HK-Zhuhai-Ma­cao Bridge to open Tues­day

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By HE SHUSI in Hong Kong and LI YAO

The Hong Kong-ZhuhaiMa­cao Bridge con­nect­ing the east and west sides of the Pearl River Delta in South China will of­fi­cially open on Tues­day, the li­ai­son of­fice of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment in the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion re­vealed on Wed­nes­day.

The con­fir­ma­tion of the open­ing de­tails for the mega bridge in­ten­si­fied the an­tic­i­pa­tion that had been build­ing for weeks across the Guang­dongHong Kong-Ma­cao Greater Bay Area, whose de­vel­op­ment is ex­pected to re­ceive a ma­jor boost from the bridge.

The cer­e­mony will be held in­doors on Tues­day in Guang­dong prov­ince, on an ar­ti­fi­cial is­land, home to Zhuhai port, a source fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter told China Daily. After the cer­e­mony, the bridge is ex­pected to open for traf­fic later in the day, the source said.

The HZMB, more than a decade in the mak­ing, is a 55-kilo­me­ter-long bridge-is­land­com­plex across the Pearl River Delta. The project also in­cludes a 6.7-km un­der­sea tun­nel. The tun­nel links to the bridge via two ar­ti­fi­cial is­lands.

Chief en­gi­neer of the bridge’s is­land and tun­nel project, Lin Ming, said he’s thrilled to see the date fi­nally fixed for the grand open­ing.

Lin spent 12 years on the con­struc­tion of the sea cross­ing. He said he’s more than happy to see it fi­nally serve its in­tended pur­pose and open to cross-bound­ary traf­fic.

The main bridge, lo­cated in Chi­nese main­land waters, will be man­aged by the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Ma­cao Bridge Author­ity lo­cated in Zhuhai, which is jointly founded by the govern­ments of Guang­dong, Hong Kong and Ma­cao in 2010.

Meng de­signer Fan­chao, of the a ma­jor bridge, couldn’t con­ceal his ex­cite­ment on Wed­nes­day. He said he felt like a proud par­ent as his child will soon shoul­der im­mense re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, serve so­ci­ety and stand the test of real-life chal­lenges.

Meng is highly con­fi­dent in the safety and qual­ity of the bridge. He said the bridge held strong dur­ing many tests, in­clud­ing the rav­ages of two se­vere ty­phoons in 2017 and 2018.

Ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments, the ports in Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Ma­cao, built and man­aged by the re­spec­tive lo­cal govern­ments, will be open 24 hours daily.

Zhuhai and Ma­cao will co­op­er­ate to im­ple­ment a one-off cus­toms clear­ance in the two ports, al­low­ing trav­el­ers to fin­ish the exit and en­try process in one op­er­a­tion.

The to­tal cost to build HZMB is about 120 bil­lion yuan ($17.3 bil­lion). The bur­den is shared in dif­fer­ent pro­por­tions by the Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Ma­cao govern­ments, in ac­cor­dance with an as­sess­ment of prospec­tive eco­nomic ben­e­fits for the three cities.

Lo Wai-kwok, a Hong Kong law­maker rep­re­sent­ing the en­gi­neer­ing con­stituency, hailed the bridge and ex­pressed ex­cite­ment over its sched­uled open­ing. The former pres­i­dent of the Hong Kong In­sti­tu­tion of Engi­neers said he or­ga­nized sev­eral vis­its to the bridge in the past few years.

“It may go down in his­tory as a mas­ter­piece in mod­ern en­gi­neer­ing,” he said.

Lo, also chair­man of the Business and Pro­fes­sion­als Al­liance for Hong Kong, pre­dicted the bridge’s open­ing will boost eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the Greater Bay Area, fa­cil­i­tat­ing the flow of peo­ple, goods, cap­i­tal and ser­vices in the re­gion.

Con­tact the writ­ers at hes­husi@chi­nadai­

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