Hong Kong bridge gets green light
Construction of one of the world's most ambitious infrastructure projects has received the go-ahead after Hong Kong, Macao and the western Chinese province of Guangdong reached financing deals for a HK$60bn bridge linking the three.
The 29.6km 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. It is expected to cut travel time between Zhuhai, in Guangdong, and Hong Kong from about three hours to 20 minutes, which advocates hope will draw investment to the west of the Pearl River.
While Hong Kong remains one of the world's most vibrant ports and the areas of Guangdong to its north are home to the factories behind much of China's recent economic boom, the western shore of the Pearl River has remained underdeveloped due to its difficult geographical access.
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. Based on estimated economic benefits brought by the bridge to the cities, Hong Kong is to contribute 50.2 per cent of the shortfall, Guangdong 35.1 per cent and Macao 14.7 per cent.