The construction of the 55km Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge (HKZMB) is complete, but no opening date has been officially announced.
The world’s longest cross-sea link will connect Hong Kong with Macau and Zhuhai on the mainland, with 22.9km of bridges and a 6.7km undersea tunnel. It’s also the longest steel bridge, with its main girders roughly the weight of 60 Eiffel Towers, according to Song Ru’an, deputy commissioner of Beijing’s foreign ministry office in Hong Kong.
On a recent trip to the central section of the bridge, senior engineer Gao Xinglin told Young Post that he’d had many sleepless nights over the past 10 years worrying about building the bridge. “We faced many challenges,” he said, “but we have done it.”
Gao was in charge of planning the project. This included using resources from all over the world, dividing this complicated project to meet goals step by step, and deciding how the bridge would operate.
“We have been building this bridge under ‘one country, two systems’ [with the help of foreign experts]. So we have faced cultural differences, different operating systems and technical standards,” he says.
There have been concerns about the impact of the project on marine life, with large-scale reclamation needed to create several man-made islands. The work has also been dangerous. At least 10 construction workers have died and more than 600 have been injured since work started. The Hong Kong government is paying HK$117 billion for the project and the local link roads, but the final cost remains unknown.