Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge: A game changer for the Pearl River Delta
By Wang Jia

2017-06-27 18:09 GMT+8

By CGTN's He Weiwei

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, or HZMB for short, is the world's longest ongoing sea-based construction project.

It's called a bridge but actually it's much, much more. The project is complex, consisting of many different parts, including 22.9 kilometers of bridge, 6.7 kilometers of tunnel, and two artificial islands connecting the bridge and the tunnel.

The complex mega project is being jointly constructed by three cities. / CGTN Photo

The mega bridge is being jointly constructed by three cities. Hong Kong's part of the project includes cross-boundary facilities and a 12-kilometer link road. The Hong Kong Link Road (HKLR) was connected in mid-May and is currently under construction. 

"We're working on road surfacing, and installing a traffic control system, also the road furniture, street lighting and so on." said Albert Lee, project manager of the HZMB Hong Kong project management office of the Hong Kong Highways Department.

Construction underway on the Hong Kong link road of HZMB. /CGTN Photo

The HKLR is a dual three-lane highway. Final arrangements for permitted types of cross-boundary vehicles are still under discussion.

Once fully operational, the bridge will significantly cut down the driving time from Macao and Zhuhai to Hong Kong. A trip that currently takes three hours, will soon only take a mere 30 minutes.

A bird's eye view of the Hong Kong link road of HZMB. /CGTN Photo

In March 2017, China's central government announced an ambitious plan to build the "Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area". The HZMB super bridge is expected to make the city cluster stronger.

"The bridge is a core infrastructure project in the greater bay area," Xiao Geng, a Professor at the University of Hong Kong said to CGTN, "Some cities in the area are still less developed due to poor transportation. Therefore we need to build more highways and other infrastructure facilities first."

With construction in full swing, Hong Kong officials are confident that the HZMB will be operational at the end of this year - a big boost to the area and beyond.