China completes world's longest sea bridge


China has reported that it has completed the major work necessary before the offical opening of the longest sea bridge in the world.

The bridge has had its lighting system installed and tested, completing an eight year journey linking Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao. The 55-kilometre-long bridge consists of a 22.9-kilometre-long main bridge, a 6.7-kilometre-long tunnel and an artificial island off the bridge, which is considered to be, by engineers, as the most technically demanding part of the entire project.

In the coming weeks, engineers will test the bridge’s various systems and proceed with finishing off less evasive jobs such as cleaning. Zhang Jinwen, project director with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Authority believes that "The bridge will be put into trial operation after its port project is completed and taken over by customs, inspection and quarantine, and border control authorities,” Zhang said.

Over the previous decade and half, economic and transport networks in the region have been undergoing tremendous advances. This has left authorities needing to re-assess the utilization rate of the bridge, said Su Yi, assistant to the chief of the HZMB Authority.

But Su dismissed worries that the bridge would be underused by the surrounding population, “we have full confidence for the future."

“We have a whole toolbox of policies at our disposal,” Su said. “It is like playing cards. We can adjust our moves accordingly.”

The bridge will cut commuter travel time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai from three hours to just 30 minutes, bringing more more larger communities together and strengthening relationships in the Pearl River Delta.

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