GDI: Mong Ha social housing construction to take 5 years

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The construction of Mong Ha Social Housing Phase II is expected to take around four to five years, the chief of the Infrastructure Development Office (GDI), Chau Vai Man, said yesterday.
Speaking to reporters, the GDI head said social facilities including the reconstruction of the Mong Ha Sports Pavilion would be completed at the same time as the social housing units.
He added that the construction of the project would be resumed once the government finishes its evaluation of the bids it has received for the project.
The construction of the housing project, granted to Hobbs Construction Company Limited in 2011 for MOP685 million (US$85.6 million), was expected to be completed in 2014. But the works were halted for some four years due to a legal dispute between the government and the original contractor.
Having reached consensus with Hobbs Construction to terminate the contract, the government has re-invited bids for the project, attracting six bidders proposing a total cost of between MOP1.59 billion and MOP1.83 billion.
Nevertheless, the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosario, declined yesterday to reveal the compensation that the government will pay to the previous contractor to terminate the contract.
GDI explained that it was because the government had reached an agreement with the contractor that the amount should not be released.
LRT depot works resumed
On the other hand, Secretary Rosario told reporters yesterday that the superstructure works of the LRT depot in Taipa have been resumed.
The government has granted a contract worth MOP1.07 billion to China Construction Engineering (Macau) Co. Ltd. to resume work on the city’s LRT.
The Secretary said that he is confident that the construction of the Taipa route and other civil engineering works would be completed in 2019.
The government has agreed to pay MOP85 million to terminate its contract with the original contractor of the project – a consortium of Mei Cheong and Top Builder – following major delays in construction.
But Mr. Rosario stressed yesterday that the amount to be paid to the original contractor should not be deemed “compensation” but rather to make up the expenses for the departure of the construction companies from the site, as well as other expenses relating to lawsuits and construction materials.
Meanwhile, the head of the Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT), Ho Cheong Kei, said the government would announce partial arrangements for the LRT stations in Barra on the Peninsula later this year.