Green light given for Hong Kong, China, Macao bridge

28 March 2008

A new bridge which will link Hong Kong, Macao and the western Chinese province of Guangdong has been given the go-ahead after the three governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR) agreed a HK$ 60 billion (US$ 7.7 billion) financing deal for its construction, according to local media reports.

The bridge will be constructed as a privately funded concession with a public subsidy, of which HKSAR will pay 50.2%, Guangdong 35.1% and Macao SAR 14.7%. Each governments contribution is based on the estimated economic benefits brought by the bridge to the cities.

The 29.6 km bridge, first proposed 25 years ago, will connect Hong Kong on the eastern side of the Pearl River with Macao and Zhuhai in the west to create a regional economic hub, news reports state. A 6.7 km submemersed tunnel section will be used to keep the main navigation routes between Guangzhou and Shenzhen ports clear.

The crossing will be a six-lane expressway with connecting roads of 12.6 km on the Hong Kong side and 13.9 km on the Chinese mainland.

The bridge is expected to cut travel time between Zhuhai, in Guangdong, and Hong Kong from about three hours to 20 minutes.

According to local media, the three governments will be responsible for any difference between investment by the consortium that wins the bid to build the bridge and construction costs.

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