The 55-kilometre crossing, which includes a snaking road bridge and underwater tunnel, opened to traffic at 9am local time on October 24th, linking Hong Kong with the southern mainland city of Zhuhai and the gambling enclave of Macau, across the waters of the Pearl River Estuary.
The bridge has been under construction for the past nine years, costs about USD20 billion and includes two artificial islands.
China’s Vice Premier Han Zheng said the bridge would help drive China’s strategic blueprint for a “Greater Bay Area” around the Pearl River Delta, modeled on other global economic dynamos like San Francisco bay and Tokyo bay.
“The bridge stimulates interaction and trade between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, facilitates the development of the Greater Bay Area and boosts the comprehensive competitiveness of the Pearl River Delta,” Han said.
The bridge’s opening also comes a month after the inauguration of a new high-speed rail link from Hong Kong to mainland China that runs along a different, shorter route.
The inaugurating ceremony was attended by Chinese President Xi Jin-ping.
“I declare the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge officially open,” President Xi said in a one-line address, as digital fireworks exploded on a screen behind him at the indoor ceremony, before leaving the stage immediately./.Compiled by BTA
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