The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) opens
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) was officially launched at a ceremony held in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China on Tuesday October 23, ( 2018) and opened to the public on October 24. President Xi Jinping officially announced the opening to seven hundred guests and thanked those who participated in the design, building and management of the bridge.
Following a video on the building of the bridge, Li Xi, member of the CPC Central Committee, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR, Chui San, Chief Executive of Macao SAR and Han Zheng, Chinese Vice Premier delivered speeches.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the bridge would provide impetus to Hong Kong’s development, boosting both passenger and freight traffic. She also noted that it would make Lantau a “double gateway” to the world and other Guangdong-Hong Kong- Macao Greater Bay Area cities with the Hong Kong Port being adjacent to Hong Kong International Airport.
Following a tour and inspection of the bridge President Xi praised the builders and said they had demonstrated the nation’s spirit to overcome any difficulties, national strength and innovative ability and was proud of their achievements.
The 55km bridge connects the Hong Kong SAR, Zuhai and the Macao SAR. It is the longest sea bridge in the world and was a project built under the principle of “one country, two systems.” About 400,000 tons of steel was used in the construction of the bridge which is stated to last up to 120 years. It was advised at a press conference a few days earlier that the bridge can withstand typhoon winds of up to 340 kilometres per hour and a magnitude -8 earthquake. Construction of the bridge started in December 2009 and the main structure was completed in July 2017.
The bridge will shorten trips from Hong Kong International Airport to Zhuhai from the current four hours to 45 minutes. To ensure faster boundary crossings for passengers, the Macao and Zhuhai ports will jointly use a one-off immigration clearance model, allowing travellers to queue up once only to finish both exit and entry procedures of the two cities in about 30 seconds.
Apart from private cars, taxis and cargo vehicles, two types of public transportation – shuttle bus and cross-boundary coach – can also run on the HZMB. Those who wish to drive their private cars to or from Zhuhai or Macao, must be registered under the private car quotas of the three governments for using the HZMB. They should also have the necessary permits, completed registration with the Mainland Authority and, reserved parking spaces for the East Car Park of the HZMB Frontier Post at Macao Port under the HZMB Macao Port Park-and-Ride Scheme.
President Xi Jipeng photo- Xinhua