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£2bn Hong Kong/China crossing approved

A £2.1bn combined bridge and tunnel crossing between Hong Kong, Macao and mainland China got the go ahead last week after public funding for the project was agreed.

The three governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) agreed last Thursday that each side would pay for the scheme in proportion to the economic benefits they are likely to accrue from it.

The scheme will be built as a privately funded concession with a public subsidy, of which HKSAR will pay 50.2%, Guangdong 35.1% and Macao SAR 14.7%.

The main body of the bridge will be 29.6km long, with a 6.7km immersed tunnel section to keep the main navigation routes towards the Guangzhou and Shenzhen ports clear. The switchover from bridge to tunnel will occur on two artificial islands.

The crossing will be a six-lane expressway with connecting roads of approximately 12.6km on the Hong Kong side and 13.9km on the mainland side.

China Highway Planning and Design Institute Consultants were appointed to carry out a feasibility study in February 2004. The financial agreement followed a report on the findings of the feasibility study.

Hong Kong transport and housing secretary Eva Cheng said preparatory work for the tendering process would now begin.

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