Sinking Feeling: Photos appear to show problems at major Kowloon construction project

Images from the West Kowloon Cultural District construction site show huge cracks in the pavement (left) and what appears to be a backhoe submerged in wet cement (right). Photos via LIHKG/RTHK video.
Images from the West Kowloon Cultural District construction site show huge cracks in the pavement (left) and what appears to be a backhoe submerged in wet cement (right). Photos via LIHKG/RTHK video.

Images began circulating online today that appear to show large sections of the construction site of the delay-bedeviled West Kowloon Cultural District sinking into the ground.

Some of the images show huge cracks in the pavement, tilting shipping containers, pools of murky water in the middle of areas under construction, and, shockingly, what appears to be a backhoe submerged almost to its roof in wet cement.

The photos were purportedly taken at the construction site for the Lyric Theatre Complex. The theater is scheduled to be completed in 2023, and will include three different venues, one with 1,450 seats, one with 600 seats, and one with 270 seats.

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority — which is funded by the government — would only confirm to Coconuts HK today that there was a flooding at the construction site of the L1 contract for the Lyric Theatre Complex and the extended basement of the West Kowloon Cultural District, adding that they are now closely monitoring the situation and will offer updates in due course.




Police have also arrived at the site to help with the investigation, RTHK reports.

The 40-hectare West Kowloon Cultural District has been in the works since 1998, when then-Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa vowed to make it “Asia’s arts and cultural capital.” The government set aside HK$21.6 billion to fund the project in 2008, when the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority was first founded in 2008.

The district is set to features performing arts venues, a museum, and more, but in the 20 years since it was first announced, it has been plagued by delays, controversies, and management shakeups. Earlier this year, the SCMP reported that five of the authority’s top executives were set to depart by August after declining to renew their contracts.

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