The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge includes a road bridge and an underwater tunnel and will open to traffic tomorrow

Chinese President Xi Jinping officially launched the world's longest sea bridge, which cost 14 billion pounds to build and connects Hong Kong, Macao and mainland China.

The 55-kilometer (34-mile) junction, which includes a meandering road bridge and an underwater tunnel, will open to traffic tomorrow at 9 a.m. local time, linking Hong Kong with the city of Zhuhai in the south of the mainland and the game enclave of Macao, through the Waters of the Pearl River estuary.

The submerged tunnel, which lies beneath the Lingding Ocean near Hong Kong, is connected by two artificial islands each occupying 10,000 square meters (one million square feet). At 6.75 kilometers (4.2 miles) long and 40 meters (131 feet) deep, the tunnel creates a breach in the bridge that will allow cargo ships to pass through the occupied delta.

Xi presided over an opening ceremony attended by the leaders of the city of Hong Kong and Macao at a new port terminal in Zhuhai.

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge includes a road bridge and an underwater tunnel and will open to traffic tomorrow

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge includes a road bridge and an underwater tunnel and will open to traffic tomorrow

The longest sea bridge in the world (in this picture), covering 55 km (34 miles), links the cities of Hong Kong, Macao and Zhuhai, on the Chinese coast of Guangdong province

The longest sea bridge in the world (in this picture), covering 55 km (34 miles), links the cities of Hong Kong, Macao and Zhuhai, on the Chinese coast of Guangdong province

The longest sea bridge in the world (in this picture), covering 55 km (34 miles), links the cities of Hong Kong, Macao and Zhuhai, on the Chinese coast of Guangdong province

Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong-Macao-Zhuhai bridge in Zhuha today

Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong-Macao-Zhuhai bridge in Zhuha today

Chinese President Xi Jinping presides over the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong-Macao-Zhuhai bridge in Zhuha today

General view of the Eastern Artificial Island at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. The vehicles will have to drive through the two artificial islands to reach the tunnel of 6.7 kilometers (4 miles) under the water and go back out on the other side.

General view of the Eastern Artificial Island at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. The vehicles will have to drive through the two artificial islands to reach the tunnel of 6.7 kilometers (4 miles) under the water and go back out on the other side.

General view of the Eastern Artificial Island at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. The vehicles will have to drive through the two artificial islands to reach the tunnel of 6.7 kilometers (4 miles) under the water and go back out on the other side.

The longest bridges in the world.

1. Great Bridge of Danyang-Kunshan, China (102 miles)

2. Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct, Taiwan (98 miles)

3. Great Cangde Bridge. China (72 miles)

4. Great Bridge of Tianjin, China (72 miles)

5. Great Weinan Bridge Weihe, China (50 miles)

6. Hong Kong-Zhuhai Macau Bridge, China (34 mi)

7. Bang Na Expressway, Thailand (33 mi)

8. Beijing Grand, China (30 miles)

9. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, USA UU (24 miles)

10. Line 1, Wuhan Subway Bridge, China (23 miles)

"I declare that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge is officially open," Xi said in a one-way direction, as digital fireworks exploded on a screen behind him at the indoor ceremony before leaving the scene immediately. .

Supporters of the multi-billion dollar bridge promote it as a marvel of engineering that will boost business and reduce travel time, but critics say it is one more way to integrate Hong Kong into China as the fear grows that loved ones The freedoms of the city are eroding.

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng characterized the bridge as part of the development of Greater Bay Area, a project promoted by Beijing to create an economic center that connects nine cities in the south of the continent with Hong Kong and Macao.

At the ceremony, he described the strategy as "unfolded and personally directed by Xi Jinping".

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the bridge would help transform Hong Kong from a "connector to a more active participant."

It is the second major infrastructure project that links Hong Kong with mainland China in a matter of weeks, after the opening of a high-speed rail link last month that provoked criticism that Hong Kong was giving away territory, with part of the terminal which is under continental jurisdiction.

