5.                   CuLTURAL HERITAGE




5.1               Key cultural heritage resources found within the Study Area included five Declared Monuments, seventeen graded historical buildings, as well as buildings and structures that are not yet graded but of high architectural and historical significance.  Details of these sites are listed in Appendix 6.3 of the EIA Report.


5.2               The proposed WIL will be an underground railway system and therefore any potential cultural heritage would be limited to more surface works with an interface with the resources.  Potential impacts have been carefully considered during the development of the project design to avoid and minimize impacts on important cultural heritage resources.


5.3               According to the EIA study, the project would not result in any adverse direct impact to historical buildings as there were no plans of demolition of any declared monuments or graded historic buildings based on the preliminary design proposal.  Visual aesthetic impacts would be mitigated to acceptable levels with the use of sensibly designed hoardings and aboveground structures as discussed in Section 4.   


5.4               Indirect vibration impact due to the use of drill and blast method for the construction of WIL was considered as the worst case scenario in the cultural heritage impact assessment in the EIA study.  It was predicted that, through the control of vibration levels, adverse impact on the identified heritage resources would not arise.  A monitoring and audit programme for vibration impacts would be in place to ensure no exceedance of the vibration limit during construction.  The requirements of monitoring and audit programme for vibration impacts are presented below.


Equipment, Data Monitoring and Measurement


5.5               Blasting will take place at each work face no more than two times a day.  As such, monitoring equipment may either be manned, or unmanned.  If it is manned, then the maximum PPV level for the duration of the blast must be available immediately after the blast, so that information can be relayed to the Contractor before the next blast.  If the monitoring device is unmanned, then it must be triggered, and the results conveyed by telephone hook-up to the responsible person.  The responsible person will then immediately inform the Contractor.  Blasting shall be monitored at either one or two locations per blast location, as described below.  The preferred equipment is an Instantel Blastmate, with the Blastmate III being the most recent.


Measurement Locations


5.6               If an identified vibration sensitive historical building is within 100m in plan of the blast location, location shall be taken up inside the identified receiver.  If access inside the receiver is not possible, the measurement shall be performed on the ground outside the identified receiver, as close to the foundation as practicable, but not closer than 1m, and along the path between the blast location and the closest point on the foundation.  If more than one identified receiver is within 100m plan of the blast location, then the closest one shall be selected.  Monitoring shall occur at the designated sensitive receiver for as long as the blasting is within 100m plan of the sensitive receiver, or until another receiver is closer.  The location and installation of the monitoring stations should be discussed and agreed with AMO before installation.


5.7               All blasting shall be monitored.  If blasting is scheduled for more than one location at the same time, the measurement specialist shall provide sufficient equipment to monitor, as described, all blast locations.


Tabulation of Data – Compliance Matrix


5.8               The Measurement Specialist shall tabulate the PPV level taken above the blast for each blast episode against: track chainage, horizontal setback, if any, vertical depth, PPV criterion (25mm/s), difference from PPV criterion, indication of compliance and time and date.  Where data is taken along an adit, the distance along the adit shall replace the track chainage.


5.9               The Measurement Specialist shall tabulate the PPV level taken within or outside a monitored sensitive receiver for each blast episode against: track chainage, horizontal setback, if any, vertical depth, PPV criterion (i.e. 25mm/s measured inside the structure), difference from PPV criterion, indication of compliance and time and date.  Where data is taken along an adit, the distance along the adit shall replace the track chainage.


Reporting and Action


5.10            The Measurement Specialist shall provide a copy of the updated tabulation to the Contractor after each blast episode.  If the measured PPV either above the blast or at any nearby receiver is above the criteria values for three consecutive blasts, the Contractor shall take immediate corrective action by reducing the rate of forward progress, as necessary, to bring PPV levels within compliance.  If upon subsequent blasting, the criteria are still exceeded, further reduction of the rate of forward progress shall occur on consecutive blasts until PPV levels are brought within compliance.  If PPV levels cannot be brought within compliance after six successive non-compliant blasts, the Contractor shall cease all blasting, with recommencement subject to review by MTRC.


5.11            If the measured PPV is less than 20mm/s above the blast location and the measured PPV at any nearby sensitive receiver is less than 10mm/s within the receiver, or less than 18mm/s in the ground adjacent to the receiver, then the Contractor may increase his forward rate of progress, subject to review by MTRC.


Archaeological Watching Brief


5.12            Based on the EIA Study, archaeological watching brief would be required for the identification of any historical finds in the following works area which might have a potential for finds and remains of archaeological interest to be found:

·                  Works Area C at Kennedy Town Playground

·                  Works Area H at  the Belcher’s

·                  Works Area I near Pok Fu Lam Road Flyover

·                  Works Area J at Hill Road Rest Garden

·                  Works Area J1 at Hill Road

·                  Works Area J2 at Whitty Street Public Toilet

·                  Works Area J3 at the University of Hong Kong West Gate

·                  Works Area M at the basket ball court of King George V Memorial Park

·                  Works Area M2 at David Lane Sitting Out Area


5.13            A watching brief is a process whereby a qualified and licensed archaeologist monitors the excavation works during the construction phase in areas identified to be of archaeological potential.  Details of the frequency of inspection shall be provided to AMO for review and comment once the detailed construction programme has been finalized.  The archaeologist conducting the watching brief should obtain a licence prior to commencement of works as stipulated in Section 12 of the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Cap. 53).  The granting of the licence may take up to 8 weeks after the submission of the licence to the Antiquity Authority


5.14            The IEC should ensure proper implementation of the archaeological watching brief such as frequency and field recording.


Operation Phase


5.15            Mitigation measures recommended in Table 4.3 in relation to visual impacts would generally ameliorate potential impacts to the surrounding environment including historic sites. Hence, EM&A requirements recommended in Section 4 would as well be applicable in controlling the potential operational phase visual impact on heritage sites.