Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io said Wednesday that the city’s light rail transit (LRT) in Cotai will be linked to the Hengqin border by a tunnel under the Shizhimen channel which separates Cotai from the island in Zhuhai.
The Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT) said in a statement that in future passengers can expect a “seamless” journey by transiting the Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway station for the local LRT in Hengqin.
Lau also said that the Cotai-Hengqin Lotus Flower border checkpoint will be rebuilt to accommodate an LRT station.
Lau made the remarks to reporters after attending a meeting of the legislature’s First Standing Committee where he continued to discuss with lawmakers a government-drafted bill on regulating several professions related to the construction industry such as architects.
Asked by reporters as to the latest developments of the possible extension of the LRT Cotai section to the Hengqin border, Lau said that local and Hengqin authorities were currently discussing details of the project.
The GIT, which supervises the city’s LRT project, said in a statement that the route to Hengqin will be about 3.3 kilometres long, starting from the Lotus Flower checkpoint in Cotai. The route will consist of an elevated track as well as a tunnel under the Shizhimen channel.
Talking to reporters, Lau admitted that there will be difficulties ahead as the extension route has to go through a tunnel under the channel.
“In future [passengers] can get on and off the local LRT and the Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway at the same station but on different floors …. We’ll do our best to find a way to provide the most convenient way for passengers,” Lau said, adding he had received a request from the Macau Security Forces (FSM) about the reconstruction of the Lotus Flower border checkpoint.
“We are still discussing with security officials how to rebuild the border …it is still in the initial stages,” Lau said.
He added that the government had no timetable yet for the reconstruction of the border checkpoint and when the construction of the tunnel will begin.
According to previous media reports, Guangdong expects the extension of its inter-city railway to Hengqin to be completed by 2016 with the line planned to be 17 kilometres long, with seven stops between Zhuhai station and Hengqin’s Changlong Park.
The LRT will cover the peninsula, Taipa and Cotai. Construction in Taipa and Cotai is underway. The government has said that it expects the LRT section in Taipa to start operating in 2016.(macaunews/macaupost)