The main section of the new bridge is also considered a continental territory, even though Hong Kong was scheduled to pay at least half the cost of the project, according to the original plan of the city government.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and Macao Chief Executive Fernando Chui arrive today for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge opening ceremony in Zhuhai, Guangdong

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and Macao Chief Executive Fernando Chui arrive today for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge opening ceremony in Zhuhai, Guangdong

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and Macao Chief Executive Fernando Chui arrive today for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge opening ceremony in Zhuhai, Guangdong

A view of the main entrance of the bridge section after the opening ceremony of the new bridge

A view of the main entrance of the bridge section after the opening ceremony of the new bridge

A view of the main entrance of the bridge section after the opening ceremony of the new bridge

The mega bridge links Lantau island of Hong Kong with Zhuhai and the Macau gambling enclave

The mega bridge links Lantau island of Hong Kong with Zhuhai and the Macau gambling enclave

The mega bridge links Lantau island of Hong Kong with Zhuhai and the Macau gambling enclave

To build the submerged tunnel, engineers had to drive more than 100 huge steel cylinders into the sandy bottom to form the foundations of the artificial islands, according to a previous Wired report citing project engineers.

To build the submerged tunnel, engineers had to drive more than 100 huge steel cylinders into the sandy bottom to form the foundations of the artificial islands, according to a previous Wired report citing project engineers.

To build the submerged tunnel, engineers had to drive more than 100 huge steel cylinders into the sandy bottom to form the foundations of the artificial islands, according to a previous Wired report citing project engineers.

The bridge, shown on Tuesday night, is part of Beijing's plan to merge 11 cities in its southern region into a megalopolis

The bridge, shown on Tuesday night, is part of Beijing's plan to merge 11 cities in its southern region into a megalopolis

The bridge, shown on Tuesday night, is part of Beijing's plan to merge 11 cities in its southern region into a megalopolis

The cars and drivers of Hong Kong traveling through it must comply with the laws and regulations of the mainland, "said the city's transport department.

Construction began in 2009 and has been affected by delays, budget overruns, corruption lawsuits and the death of construction workers.

The total price is not clear, but some estimates reach more than 100 billion yuan (£ 11 billion).

Construction began in 2009 and has been affected by delays, budget overruns, corruption lawsuits and the death of construction workers.

Construction began in 2009 and has been affected by delays, budget overruns, corruption lawsuits and the death of construction workers.

Construction began in 2009 and has been affected by delays, budget overruns, corruption lawsuits and the death of construction workers.

Hong Kong residents will only be granted a license to cross into Zhuhai by car if they meet highly selective criteria, including holding certain positions in the continental government.

Hong Kong residents will only be granted a license to cross into Zhuhai by car if they meet highly selective criteria, including holding certain positions in the continental government.

Hong Kong residents will only be granted a license to cross into Zhuhai by car if they meet highly selective criteria, including holding certain positions in the continental government.

To get to both sides of the bridge, the vehicles must cross the two artificial islands and the tunnel of 6.7 kilometers (4 miles) under the water and go back out.

To build the submerged tunnel, engineers had to drive more than 100 huge steel cylinders into the sandy bottom to form the foundations of the islands, according to an earlier report by Wired engineers citing the project.

Without the tunnel, the bridge would have been so high that its towers could exceed the height limits for structures near the Hong Kong International Airport.

Transportation and Housing Secretary Frank Chan said earlier that the travel time between Zhuhai and the Hong Kong airport would be reduced to approximately 45 minutes of four hours.

