China: Zhuhai-Macau-Hong Kong bridge to cost US$ 5.94 billion

10 March 2008

Beijing, China, 10 March – The bridge connecting Zhuhai with Macau and Hong Kong will cost 42.2 billion yuan (US$ 5.94 billion) and its constructers will need 36 ½ years to recoup this investment through toll charges, the provincial governor of China’s Guangdong province, Huang Huahua, said on Saturday.

The upwardly revised cost of the bridge does not included expenses incurred for operation of border posts and access roads, which will be the responsibility of the three governments involved in the project.

Speaking on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress in Beijing, Huang said vehicles using the bridge will pay tolls for a period of 50 years.

He also said that 21 of 25 viability studies on the project have been completed and environmental impact studies will be made when these are concluded. “Only then will a public tender be launched,” said Huang. Analysts expect this international competition to begin in 2009.

The South China Post reported that the Beijing authorities have presented the predicted costs of the bridge for the first time, as well as its planned toll system.

It is estimated the three governments involved will have to spend 20 billion Hong Kong dollars on the venture, with Hong Kong providing 50.2 percent of this figure, Guangdong 35.1 percent and Macau 14.7 percent.

The 29.6 kilometer-long bridge will link the island of Lantau to Gongbei, in Zhuhai, and Macau with the journey between Zhuhai and Macau and being shortened by 20 minutes (macauhub)