October 23rd, 2018 – Xi Jinping, the President of China, officially inaugurated the world’s longest bridge that connects Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai.
The bridge costed around $20 billion over a period of nine years of construction and was supposed to be opened for travel between these cities in 2016. Finally, the opening ceremony took place in Zhuhai on October 23rd, 2018 and was attended by Mr. Xi along with the leaders of Hong Kong and Macau. The bridge spans up to 55 km and with 4,00,000 tonnes of steel structures, it can withstand earthquakes and typhoons. It would initially take around four hours to reach Hong Kong from Zhuhai, now the bridge cuts these hours down to 30 minutes.
The bridge and underwater tunnel route is seen as a part of China’s ‘Greater Bay Area’ plan. Travellers who would want to cross the bridge need to go through a complicated 2-week procedure to get the permit from all the three cities, ie, Honk Kong, Macau and Zhuhai. Permits are available for private cars and other locomotives only and will be limited to 5,000 in number initially.
Interesting Facts About The Bridge:
- The license to Zhuhuai from Hong Kong is granted to people who meet highly selective criteria.
- The bridge won’t be available for any public transport and most people would have to travel in private buses and cars.
- According to the designer, the bridge’s curves are meant to resemble a snake and the the towers above the bridge resemble and honour white dolphins.
- Special cameras have been installed to monitor the physical condition of the drivers. It is said that an alert will be sent if a driver yawns more than 3 times in 20 seconds while driving down the bridge.
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