The $20bn Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge – the world’s longest sea bridge connecting the cities of Hong Kong and Macau to the Chinese mainland as part of a broader plan to integrate the special administrative regions into China – has officially been opened on 23 October 2018.
The bridge will commence operations on 24 October 2018.
The 55km bridge forms an important part of the Greater Bay Area plan that is intended to connect Hong Kong and Macau to 11 Chinese cities to form a high-tech region.
The bridge links Lantau Island of Hong Kong to Zhuhai on the southern coast of Guangdong province and the gambling hub of Macau.
Hong Kong secretary for transport and housing Frank Chan Fan said: “The bridge is not just a mega transport infrastructure jointly built by Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.
“The Central Authorities also attach great importance to it. With the unfailing efforts of the engineering teams, and as demonstrated by the outcome of the joint trial last month, the bridge is now ready for commissioning.
“It is envisaged that the collaboration between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in terms of trade, finance, logistics and tourism will be strengthened. Hong Kong will assume a more proactive role in the development of the Greater Bay Area.”
The bridge, which is the first land transport link between Hong Kong and Macao, is expected to significantly reduce the travelling time between Hong Kong and the Western Pearl River Delta region to less than three hours.
Travel time between Zhuhai and Hong Kong International Airport will be reduced to around 45 minutes compared to four hours at present. Similarly, the travel time between Zhuhai and Kwai Tsing Container Terminal will be reduced from 3.5 hours to 75 minutes.
Construction commenced in 2009. The entire structure is supported by three cable-stayed bridges and the bridge has been designed to withstand winds of up to 340km an hour.
An undersea tunnel of 6.7km has been built to avoid disruption to shipping lanes.
Travellers on the bridge will pass through three different checkpoints for Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai.
Image: An aerial view of the Hong Kong section of the bridge. Photo: Courtesy of Transport and Housing Bureau, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.