A laboratory technician employed by Jacobs China Limited, part of the U.S.-based Jacobs Engineering Group, will be sentenced next week after admitting he faked test results using false instruments to test concrete cubes intended to be used to build the $15 billion Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge.
"I was just lazy," said 61-year old Wong Kwok-yiu in court last week, accused of two counts of falsifying lab reports. Wong had been employed by Jacobs China, which was undertaking tests on construction material, including concrete used in the bridge, for Hong Kong’s Civil Engineering and Development Department.
The 34-mile bridge When complete, the bridge will create the first direct road link across the Pearl River Estuary, knitting together a region of more than 22 million people.
According to the South China Morning Post, between September 2012 and June 2016, Wong inputted one measurement incorrectly and used the wrong cube when testing the materials. To cover it up, he simulated tests and passed them off as genuine. Wong is one of 19 Jacobs China employees arrested for falsifying test reports. According to a statement issued by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, they used tested or high-strength concrete cubes, or a metal calibration cylinder, for the original concrete sample cubes delivered to the laboratory for testing.
Hong Kong’s Civil Engineering and Development Department found abnormalities in 346 concrete tests. Earlier this year, Jacobs China was banned from bidding on government contracts for one year resulting from the arrests of the Jacobs testers and two senior executives.
Since construction began in 2011, the bridge has been plagued by delays and some 270 safety incidents. At least 10 workers have died on the project and more than 600 injured.