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Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge - The longest sea crossing and the longest fixed link on earth

Adapted from Wikipedia (12 November 2018)

The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge (HZMB), officially the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Bridge, is a 55-kilometre bridge-tunnel system consisting of a series of three cable-stayed bridges, an undersea tunnel, and four artificial islands. It is both the longest sea crossing and the longest fixed link on earth. The HZMB spans the Lingding and Jiuzhou channels, connecting Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai—three major cities on the Pearl River Delta.

The HZMB was designed to last for 120 years and built with a cost of 126.9 billion yuan (US$ 18.77 billion). The cost of constructing the Main Bridge was estimated at 51.1 billion yuan (US$ 7.56 billion) funded by bank loans and shared among the governments of mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Originally set to be opened to traffic in late 2016, the structure was completed on 6 February 2018 and journalists were subsequently given rides over the bridge. On 24 October 2018, the HZMB was opened to the public after its inauguration a day earlier by Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the People's Republic of China.

Although the HZMB connects two left-hand traffic (LHT) areas, namely Hong Kong and Macau, the crossing itself is right-hand traffic (RHT), the same as in Zhuhai and other regions of China. Thus, drivers from Hong Kong and Macau need to make use of crossing viaducts to switch to RHT upon entering the bridge, and back to LHT upon leaving the bridge when they are back to Hong Kong and Macau. Traffic between Zhuhai and the bridge requires no left-right conversion as they are both RHT.

The 55-km HZMB consists of three main sections: the Main Bridge (29.6 km) in the middle of the Pearl River estuary, the Hong Kong Link Road (12 km) in the east and the Zhuhai Link Road (13.4 km) in the west of the estuary.

Main Bridge:

The Main Bridge, the largest part of the HZMB project, is a bridge-cum-tunnel system constructed by the mainland Chinese authorities. It connects an artificial island, housing the Boundary Crossing Facilities (BCF) for both mainland China and Macau in the west, to the Hong Kong Link Road in the east.

This section includes a 22.9-km viaduct and a 6.7-km undersea tunnel that runs between two artificial islands. The viaduct crosses the Pearl River estuary with three cable-stayed bridges spanning between 280 and 460 metres, allowing shipping traffic to pass underneath.

Hong Kong Link Road:

Under Hong Kong jurisdiction, the Hong Kong Link Road was built by Highway Department to connect the Main Bridge to an artificial island housing the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF). This section includes a 9.4-km viaduct, a 1-km Scenic Hill Tunnel and a 1.6-km at-grade road along the east coast of the Hong Kong International Airport.

Zhuhai Link Road:

The Zhuhai Link Road starts from an artificial island housing the Boundary Crossing Facilities for both mainland China and Macau, passes through the developed area of Gongbei via a tunnel towards Zhuhai, and connects to three major expressways, namely, the Jing-Zhu Expressway, Guang-Zhu West Expressway and Jiang-Zhu Expressway.

Click here for a video overview of the HZMB Bridge

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