Hong Kong-Zuhai bridge opens

Hong Kong-Zuhai bridge opens

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge will open to traffic Tuesday after a ceremony with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but only motorists with special permits will be able to use it, The Guardian reported.

With the swift journeys, the economic belt of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has taken shape and become an economic circle that can be completed in an hour, uniting Hong Kong's financial services, Guangdong's industrial manufacturing and Macao's entertainment industry.

The bridge, which will open for traffic tomorrow, is not only the largest of its kind but also has some unusual rules, The National reports. Pedestrians and bicyclists are prohibited.

The six-lane bridge links up a region with a population of around 70 million. Let's take a look. The bridge, the world's longest cross-sea project, which has a total length of 34 miles, will have opening ceremony in Zhuhai on October 23.

After leaving the opening ceremony of the 55km mega bridge in Zhuhai, Xi headed north to visit the cities of Qingyuan and Yingde on Tuesday afternoon.

The main section of the new bridge is also considered mainland territory, even though Hong Kong was slated to pay at least half the cost of the project, according to the original blueprint from the city's government.

The structure should hold up in the face of 211 miles per hour (339 kilometres per hour) winds.

Still, even if it is a fairly useless 420,000 metric tons of steel, effective only at destroying dolphin habitats, with its opening, the bridge has already served its greater objective of bringing Hong Kong closer still to mainland China.

Chinese-made longest sea crossing bridge
World's longest sea-crossing bridge to open this week

Commentators have been quick to describe the project as a white elephant, noting that the lightly traveled crossing can hardly be a push for convenience, but rather another covert expansion by Beijing as it extends its reach back into the supposedly autonomous enclaves of Hong Kong and Macau. The bridge's curves are created to resemble a snake.

The tunnel runs between two artificial islands, each measuring 100,000 square meters (1 million square feet) and situated in relatively shallow waters. From the immersed tube tunnel of the underwater sections, to bridge piers and filter covers, every component was churned out on production lines similar to automobile workshops, and fitted into place.

The Zhujiang Estuary is one of the busiest shipping channels in the world.

Construction kicked off in 2009 and was set to finish in 2016 but was delayed because of budget and safety concerns.

It was reported that Xi had spent the afternoon with workers in a toy factory and local households. Authorities said the structure was meant to be partially submerged, though renderings tell a different story.

The bridge is not served by public transport, so private shuttle buses will ply the route.

The bridge includes a designated merge point, where cars can switch to the appropriate side of the road. While Beijing says the bridge will boost economic growth in the region, critics say it's another example of China's tightening grip on former British colony Hong Kong. Over the years, 400,000 tons of steel have been used for the construction which was inaugurated by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday.

Related Articles