Bridge opening in May now in sight

Local | Sum Lok-kei 9 Jan 2018

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will be open to traffic as early as May, according to Chinese state media.

Although the governments concerned have not announced a firm date, sources said it will be in operation in the second quarter of the year.

That conclusion was drawn after mainland authorities held a ceremony to light up the 29.6-kilometer bridge on New Year's Eve.

A spokesman for SAR's Transport and Housing Bureau said the governments were working to complete immigration facilities attached to the bridge.

Facilities in Macau appear likely be completed before those in the other two regions, sources also said.

The commencement date of the bridge could also be affected by negotiations on cross-border traffic policies, which include customs checks, emergency procedures and cross-border vehicle insurance arrangements.

State media also quoted the project's chief engineer, Su Quanke, as saying construction work on the main bridge is scheduled to be completed early next month.

In a blog post last month, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung wrote that the bridge would open in 2018, but he did not give a precise date.

Legislative Council transport panel chairman Ben Chan Han-pan said yesterday that speculation about the bridge opening in May was "circulating among my friends in Zhuhai."

Chan said that followed word earlier that the bridge would be open in the first quarter of the year.

There was still some construction required on Hong Kong facilities, he added.

Chan also urged the Hong Kong administration to announce a commencement date as soon as possible.

A hearing was held in Zhuhai last month on toll prices.

Private cars will most likely be charged 150 yuan (HK$180) to cross, coaches 200 yuan, container trucks 115 yuan for container trucks and good vehicles 60 yuan.

lok.sum@singtaonewscorp.com

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