The promised tidal barrier | 30 doubts for 2019

To minimise the impact of flooding, the Macau Government has conducted a series of works in the Inner Harbour, the most important of which was completed in early 2015, with the height of the walls along the perimeter of the Inner Harbour increasing to 4.1 metres above sea level.

A little more than two years later the rampage of Super Typhoon Hato through Macau revealed that this work was clearly insufficient: the water level reached 5.5 metres above mean sea level. 

A few days later the government announced “ten priority tasks in the area of disaster prevention and reduction,” notably the construction of a new anti-flood barrier in the Inner Harbour. 

Initially, it was slated to be ready by 2019 but work will only begin next year after the Chinese State Council has been consulted. 

“The width of these gates will be 650 metres inside the six removable gates, with three allowing the passage of boats. The floodgates will be closed when the storm warning appears and the water level rises, constituting an artificial barrier with a resistance to 5.8 metres of tide height, whose pattern of occurrence is once in 200 years being above the 5.58 metres recorded during Typhoon Hato,” said the government. 

It is now generally known that flood prevention walls on pontoon bridges 23 to 26 can only be built after 2021 upon completion of the construction of the pump station to the north of the Inner Harbor. 

“The construction of preventative infrastructures is slow, and the various works are still in the planning stage,” legislator Agnes Lam stated in the Legislative Assembly. “The construction of the floodgates in the Inner Harbour will only start in 2019, and from the formulation of the idea in 2012 to completion the project will have taken 10 years.” 

The Border Gate Bus Terminal in February 

It has long been thought of as a redesign of the Border Gate Bus Terminal, with plans to increase the space available to those who have to board the bus and the drivers there. 

Super-Typhoon Hato (once again), however, precipitated the need, when the facilities were flooded and the damage extensive. 

The works started quickly and the first estimates are that they will be completed by the end of 2019. 

More recently, the Director of Transport Bureau (DSAT), Lam Hin San, said the government is striving to partially reopen the Terminal this year, reopening the whole Terminal by Lunar New Year in February 2019. 

Even if it is a reformulation, not a new construction, the underground space where passengers wait for transportation will be double the area. And there will also be better conditions for drivers to rest in. The question that the government has not yet clarified, however, is whether the Terminal will continue to host the 24 routes that currently stop there. 

“If all 24 bus routes are to be returned, although passengers might not need to walk far to get on buses, there might also be situations when there are too many buses at the Terminal causing traffic congestion,” noted the DSAT Director.