World’s longest sea-crossing bridge which stretches 34 MILES and cost £14billion to build will open this week in China
The world’s longest sea-crossing bridge connecting Hong Kong and Macau to Zhuhai, south-east China is set to finally open this week, nine years after construction began.
The much anticipated Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will open to traffic on Wednesday 9am local time. Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to attend an opening ceremony on Tuesday in Zhuhai.
Construction started in 2009 on the massive crossing, which includes a snaking road bridge and underwater tunnel, linking Hong Kong’s Lantau island to the southern mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai and the gambling enclave of Macau, across the waters of the Pearl River Estuary.
Stretching across 55 kilometres (34 miles), it is 14 miles longer than the width of the English Channel from Dover in the United Kingdom to Calais in France.
An aerial view of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge in Zhuhai, Guangdong. The crossing is set to open this Wednesday
Chinese President Xi Jinping is reported to be attending an opening ceremony on Tuesday in Zhuhai, Guangdong
The project linking Hong Kong, Macau and China is 55 kilometres long and contains enough steel to build 60 Eiffel Towers
An interior view of the Hong Kong Port Passenger Clearance Building of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge
The mega structure is the world’s longest sea crossing and the sixth longest bridge on earth
The Zhuhai-Hong Kong-Macau bridge consists of a 22.9 kilometre oversea bridge and a 6.7 kilometre undersea tunnel
Officials expect the bridge to be in use for 120 years and say it will boost businesses by cutting travel time by 60 per cent
A total of 420,000 tons of steel was used in the project, equivalent to 60 times the steel used to build the Eiffel Tower, according to Xinhua.
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan said travelling time between Zhuhai and Hong Kong International Airport would be shortened to about 45 minutes from four hours.
‘It is envisaged that the collaboration between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in terms of trade, finance, logistics and tourism will be strengthened,’ he said at a press briefing on Friday.
However, the mega project has had its fair share of controversy. The bridge’s construction has been dogged by delays, budget overruns, corruption prosecutions and the deaths of construction workers.
Travelling time between Zhuhai and the Hong Kong airport would be shortened to about 45 minutes from four hours
A general view shows of the East Artificial Island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge last Friday
Immigration turnstiles in the departure hall of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will be in operation this Wednesday
The total price tag for the project, which includes artificial islands, linked roads and new border-crossing facilities, is unclear but some estimates run to over 130 billion yuan (£14 billion), leading critics to slam it as a costly white elephant.
Seven workers have died and 129 have been injured since construction began. Most of them involved accidents where they slipped or fell from a high point.
Supporters of the bridge promote it as an engineering marvel, while others see it as a costly political project designed to further integrate Hong Kong into the mainland at a time when Beijing is tightening its grip on the semi-autonomous city.
The total price tag for the project, which includes artificial islands, linked roads and new border-crossing facilities, is unclear but some estimates run to over 130 billion yuan (£14 billion), prompting critics to slam it as a costly white elephant
Supporters of the bridge promote it as an engineering marvel, while others see it as a costly political project
The departure hall of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is seen during a press tour in Hong Kong last Friday
A total of 420,000 tons of steel was used in the project, equivalent to 60 times the steel used to build the Eiffel Tower