and handed over to the Sanitary Board in July. It consists of two main floors for market purposes, accommodation being provided for the inspector and coolies by the construction of mezzanine floors at the North and South ends. The ground floor contains 12 large poultry shops, a poultry killing room, a large store, engine room, inspectors office, and latrines, and the first floor 14 shops and 67 stalls for the sale of fish and two apartments for the storage of live fish. There are four wide granite staircases giving access to the first floor and ample entrances are provided, near which there are money changers’ stalls.


The engine room contains an oil engine and pump for pumping water from a well into two large tanks, with a capacity of 21,000 gallons, on the roof of the building, whence it is drawn for cleansing purposes.


The lighting of the Market is by Kitson lights, 6 lamps of 500 candle-power being provided on each floor. The quarters and some of the subsidiary parts of the building are lighted by gas.


The walls are of Canton red brick faced externally with Amoy bricks and having a deep plinth and dressings of granite. They are finished internally with a dado of white glazed tiles ranging from 4 feet to 5 feet in height, above the level of which they are pointed with lime mortar and whitewashed. The floors are of cement concrete, supported where necessary on cast iron columns and steel beams and the roof is covered with double pan and roll tiling on steel trusses and purlins


The total cost, including piled foundations, fittings, lighting, water supply, &c., was $172,567.46


It was intended to undertake under this vote the construction of the first section of a new prison which was to be situated at the base of the Southern slopes of the Kowloon range of hills. A survey and some preliminary plans and estimates for the scheme were prepared, but, before further steps were taken, instructions were received that the work was not to be proceeded with. No expenditure was therefore incurred under the vote.


Survey and Preliminary Works - Messrs. BRUCE and VALPY, having completed the survey and setting out of the line, left the Colony on the 24th February. As mentioned in last years report, the work of constructing the section between Tai Po and Lo Fu Ferry was undertaken by the Public Works Department on the 9th December, 1905, the intention being that this portion of the railway route should be used as a road until the progress of the remainder of the Work required it to be devoted to railway purposes. Work was actively carried on until the 18th May When it  stopped at the request of Mr GW Eves who arrived in the Colony on the 24th March to assume charge of the Railway work, and the Public Works Department ceased to have anything further to do with constructional operations. At the time of suspending work, the following was the position of affairs:


Completed to formation level: 13,650 lineal feet  (2.58 miles) of embankment

                 900 lineal feet (0.17 miles) of cutting


Partly Excavated: 3,000 lineal feet (0.57 lineal miles) of embankment.

    400 lineal feet (0.07 lineal miles ) of cutting.


ln addition to the foregoing, channels of a total length of about half a mile had been excavated for the purpose of diverting streams and obviating the crossing and recrossing of them by the railway, and sundry minor works had been executed.


Extension East and West of Conduit Road: A contract for this work was let in February and, at the close of the year, most of the cuttings and embankments had been completed and the necessary retaining walls and abutments and piers of bridges had been built. Much negotiation was necessary to enable the portions East and west of the Peak Road to be constructed on a satisfactory line as the lots occupied by “Clovelly," the Ladies recreation Club and “ Queen's Gardens ” were all traversed by the road. Arrangements were ultimately made by which the private road giving access to Queen’s Gardens houses and the necessary areas of the other lots mentioned were surrendered to Government. ln consequence of’ the negotiations alluded to, these portions of the road were not proceeded with until late in the year.


After a considerable amount of negotiation, the road to the Westward of Westbourne Villas, which had hitherto heen a private road, was handed over to Government and, as it was in bad repair. it was resurfaced with concrete.

The Kau Fong Scheme was disposed of by making the final payment of $744.02.


The Mee Lun Lane Scheme was proceeded with, the remaining 20 houses being purchased and an agreement made for the purchase of portion of another viz, No. 18 Gough Street. The total number of houses dealt with was 52, 51 of which were entirely demolished.


The total amount paid for the 51 houses exclusive of any fees or interest was $247,275 and, after arranging terms with the owner of No. 18 Gough Street for the acquisition by him of the (government's share of certain party walls, a sum of $1,256 was agreed to be paid to him for the portion of his property required in connection with the scheme. This amount had not been paid up to the end of the year.


A scheme for forming two approximately parallel roads through the property from Gough Street to Hollywood Road was decided upon and a contract for carrying out the necessary work was entered into with Mr Li A PING on April 27th. Good progress was made with the work, but it was not completed at the end of the year.


The rear walls of some of the houses fronting on Hollywood Road, which were exposed in consequence of the demolition oi" the houses resumed, were found to be in a very precarious condition and were taken down and rebuilt by arrangement with the owners. In the case of others of the houses surrounding the resumed area buttresses were constructed to support the exposed walls and, in two cases, the Government disposed of its interest in party walls. thus enabling the joint owners to open out side windows, their houses having become corner ones by the removal of the adjacent houses to form the new roads.


This building was finally completed and provided with the necessary fittings, being handed over to the Medical Department in March. A description of it was given in last year's report.

The buildings comprised under this heading were handed over to the harbour Master’s Department in February and the old depot on Stonecutters Island was handed over to the Military Authorities after the explosives stored there had been transferred to the new depot.

This building was completed in November and handed over to the Volunteers. It occupies a site at the corner of Lower Albert Road and Garden Road, from both of which entrances are provided. The accommodation afforded comprises a drill-hall (66’ 0” x 52' 0"), Commandant's and Clerks offices, a billiard-room,  officers‘ room, Sergeants' room, reading room, canteen and quarters for the Corps Sergeant-Major. Extensive accommodation is provided for guns and ammunition in a basement under the drill-hall and, in a Small detached building, there are lavatories and servants’ rooms.


The buildings are of red brick in lime mortar, plastered externally with rough-cast plaster, with dressings and mouldings of cement mortar. The floors of the drill-hall and stores are of cement concrete, supported where necessary on steel beams and the remaining floors are of hardwood supported on hardwood joists. The roofs are covered with double pan and roll tiling laid on timber purlins and principals except in the case of the drill-hall Where the purlins and principals are of steel.


The building is lighted throughout with electric light and electric fans are provided in some of the rooms.


With the exception of a sum of $5,000 provided by Government, the entire cost of erecting and fitting up the buildings was defrayed from Corps funds. The total cost amounted to $30,929.28 and a further sum of $458.50 was expended on Kitson lamps for illuminating the Parade Ground.


A contract for this work was let in February and the building was opened for the transaction of business in September. It is a small one-storied building situated in Salisbury Road containing a public office 31 feet x 30 feet with a counter for the sale of stamps, &c., clerks’ and Post Master’s offices, servants’ quarters, lavatories, &c


It is the first building to be erected for postal purposes in Kowloon, the business of the post office, since one was opened, having been conducted in a building rented from the Godown Co.

At the request of the Volunteer Reserve Association, a new rifle range was constructed at the Peak. The butts are situated on the Eastern slope of High West and the firing points below the Harlech Road, at ranges of 200, 300, 400 and 500 yards. The targets, which were obtained from England, are of Jeffries’ Patent “Wimbledon” type and a small building has been constructed for storing them in when not in use. The range was finally handed over to the Association in October. The Work was executed under the supervision of Messrs. DENISON, RAM & Gibbs.


The two urinals, referred to in last year’s report, one in Connaught Road, opposite the end of Douglas Street, and the other one in Salisbury Road, Kowloon, were completed and a latrine in MacDonnell Road, Kowloon, at the north end of Kowloon Inland Lot 909 was begun and was nearing completion at the close of the year. An iron latrine at Mongkoktsui, which had to be removed in connection with improvements there, was taken down and re-erected.