Macau-Hengqin LRT section project to start soon: govt

2021-02-22 03:21     Comment:1

The Macau government has announced that a Light Rail Transit (LRT) section connecting Macau’s Cotai and Zhuhai’s Hengqin Island will “start soon”.

The Infrastructure Development Office (GDI) made the announcement in a statement on Friday, which said that the local government aims for the project, which has a price tag of about 3.5 billion patacas, to be completed within four years.

According to the statement, the two-station line will be built by Nam Kwong (Group) Company Limited, the only state-owned enterprise headquartered in Macau.

The statement said that the 2.2-kilometre-long section between Cotai and Hengqin will include a 900-metre-long underwater tunnel. The line will link the Lotus Checkpoint station of the LRT Taipa section near Studio City casino-hotel resort in Cotai with the mainland-Macau joint border checkpoint in Hengqin.

Macau’s Cotai and Zhuhai’s Hengqin has been linked by the 1,756-metre-long vehicular Lotus Flower Bridge across a narrow river since March 2000. Since then both sides had been operating their own checkpoints separately, before the now-defunct Lotus Flower checkpoint was relocated to the new Hengqin checkpoint building on August 18 last year.

The central government granted the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) jurisdiction over the Macau-side checkpoint zone of the new Hengqin checkpoint and the Lotus Flower Bridge on March 18 last year, when the area’s jurisdiction was transferred from Zhuhai to Macau and Macau’s laws started to apply there.

According to Friday’s statement, the LRT Hengqin section’s station in Cotai, to be called HE1, will be built next to the Lotus Checkpoint station of the LRT Taipa section, which is located next to the now-defunct Lotus Flower checkpoint. A passage will be built connecting the two stations for LRT passengers to transfer between the Taipa and Hengqin sections.

According to the statement, the LRT elevated track will gradually descend from the elevated segment in Cotai and cross the river via an underwater tunnel before arriving at the underground station at the Hengqin checkpoint, to be called HE2.

The statement said that as the LRT Hengqin section is a Zhuhai-Macau cross-border project, the Macau government has decided to hire Nam Kwong (Group) Company Limited to carry out the project for about 3.5 billion patacas.

Apart from the construction of an elevated track, an underwater tunnel and the two stations, the cost will also cover the project’s construction design and the relocation of various existing underground pipes and cables, according to the statement.

The statement said that the aim of the project was to render travel between Macau and Hengqin “more convenient” and ultimately connect Macau’s LRT with the mainland’s high-speed railway network.

Macau’s LRT currently only has its 9.3-kilometre-long Taipa section, which also covers Cotai, in operation. The government has said that it aims for its ongoing project of the LRT section connecting Taipa and Barra at the southernmost tip of the peninsula – via Sai Van Bridge – to be completed in 2023.

The government spent 10.2 billion patacas on the LRT Taipa section – including the construction, the rolling stock and the setting-up of the system. The ongoing LRT Taipa-Barra section project is budgeted at 4.5 billion patacas.

The government unsealed bids submitted by 10 construction companies for the construction of the LRT Seac Pai Van section in September last year. The government is still to announce which company it will hire to carry out the 1.6-kilometre-long project, which will connect the still under-construction Cotai hospital complex – officially known as Islands Healthcare Complex – and the sprawling Seac Pai Van public housing estate in Coloane.

“Islands” is the official term for Taipa, Coloane and Cotai.

This aerial photo released by the Infrastructure Development Office (GDI) on Friday shows the government’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) Hengqin section project indicated by the red line. The line will run from the elevated HE1 station in Macau’s Cotai to the underground HE2 station at the Zhuhai-Macau joint checkpoint on Hengqin Island.

This GDI map released on Friday shows the two-station LRT Hengqin section indicated by the orange line. The dotted line shows the future passenger passage connecting the current Taipa section’s Lotus Checkpoint station and the future Hengqin section’s HE1 station.

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  • visitors2021022219:492021-02-22 19:49

    The Macau government has announced that the construction a Light Rail Transit (LRT) section connecting Macau’s Cotai and Zhuhai’s Hengqin Island will “start soon”.