Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) Director Chan Pou Ha said on Wednesday that the government will continue with its ongoing study of the possible construction of the fifth Macao-Taipa link – an undersea tunnel next to the Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge (commonly known as Old Bridge), despite the possible cancellation of its Zone D land reclamation project.
Chan made the remarks while speaking to reporters after chairing a regular meeting of the Urban Planning Council (CPU), a government-appointed consultative body tasked with advising the government on its urban planning policies.
Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosário revealed last week that the local government planned to cancel its Zone D land reclamation project, and instead was planning to reclaim land in the waters between the northeastern coast of the peninsula and the Zone A land reclamation area for the setting-up of a large green area so that residents living in the peninsula’s densely populated northeastern neighbourhoods and future residents living in Zone A could enjoy it in the future. The policy secretary said that the local government had requested the central government’s permission for the newly proposed reclamation project in exchange for axing the Zone D reclamation project.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng underlined that his government was still studying its plan to reclaim land between the peninsula’s northeastern coast and Zone A instead of pushing ahead with the Zone D reclamation project and, consequently, the matter had not yet been decided. Ho reaffirmed that the reclamation swap would have to be authorised by the central government first.
In November 2018, the local government commissioned CCCC Highway Consultants Co Ltd – a subsidiary fully owned by China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC) – to carry out the initial design and engineering investigation of the fifth Macao-Taipa link, which lasts 800 days, for MOP 99 million (US$12.41 million).
The local government first commissioned CCCC Highway Consultants Co Ltd to carry out a feasibility study on the Macao-Taipa undersea tunnel project in 2016.
The local government plans for the proposed Macao-Taipa undersea tunnel to connect the Zone B land reclamation area – the one outside Nape – and the Zone D area, which was initially slated to be reclaimed off the northern coast of Taipa between the Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge and Friendship Bridge.
When asked by reporters on Wednesday whether the possible cancellation of the Zone D reclamation project would affect the government’s proposed fifth Macao-Taipa link project, Chan replied that her bureau has been following up on the undersea tunnel project, meaning that its research study of the project is still ongoing, adding that her bureau has still not been notified by superiors of the possible amendments to the ongoing study.
“We [the bureau] have not received any decisive instructions [from any superiors], so we will continue with our ongoing work [the research study on the Macao-Taipa undersea tunnel project],” Chan said.
When asked whether the local government will build the fifth Macao-Taipa link if it finally decides to cancel the Zone D reclamation project, Chan replied, “Concerning this matter, I don’t dare to comment.”
Chan underlined that the local government still does not have a final decision on the fate of the Zone D reclamation project, adding that the government’s draft of Macao’s official urban master plan, which still includes Zone D, is still under public consultation.