China's new mega bridge from Hong Kong to Macau is about to open
[n] - noun, [v] - verb, [adj] - adjective, [exp] - expression
When it comes to scale and ambition, few countries can match china. And this bridge, over one of the world’s busiest waterways, is its latest engineering marvel. We’ve been given access ahead of the official opening. After more than eight years of construction, the first cars are ready to cross.
At the peak of construction, there were about 14000 workers building this bridge. And 300 ships. It was an extraordinary construction site.
The Pearl River delta is home to roughly 60 million people. If the densely populated cities around this waterway were combined, it would be the world’s biggest metropolis. And that’s the long-term thinking from china’s government in linking Hong Kong to Zhuhai and Macau.
The bridge will act like a ring road for the Pearl River delta area. It will not only speed up transport, it will also help spread Hong Kong’s development to the cities on the mainland side.
But the three cities the bridge is connecting are quite different. The former colonies Hong Kong and Macau have their own legal systems, road rules, and require special permits for mainlanders to visit.
Initially, the different road rules will affect the number of cars that can cross the bridge. So at first it will only be about 10,000 a day. But eventually, that will rise.
Some critics in Hong Kong fear the city’s freedoms will further erode as it becomes more integrated with the mainland. A more practical problem is a flight path for an international airport cutting right across the bridge. Height restrictions meant engineers had to build a seven-kilometer tunnel.
Engineering feats, like this one, showcase china’s drive to be an infrastructure super power. And under its belt and road plan, Beijing wants to build ambitious projects throughout Asia and beyond.
It’s a plan, critics say, would see china expand its influence; as other countries borrow huge sums from Beijing to pay for the Chinese built projects. But over here, it is all about speeding up the flow of people and goods. And when this bridge opens, that’s exactly what will happen