Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday inaugurated the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge at a formal ceremony held in Zhuhai, in Guangdong province, adjacent to Macau.
Officials from Guangdong Province as well as from the special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong, Chief Executive Chui Sai On and Carrie Lam, respectively, attended the ceremony.
In addition to representatives of the approximately 50,000 workers and engineers who were involved in the construction of the bridge, representatives of the entities that in the three cities will manage the bridge also attended the ceremony.
These entities include the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Authority, the Zhuhai migration and customs departments, and the two special administrative regions.
The bridge, which opens to car traffic on Wednesday, 24 October, connects the two banks of the Pearl River estuary, is the longest and most expensive ocean bridge in the world with a length of 42 kilometres and a cost of US$17 billion and its construction began in 2009.
The costs of construction of the bridge, as well as related artificial islands and other facilities, were split between the parties involved, with the Hong Kong public treasury paying 42% of the total, Macau 13% and the province of Guangdong the remaining 45%.
This bridge and the high-speed rail line inaugurated in September will help make the Greater Bay Area plan a reality so that all the cities involved are within one hour of each other.
The bridge has a life expectancy of 120 years, its project had to respect standards in place in mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong, as well as ensure that the infrastructure could withstand the tropical storms that plague the region in the summer and possible collisions with ships travelling along one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.(macauhub)