The world’s longest sea crossing bridge has been opened in China by the country’s president Xi Jinping, nine years after construction began on the project.
Having cost roughly £15.3bn to build, the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau bridge spans 55km and connects Hong Kong to Macau and Zhuhai.
Its opening comes after years of safety concerns during construction, with at least 18 workers having died on the project, according to officials.
Furthermore, earlier this year Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption arrested two senior executives and 19 staff members from a contractor working for the government’s Civil Engineering and Development Department for alleged corruption, in relation to claims of false concrete compression test reports for the bridge.
Construction of the bridge was also completed behind schedule as it had previously been planned to open in 2016.
Approximately 30km of the bridge’s total length crosses the sea of the Pearl River delta.
The remaining parts are link roads, viaducts and land tunnels which connect Zhuhai and Hong Kong to the main bridge.
The finished project includes a 29.6km dual three lane carriageway in the form of bridge and tunnel crossing comprising a 6.7km tunnel, three cable stay bridges, connecting viaducts and two artificial islands for the tunnel entrances west of the Hong Kong boundary.
Arup was involved in the designing of the bridge and has claimed that it represents a vital link to prosperity in the Pan-Pearl River Delta region.
Travel time from Hong Kong to Macau or Zhuhai will be reduced from more than three hours to half an hour due to work on the bridge being completed, according to Arup.
The bridge will today open to limited bus services.
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