Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Hong-Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, World’s Longest Sea Crossing, Now Open

Oct. 23, 2018 (EIRNS)—Chinese President Xi Jinping officially opened the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), the world’s longest sea-crossing today, nine years after its construction began, with the leaders of Macao, Zhuhai and Hong Kong present at the Zhuhai ceremony.

Including its access roads, the bridge spans 55 km (34 miles) connecting Macao and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, to Hong Kong across the Pearl River Delta, BBC reported today.

The bridge was built to withstand earthquakes and the strongest of typhoons, with 400,000 tons of steel used. Its intended lifespan is 120 years.

The main bridge with a dual three-lane carriageway about 30 km long, spans the Pearl River Delta waterway, and to maintain the shipping lane, includes a 6.7 km section which dips into an undersea tunnel that runs between two artificial islands built for this purpose. The remaining sections are link roads, viaducts, and land tunnels connecting Macao, Zhuhai and Hong Kong to the main bridge. It cuts travel time between Macao and Zhuhai on the west side of the delta to Hong Kong on the east to less than an hour, from what used to be four hours; travel time between Zhuhai and Hong Kong International airport will now take 45 minutes.

The bridge is part of China’s plan to create a Greater Bay Area, including Hong Kong, Macao, and nine other cities in Guangdong Province.

“In light of the development of the Greater Bay Area, the bridge will be instrumental in enhancing the flow of people, goods and capital, as well as technological collaboration within the region,”

said Hong Kong Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan told a press conference on Oct. 19.

The bridge, which cost $20 billion, will open to traffic a 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng, who is in charge of China’s affairs with the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macao, said,

“As the first massive infrastructure project cooperation between the three cities, the opening of the bridge helps with the interaction between residents in the area, has economic benefits, helps push the Greater Bay Area vision forward and is beneficial to the combined competitiveness of Zhuhai, Hong Kong and Macao.”

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the bridge will create an ideal living environment, where the three cities are within one hour’s reach from each other.

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