The world’s longest sea bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China was inaugurated on 22rd October by Chinese President Xi Jinping. It was later opened to public on the 23rd.
The bridge is a 55-kilometre (34-mile) crossing, which includes a snaking road bridge and an underwater tunnel – built over the Pearl River Estuary and links Hong Kong’s Lantau island to Zhuhai and the gambling enclave of Macau.
The project consists of two main parts; the link roads and boundary crossing facilities that connects the three cities of HongKong, Zhuhai and Macau, and the other – the main bridge structure which runs from the western boundary of Hong Kong in the East to the artificial island in the West. This main bridge structure is 29.6 km long including a 6.7 km tunnel and a 22.9 km bridge section.
To accommodate for ships traversing, a section of the bridge dips into an undersea tunnel, and this runs between two artificial islands. It is also designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons.
The project which was constructed at a cost of US$ 20 billion utilises about 4,20,000 tonnes of steel cuts travel times between the cities from 3 hours to 30 mins. The project is part of a Beijing-driven strategy to create a sprawling “Greater Bay Area” economic hub.