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Northern district residents concerned with LRT impacts

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image GIT coordinator Lei Chan Tong

Members of the Northern District Advisory Committee for Community Services were briefed yesterday by government representatives on the three proposals for the would-be Light Rail Transit (LRT).
Three northern section LRT routes, leading from the Golden Lotus to the border gate, have been proposed. In the areas in which residential buildings are densely situated, plans for viaducts have been put forth.
One proposal suggests that the LRT follow the coast near the road along the friendship bridge (Avenida da Ponte da Amizade), which would have a relatively minor impact on the residential area whilst in construction. The second proposal suggests following in the direction of Avenida 1 de Maio, and recommends that the route run along the Ha Sa Van Park. The third option proposes that the LRT should cover Estrada Marginal da Areia Preta, thereby serving the residential area and part of the industrial building zone.
Lei Chan Tong, Coordinator of the Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT) spoke to the press after the closed-door meeting. He revealed that concerns voiced by the committee members are largely tied up with which proposal would have the least impact upon residents. Another concern is whether the Hac Sa Van Park (Areia Preta) would be impacted if the second proposal were to be adopted. Lei said that if the route were to pass along the park, construction would be divided into different phases instead of closing the park altogether.
However, when asked whether there is a preference for the second proposal (which suggests taking the direction of Avenida 1 de Maio) he denied it, stating:  “We don’t have a preference yet. (…) We need to take several factors into account, such as the width of the road, what will have the least impact on residents, coverage scope and so on.” 
Despite this, representatives of the committee told the press that many members have already agreed on the second proposal. “Because this proposal covers more of the population, and the impact on transportation will be relatively minor during construction. We also mentioned in the meeting that we hope that the project could be conducted phase by phase, so as to reduce the impact on public facilities and transportation. In addition, we are concerned about the noise,” said Ng Sou Fun, vice head of the Committee.     
The public consultation for the northern section of LRT Macau peninsula line started on July 1 and will end on August 14. According to Lei, the authorities have received more than 50 suggestions via emails and phone. The first public consultation session will take place on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Ha Sa Van Park.    
Earlier, the Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT) presented the members of the Cultural Heritage Committee with a plan for the section of the LRT set to pass by the Border Gate. The plan recommends building the LRT track behind the Barrier Gate (Portas do Cerco). GIT has also suggested that part of the track should be located inside the Border Gate checkpoint building.
A separate public tender for the “Public Transport Interchange of Barra” was launched yesterday. The public tender begins on July 9 and will conclude on September 10, 2014.

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