It’s been 35 years since property tycoon and Hong Kong Tatler 500 lister Gordon Wu first mentioned his plan to build a bridge that would connect Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai. Construction finally started in 2009 on the main bridge in mainland China while in Hong Kong, work began in 2011.
On October 22, 2018, that plan came to fruition as Chinese President Xi Jinping officially opened what is now the “world’s longest sea crossing bridge” with Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, by his side.
Gordon Wu (Photo: Lingnan University)
Xi used the bridge as a metaphor in his brief speech at the ceremony, describing it as a bridge of “fulfilled dreams”, “connected hearts”, “confidence” and “rejuvenation”.
On Wednesday, the 55 km bridge—which cost a total of US$20 billion to construct—was open to the public. The bridge was built using a total of 400,000 tonnes of steel, which is enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers.
A tale of three cities
“The quality of the bridge is very good from design to construction,” said Wu. “It fulfils the dream of residents of the ‘Greater Bay Area’.”
The 'Greater Bay Area' Wu refers to is the national development scheme that hopes to integrate Hong Kong, Macau and a total of nine cities in China's Guangdong province, with hopes to transform the region into an innovation powerhouse that will rival Silicon Valley.
About 30km of the bridge's total length crosses the sea of the Pearl River delta. To allow ships to pass through, a 6.7km section in the middle dips into an undersea tunnel that runs between two artificial islands.
One of those islands sits near Hong Kong International Airport, and serves as Hong Kong’s checkpoint. Macau and Zhuhai have their checkpoints at their respective borders.
Source : hk.asiatatler.com