Main roads in Inner Harbour partially closed to traffic for rainwater pumping station project

2023-09-19 03:26     Comment:9

Interview by Yuki Lei

        Along with the start of the government’s over three-year-long Inner Harbour South Rainwater Pumping Station construction project, Rua do Almirante Sérgio, Rua do Dr Lourenço Pereira Marques and Rua das Lorchas, among other main roads in the Inner Harbour district, are being partially closed to vehicular traffic, “posing a bigger traffic problem in the area”, according to Cheong Sok Leng, a member of the government-appointed Traffic Consultative Council, who urged the government last week to do “a better job” of carrying out the remaining part of the large-scale project and some corresponding measures concerning vehicular traffic woes in the area.

Cheong, who heads the Macau General Union of Neighbourhood Associations’ Social Affairs Committee, made the remarks in an interview with The Macau Post Daily via WeChat.

In view of the fact that “both the Inner Harbour area and the Praia do Manduco neighbourhood are always flooded when it rains”, Cheong said, the government launched last November a project to build a rainwater pumping station in the southern area of the Inner Harbour district, covering an area stretching about 1.3 kilometres that is being carried out in three phases, in which the first phase was originally scheduled to be completed next June, but now the government expects to finish it a month later due to the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the second and third phases are expected, according to the government, to be completed in December next year and in June 2025 respectively.

The project, which includes the installation of box culverts and new rainwater drains and sewer pipes in the area, is aimed at alleviating the long-standing flooding woes affecting the low-lying district.

Due to the launch of the project, a number of bus stops in the Inner Harbour area have been temporarily cancelled or relocated.

Cheong said that vehicles travelling from Barra towards Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, regardless of whether through Rua do Almirante Sérgio or Rua do Dr Lourenço Pereira Marques, have to “converge” in Praça de Ponte e Horta, “leading to slow traffic and causing significant traffic congestion there”.

In order to relieve the “huge” traffic pressure on the district as soon as possible, Cheong urged the government to adopt various measures to ensure that the project could be completed in a timely manner such as by strengthening its management to supervise the contractors, “making sure that the progress of the project is in good condition and in line with the schedule”. Cheong also urged motorists to avoid, as much as they can, entering the district, while suggesting that the government enable drivers and riders on the way to Nape and Zape to U-turn at the Barra Transport Hub, instead of using roads such as Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, the city centre’s main thoroughfare.

In terms of some business operators’ complaints about the impact of the project, with some shops’ storefronts being covered by construction hoardings, misleading their customers to believe that the shops remain closed during the project, Cheong urged the government to update its public announcements about the project, such as by releasing relevant information such as the project’s progress and, in particular, the adjustments to bus stops in the area, through social media platforms.

According to Cheong, the project has resulted in the temporary cancellation or relocation of at least six bus stops along the route.

Concerning illegal parking in the Inner Harbour district, Cheong said that the Public Security Police (PSP) should monitor the situation constantly through their citywide CCTV camera system.

Cheong pointed out: “The traffic police are present during rush hours, but their role is limited.” 

Undated file photo provided last week by the Macau General Union of Neighbourhood Associations Social Affairs Committee Supervisor shows Cheong Sok Leng, a member of the government-appointed Traffic Consultative Council member. The union is widely known as Kai Fong, its Cantonese name.

This photo taken yesterday shows Praça de Ponte e Horta being partially closed to vehicular traffic for the government’s over three-year-long Inner Harbour South Rainwater Pumping Station project. – Photo: Yuki Lei

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