The LRT Macau station for the Taipa Ferry Terminal is slowly slowly progressing. Well, definitely not fast enough to allow for an opening of the line anytime soon. Below another shot from the other side. More photos can be checked in today’s photo set.
Above photo shows the current state of construction of two major projects in Macau, one being in private hands, one being in public hands:
Ironically enough the same photo shows how two worlds collide that actually are very tightly interlinked with each other: The world of gambling and gaming, endless streams of revenues in the past years and a fast track project which is scheduled for completion this May. And then, the world of public project management in Macau, its actually endless pockets filled by tax money from the very same casino operators we just talked about, however none of the same pace-minded approach in construction: The LRT was recently called out for a 883 days delay.
Photo taken on February 9th 2015 by Max-Leonhard von Schaper
With reference to the online progress update and recent news on the Macau LRT, above photo shows the current state of the depot area of the LRT. On the left one can see the incoming pillars of the elevated track (without section elements) and in the middle one can see the starting points for what might become a train depot at some point of time.
Interestingly enough, on the detailed progress page of the LRT, it states that construction of the depot began in November 2011. That would be 3 years ago. Tendering had commenced in February 2012 with 16 companies submitting a bid in April the same year. Longest construction period as stated was 1015 days.
Assuming tender award the same day, i.e. April 11th 2012, then construction for the depot would have been completed on January 21st 2015. Given the above shown state it seems that construction has not commenced, hence leading to the assumption that we are at least one or two years away from any meaningful completion of the depot.
Now as we all know, a train track cannot be properly tested or commissioned without a depot, as one needs to feed in and feed out trains, maintain them, do the overnight parking, etc. Hence without an at least 75% completed depot, one cannot start any tests. Well, wait, 75% assumes that the trains can be driven by drivers. But the LRT Macau is a driverless system! Hence I assume that one would need a proper and fully functional depot for the systems testing.
That means we would be able to commence in February 2017 with testing of the track and depot. Given the complexity of driverless systems and the necessary operational and emergency testing, I would assume this phase to take between 6 months and 12 months. Hence opening of the LRT could be as far out as end of 2017.
As expected, it was finally announced: The LRT project in Macau is hugely delayed. So huge that it actually will open at a minimum of 883 (!!!) days later. The obvious outcry followed:
- Macau government allowing 24 hour work on site to make up for lost time.
- Budget spending has reached already 200% of the initial estimation
- Contractors publically declaring that they “regret” to won the bid for this project.
As I can relate from my own personal experience of observing various LRT construction sites in Taipa, there is not a lot of progress on site. On most days in the past four months the sections close to the depot area were completely worker-less and since last year June I believe only four pillar-to-pillar connections have been built.
Come on GIT, building a metro is not hard. Hongkong did it, Guangzhou did it and even Delhi did it. But then again, project management in Macau has challenges of its own. Yet, personally speaking it seems no one is trying to tackle them in a proper manner to bring this project back on track.
Photo taken in July 2014, LRT site close to Galaxy Macau.
Whatever this is going to be, City of Dreams new retail promenade entrance or a hoarding tunnel during construction of the real thing, it looks cool!
A beautiful shot of Tower 4 of Sands Cotai Cental (Parcel 5&6) showing the floor numbers.
A July 31st shot of a girder launcher crane between two LRT posts close to COD. There is more happening, yet still it feels tremendously slow compared to other sites.
Above and below you can see some new photos of Macau’s light rail project. Again, progress seems not have been fast, as currently the girder launcher has moved on to section number 4 or 5 only. Remember, it was announced way back in January and has been erected in February this year. This means that a whopping 5 months have passed and overall progress has been less than a 100 meters. That is not very impressive by all means.
Good news is however that the section towards the depot area seems to be getting along (well… slowly of course), as new pillars seem to have been cast:
With the current rate of construction of elevated track section it could be years before any operational train is going to roll in Taipa… and don’t speak about Macau, for that is still under principal discussion on where the track is going to go along. Latest news? Discussions about
building a hanging corridor or an underground tunnel to connect the seaside with the Dr Carlos d’Assumpção Park. (…) Officials have suggested that the designs are still in their preliminary stage and can be further refined. They hope that the public will provide further opinions regarding the route of the LRT’s Macau section.
Cotai’s main casinos might be well open before this train is coming along …