By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The open tender for the foundation construction of the phase-one light rapid transit (LRT) depot began accepting proposals yesterday and will close on August 29.
The site occupies 130,000 square metres and is situated on a new reclaimed area to the south of the Macau International Airport, the west of the Cotai Strip and is close to the existing construction material landfill in Avenida do Aeroporto.
The maximum construction period for the foundation of the depot is 380 days.
Deputy Director of the Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT) André Ritchie said at a press conference yesterday that as the project is “large-scale” and a very deep foundation is required, the office decided to divide the construction of the foundation and the depot itself into two separate tenders.
He said this arrangement is estimated to enhance the efficiency of the overall construction and that the depot can be completed up to six months earlier.
In addition, separating the construction will “offer more opportunities” for local companies and also skilled workers to participate in the LRT project.
This tender alone is expected to create 100 to 150 job opportunities.
The foundation of the depot will require a total of 256 piles, each measuring 1.5 to 2 metres in diameter, to be driven into 56 to 86 metres down the ground.
The total length of piles is around 20 kilometres, which Ritchie said is almost the same as that of the LRT route.
The GIT stressed that the piles will be driven into the ground using an “environmental friendly” method, and a diesel or percussive pile hammer will not be used.
Moreover, Ritchie said the open tenders for the construction of the three sections of the railway tracks for the Taipa route consisting of 11 stations are expected to be launched before the end of this year.
The two-kilometre section between Ocean Gardens and Estrada da Baía de Nossa Senhora da Esperança near the camp of the People’s Liberation Army Macau Garrison should be launched first, he added.
Meanwhile, the depot construction in the future will consist of an operations control centre, a training parking area, a maintenance building, a train washing area, an over 600-metre train test track as well as other structures necessary for system operation and monitoring.
The two sides of the facilities will also be decorated by a green belt.
The GIT did not disclose when the second tender is expected to be staged.
Secretary for Transport and Public Works Lau Si Io reiterated yesterday that the LRT will be built in line with the “highest international standards”, adding that the government will not approve the system to operate if it fails to meet the environmental, fire and safety requirements.
The secretary also said the current LRT plan is the “best option” after taking into consideration several factors including “the environment, landscape, convenience to people and the construction cost”.
He said if residents have a “better proposal” the government is “willing to give up” the current one, but added that the government won’t consider “one single factor unfairly”.
Residents from Rua de Londres and Rua Cidade do Porto in NAPE have strongly opposed the GIT’s decision to build the elevated tracks in the two “narrow” streets, worried about the safety in case of fire and also the noise pollution.