Project supporters promote it as an engineering marvel that will also boost business and reduce travel time

Project supporters promote it as an engineering marvel that will also boost business and reduce travel time

Project supporters promote it as an engineering marvel that will also boost business and reduce travel time

Interior view of the passenger settlement building of the Hong Kong port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge

Interior view of the passenger settlement building of the Hong Kong port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge

Interior view of the passenger settlement building of the Hong Kong port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge

The total price has not yet been officially confirmed, but some estimates reach more than 100 billion yuan (£ 11 billion)

The total price has not yet been officially confirmed, but some estimates reach more than 100 billion yuan (£ 11 billion)

The total price has not yet been officially confirmed, but some estimates reach more than 100 billion yuan (£ 11 billion)

Cable cars traveling in front of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in front of Lantau Island in Hong Kong

Cable cars traveling in front of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in front of Lantau Island in Hong Kong

Cable cars traveling in front of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in front of Lantau Island in Hong Kong

The multi-million dollar bridge will open to traffic tomorrow at 9 a.m. local time, one day after the opening ceremony

The multi-million dollar bridge will open to traffic tomorrow at 9 a.m. local time, one day after the opening ceremony

The multi-million dollar bridge will open to traffic tomorrow at 9 a.m. local time, one day after the opening ceremony

Hong Kong residents will only be granted a license to cross into Zhuhai by car if they meet highly selective criteria, including holding certain government positions on the mainland or making significant contributions to charities in Guangdong Province, south from China.

Most people will need to travel by coach and bus.

Some Hong Kong media reported that cameras would monitor the physical condition of bus drivers, including an alert if a driver yawns more than three times in 20 seconds.

Online commentators in Hong Kong complained about the restricted access of the bridge before launch.

"Such a huge investment with the Hong Kong taxpayer's money … however, it's basically not open to us," said a comment on the South China Morning Post website.

But residents in Zhuhai welcomed him.

"I believe that this bridge will provide great comfort to the whole area of ​​Zhuhai, Hong Kong and Macao, and will promote the economic development of the whole area of ​​the Pearl River Delta," resident Dang Zheiliang told AFP.

Officials expect the bridge to be in use for 120 years and say it will boost businesses by reducing travel time by 60%

Officials expect the bridge to be in use for 120 years and say it will boost businesses by reducing travel time by 60%

Officials expect the bridge to be in use for 120 years and say it will boost businesses by reducing travel time by 60%

A bus attendant shows bus tickets at the passenger authorization building of the Hong Kong port of the crossing

A bus attendant shows bus tickets at the passenger authorization building of the Hong Kong port of the crossing

A bus attendant shows bus tickets at the passenger authorization building of the Hong Kong port of the crossing

To get to both sides of the bridge, the vehicles must cross the artificial islands and the tunnel and exit again.

To get to both sides of the bridge, the vehicles must cross the artificial islands and the tunnel and exit again.

To get to both sides of the bridge, the vehicles must cross the artificial islands and the tunnel and exit again.

The mega structure is the longest sea crossing in the world and the sixth longest bridge in the world.

The mega structure is the longest sea crossing in the world and the sixth longest bridge in the world.

The mega structure is the longest sea crossing in the world and the sixth longest bridge in the world.

The project used 420,000 tons of steel, equivalent to 60 times the steel used to build the Eiffel Tower.

The project used 420,000 tons of steel, equivalent to 60 times the steel used to build the Eiffel Tower.

The project used 420,000 tons of steel, equivalent to 60 times the steel used to build the Eiffel Tower.

China already claims the record for the longest bridge of any kind in the world: the Great Danyang-Kunshan Bridge, a viaduct that is part of a high-speed rail line.

Political analyst Willy Lam said the launch of Xi showed its support for Hong Kong's economic and political integration in the region, adding that the Pearl River delta had long been the "new growth pole of China."

It was also scheduled with a broader push to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China's economic reforms, in the context of major challenges for the economy, including the escalation of the US-China trade dispute, said Lam.

China will celebrate in December the anniversary of the "reform and opening up" that was launched in 1978 under the supreme leader Deng Xiaoping, moving away from a Maoist command economy and towards more market-oriented policies that transformed the country into the second place in the world. -The biggest economy.

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