HK-Zhuhai-Ma­cao Bridge’s un­der­wa­ter tun­nel done

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By CHAI HUA in Hong Kong grace@chi­nadai­

An un­der­ground tun­nel sec­tion of the long-awaited Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Ma­cao Bridge was com­pleted on Fri­day, mark­ing the end of con­struc­tion of the main struc­ture for the world’s long­est cross-sea bridge, the bridge man­age­ment author­ity said.

The 6.7 kilo­me­ter tun­nel is 48 me­ters un­der the waters of Lingdingyang in the Pearl River Es­tu­ary — the long­est and deep­est un­der­wa­ter tun­nel in the world.

The tun­nel is com­prised of 33 pipe-shaped sec­tions linked by one 6,500-met­ric-ton butt joint in the mid­dle. Each pipe weighs about 80,000 tons, as much as an air­craft car­rier.

The 29.6 km main struc­ture of the gi­gan­tic project also in­cludes a 22.9 km over­wa­ter bridge, con­struc­tion of which was fin­ished last year.

Zhu Yongling, di­rec­tor of the man­age­ment bu­reau of the bridge, said at a cer­e­mony on Fri­day that the bridge will open to traf­fic by the end of this year fol­low­ing seven years of con­struc­tion.

The Y-shaped bridge will cut travel time be­tween Hong Kong and Zhuhai in Guang­dong prov­ince from three hours to an es­ti­mated 30 min­utes. Ex­perts be­lieve the bridge will play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the Guang­dong-Hong Kong-Ma­cao Greater Bay Area.

The bay area com­prises Hong Kong, Ma­cao and nine cities in Guang­dong, in­clud­ing Guangzhou, Shen­zhen, Zhuhai, Jiang­men and Zhao­qing.

“The completion of the bridge will sig­nif­i­cantly change the re­gional trans­porta­tion struc­ture on the western bank of the Pearl River,” said Chen Guang­han, chief ex­pert of the In­sti­tute of Guang­dong, Hong Kong and Ma­cao De­vel­op­ment Stud­ies at Sun Yat-sen Univer­sity.

He noted that Hong Kong will have greater in­flu­ence in the western cities of Guang­dong, pro­mot­ing the de­vel­op­ment of lo­cal economies.

He sug­gested au­thor­i­ties on both sides should take in­no­va­tive mea­sures on bound­ary con­trol ar­range­ments so the ben­e­fits of the bridge can have full play.

The in­dus­trial en­vi­ron­ment would im­prove as ex­changes be­come more fre­quent and con­ve­nient, he said.


The project is a plat­form not only for re­gional de­vel­op­ment but also for in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion.

Hans de Wit, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and chief tun­nel ex­pert of the Nether­lands­based Tun­nel Engi­neer­ing Con­sul­tants, be­lieves the bridge is a “mag­nif­i­cent project”. His team has been work­ing to­gether with the bridge man­age­ment bu­reau since 2008.

He said at the cer­e­mony that the role of the un­der­wa­ter tun­nel in the bridge com­plex ex­ceeded that of all other tun­nel and man-made is­land projects.


A sec­tion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Ma­cao Bridge is seen on Fri­day.

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