The Macau government expects a new 24-hour border checkpoint – linking the northern district of the city to Zhuhai in mainland China’s Guangdong province – to be completed by the end of 2020, said the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosário (pictured), in comments to local media on Thursday.
Mr Rosário additionally told reporters that the Taipa to Cotai section of Macau’s light rail transit (LRT) system would be ready by December 19 at “the latest”. Such a timing would coincide with the 20th anniversary of the handover of Macau from Portuguese administration to that of China on December 20. That section of the LRT system was now going through its testing stage, the secretary said. The government has yet to say when an LRT line linking Macau peninsula to Taipa and onward to Cotai, might be built.
The new border checkpoint, to be named the “Qingmao” border, will supplement the existing Gongbei border gate between Macau peninsula and Zhuhai. The latter is only operational in cycles running from 6am until 1am the following day. Currently the only round-the clock crossing point between Macau and Zhuhai prefecture is at the Lotus Bridge that links the city’s Cotai district to Hengqin island.
The new Qingmao border will link the Ilha Verde district in the northwestern corner of Macau peninsula, to Zhuhai. According to previous statements by the Macau government, it will have available automated immigration procedures for pre-registered Macau residents and mainland Chinese citizens.
The Gongbei border gate is currently the busiest boundary crossing between Zhuhai and Macau, and accounts for a majority of tourist arrivals by land, according to Macau government data.
Mr Rosário - speaking to the media on Thursday at Macau’s Legislative Assembly, following a closed-doors meeting of a sub-committee monitoring the new infrastructure project – said it was intended that two boundary checkpoint buildings for the new Qingmao frontier – respectively situated at the Zhuhai side and the Macau side – would be completed by the end of next year.
There was “not much problem” in terms of the current progress of the construction works, the official remarked. He had made a site visit earlier that day.
The new Qingmao border checkpoint will be served by a spur line to the Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway, part of China’s high-speed rail network. The spur line will also serve the Gongbei border on the Zhuhai side, and also Hengqin island, and is likely to be ready for operations by November this year.
Macau legislator Ella Lei Cheng I, said on Thursday that city government officials estimated the Qingmao crossing would handle about 200,000 traveller journeys per day. She spoke to reporters following the same sub-committee session.
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Vitaly Umansky, Tianjiao Yu and Kelsey Zhu
Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd