On October 24, the world’s longest sea bridge was opened to the public, linking mainland China with the former European colonies of Hong Kong and Macao. The 19 billion U.S. dollar, 55-kilometer (34-mile) Hong Kong-Macao-Zhuhai bridge-tunnel system project is part of a larger plan to further develop China’s high-tech megapolis in the so-called Greater Bay Area to someday rival California’s Silicon Valley.
While the crossing sets a record for a sea bridge, it ranks number six on the list of the world’s longest bridges above land and water. Hong Kong-Macao-Zhuhai bridge was under construction for nine years on one of the world’s busiest sea routes, where more than 4,000 vessels travel daily. It includes a four-mile submerged tunnel to avoid disrupting shipping lanes.
The new bridge is set to carry around 29,000 cars daily (mostly private shuttle buses and freight vehicles since private cars will need special permits) and to reduce road travel time between Zhuhai and Hong Kong from three hours to about 30 minutes.
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