The Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT) is focusing on its primary task to allocate resources to the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Taipa section’s construction, the office’s new coordinator, Ho Cheong Kei, said.
The office is striving to extend the route to the Macau peninsula’s south end in the fourth quarter of this year. Ho officially took office yesterday following an inauguration ceremony where he pledged: “The GIT will speed up proceedings on the Taipa section’s construction, and solve the Depot Superstructure problem as soon as possible, so that the LRT system can commence operations sooner.”
The new coordinator said that the government still hasn’t reached an agreement to terminate its contract with the contractor accused of delaying the Depot Superstructure’s construction.
However, he stated that the negotiations are coming to an end, and that after the current contract is lifted, the government will take a full review of the existing construction progress. They will then assess whether the design needs to be adjusted before being opened for rebidding for a new contractor.
Construction of the LRT’s Depot Superstructure in Taipa – the “heart zone” of the entire LRT system – has been caught up in a dispute between the GIT and the contractor, as they have blamed each other for the project’s severe delay.
Ho said that the government wouldn’t rule out a judicial approach to resolve the issue, but acknowledged, “The ideal solution is still through negotiation, given that judicial means could affect the LRT’s start of operation.”
In addition, he told media that the GIT is also working to extend the LRT construction to the first station across the sea, north of the Taipa section. Accordingly, the design of the Barra (A-Ma Temple) Station is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, allowing tendering for construction.
Ho went on to reveal that public consultation results regarding the LRT’s route in North Macau peninsula will be released within the month, marking one step closer to the Macau section’s breaking ground.
“The public consultation held last year received some 10,000 opinions, most of them focusing on the routes of the Rua 1 de Maio viaduct and coastal viaduct. The coastal route received more support, while the Rua 1 de Maio viaduct plan drew considerable opposition,” he said, adding that the government will consider those opposing views.
The Rua 1 de Maio viaduct plan has stirred controversy, as it will cover one-third of the Areia Preta Park’s open-air area and 10 percent of its ground space. Meanwhile, the entire LRT Macau section has remained at a standstill since the LRT route was designed.
The Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosário, appointed Ho Cheong Kei for a one-year term of office. He acknowledged at the inauguration ceremony that the GIT has faced many obstacles since it took charge of the large-scale and technically complex LRT project. “But it deserves recognition that the official team is making every effort to face challenges and overcome difficulties through its determination,” he said.