(Xinhua/Jin Liangkuai)

Construction works for Hengqin LRT extension initiated

Macau has officially started the construction of the Taipa Light Rapid Transit line extension to Hengqin today (Thursday), with the project expected to be completed in four years.

The metro line project was granted to state-owned group Nam Kwong and is set to cost MOP3.5 billion (US$438.2 million), according to a statement from the Infrastructure Development Office (GDI) about the laying ceremony for the first stone.

The work aims to “improve the connection of urban and rail transport between Macau and the cities of China, as well as speed up the interconnection of transport infrastructures”.

Hengqin LRT line

The 2.2-kilometre metro line will include a 900-meter tunnel, a viaduct, an underwater tunnel and two stations, one on the Lotus Bridge in Cotai and another in the new Hengqin Port in Zhuhai.

An elevated station named HE1 will be located next to the Lotus Flower Bridge, and another underground station, HE2, will be located at the new Hengqin Border Post, with the Hengqin Line to circulate within the two via an underwater tunnel crossing the Shizimen area.

The new Hengqin Border Checkpoint officially opened in March, 2020 and has the capacity for 222,000 daily crossings or more than 81 million estimated annual crossings.

At the moment, preparatory work is underway, which includes the elaboration of the execution project and the traffic conditioning measures, the displacement program of the pipes, the placement of the deformation monitoring points during the execution of the work and the construction of provisional facilities, among others.

With the official start of construction works the area of the former Lotus Border Post will be sealed off, with the aim of demolishing the buildings and installations as well as displacing the existing pipes in the Rotunda Marginal so as to coordinate with the main construction works.

The future LRT Henqgin connection will allow a link to the Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway, as part of efforts to improve transport interconnectivity between Macau, Zhuhai and the rest of Guangdong.

Through the light rail connection, Macau will be within an hour’s distance in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay area.

The Macau SAR government is already preparing to initiate the construction of the Seac Pai Van LRT line, with the public consultation for the East Line – which will connect Gongbei Border checkpoint and the Taipa Ferry terminal via an underwater tunnel connecting the reclaimed areas Zone A and E – already completed.