CHINA: Tunnelling has begun for a light metro line connecting the Macau Special Administrative Region with Zhuhai’s Hengqin Port across the Shizimen canal.
Being built at an overall cost of US$437m, Macao Light Rail Transit’s Hengqin Line will run for 2·2 km from an interchange with the rubber-tyred Taipa Line at Lotus Bridge station to an underground station at Hengqin Checkpoint, passing under the waterway in a 900 m tunnel.
Construction is being undertaken by Namkwong Real Estate Co, China Civil Engineering Construction Corp and the China Railway 16th Bureau Group Corp. The 7·98 m diameter tunnel boring machine was designed by CCECC and built in Changsha.
Opening is scheduled for 2024. Services will be operated by four-car trains with a capacity of 476 passengers, running every 6½ min. The line is intended to provide convenient connections with the Zhuhai Airport Urban Rail Transit and China’s high speed rail network.