Govt launches tender for Big Taipa Hill Tunnel

2024-05-31 03:56     BY Tony Wong    Comment:2

The government has finally launched a limited tender for its project to build a vehicular tunnel through Big Taipa Hill, which will enable drivers to travel more directly between Cotai and Pac On, where the soon-to-open Macau Bridge lands, according to announcements published in the Official Gazette (BO) and on the website of the Public Works Bureau (DSOP) on Wednesday.

The government has been planning the Big Taipa Hill Tunnel project for over a decade.

According to an announcement in the gazette on Wednesday, the bureau is asking construction companies to submit their intentions to bid for the project, after which the companies that have submitted their intentions will be ranked according to scores calculated based on four criteria, namely their respective general ability to carry out construction projects, construction techniques and experience, human resources, and interview results with officials.

After the score calculations, the bureau will invite the top five companies with the highest scores to submit their quotations, according to the announcement.

Potential bidders are required to submit their intentions to bid for the project by July 29.

Only after the bureau chooses the top five companies, will the deadline for submitting the final quotations be announced.

It was not until Wednesday that the government’s Big Taipa Hill Tunnel project was announced and so could be expected to finally get off the ground before long.

The Public Works Bureau, the public entity tasked with organising and overseeing public construction projects, published details of the project on its website on Wednesday.

Macau’s fourth sea-crossing bridge connecting the Macau peninsula and Taipa island, which has been officially named Macau Bridge, is slated to open in the next quarter.

The fourth Macau-Taipa bridge connects the Zone A land reclamation area on the peninsula side and the Zone E1 land reclamation area off Pac On at the Taipa side.

The DSOP website notes that “a straight traffic line” between Rotunda do Aeroporto near Cotai and Pac On where Macau Bridge lands is currently blocked by Big Taipa Hill, aka Taipa Grande in Portuguese and “Tai Tam San” in Cantonese. 

Rotunda do Aeroporto is located outside the University Hospital of the private Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST).

The website says that a vehicular tunnel under Big Taipa Hill will enable vehicles to travel between Macau Bridge and Cotai more directly, providing faster movement between the Macau peninsula and Cotai.

In addition to shortening the driving time between the peninsula and Cotai, the website says, the Big Taipa Hill Tunnel will also be able to alleviate traffic pressure on Estrada de Pac On and Avenida Wai Long where the airport and the Taipa Ferry Terminal are located.

The DSOP website says that the Big Taipa Hill Tunnel project will be carried out in two phases. The first phase will build the tunnel, spurs leading to Avenida Wai Long and Avenida do Aeroporto on the tunnel’s south side, and the spur on the tunnel’s north side at Pac On.

The website says that the government will launch the project’s second phase, namely the flyover linking the tunnel’s north side with the sea-crossing Macau Bridge, in due course.

The limited tender announced on Wednesday is for the Big Taipa Hill Tunnel project’s first phase.

The future winning bidder will be required to carry out the final design of the project’s first phase before starting the construction.

The tender has set a maximum period of 1,165 working days for the completion of the project’s first phase, with the first 150 working days earmarked for the completion of its final design.

According to the DSOP website, the tunnel will be 600 metres long and have four lanes – two in each direction.

The spurs at the tunnel’s south side will be 400 metres in total.

Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosário told reporters in 2021 that the Big Taipa Hill Tunnel project would be “difficult, big and complicated”. 

These two artist’s renditions released by the Public Works Bureau (DSOP) on Wednesday show the future Big Taipa Hill Tunnel at its south side.

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