Ken Chu suggests the long-talked-about bridge is no lengthier about boosting manufacturing for Hong Kong business, but will as a substitute carry several benefits by cutting commute occasions and opening up new selections for vacation and get the job done

The concept of constructing a bridge connecting Hong Kong to Zhuhai or Macau has become about for many years. While in the 1980s, Gordon Wu Ying-sheun of Hopewell Holdings and the then mayor of Zhuhai proposed the Lingdingyang bridge linking their two towns, but the thought didn't come to fruition.

From the late nineties and early 2000s, Beijing and Hong Kong appeared into means of boosting connectivity and shortening travel time in between the specific administrative location along with the western component with the pearl River Delta, and Hong Kong?ˉs businessmen and industrialists had been supportive, hoping to increase creation bases into the western delta and boost Hong Kong?ˉs container port. Like a final result, building of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge commenced in 2009.

But that was then. The current economic setting and landscape are solely distinct from if the bridge was to the drawing boards. Within the incredibly least, Hong Kong no longer demands land inside the western delta for factories, mainly because our producing sector has languished for therefore long.

One of the longest bridge-cum-tunnel sea crossings in the world, the 36.3km Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge spans the estuary of pearl River with two boundary crossing services on two artificial islands, a person off Chek Lap Kok plus the other at Gongbei, Zhuhai. Nevertheless, considering that the commencing of construction, the bridge continues to be saddled with 1 trouble right after an additional ¨C price tag overruns, task delays, destruction with the habitats of Chinese white dolphins and makes an attempt by external consulting company personnel to falsify concrete basic safety check benefits.

Regardless, the bridge is right here to stay and there have been experiences that it will open up this year. In light-weight of this, shouldn?ˉt we re-examine the purpose the bridge can participate in from the long-term passions of Hong Kong and just how we are able to better leverage it to our benefit?

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge lights up for 2018

Perfectly located along the South China Sea, it takes only an hour by ferry travel to Hong Kong and Macau. There is also a range of day trip and tour to Macau and China from Hong Kong

There is absolutely no question the initial plan for that bridge was to maneuver merchandise created by Hong Kong-owned factories within the western pearl River Delta, but while using the decline within our production sector, other considerations, these as endorsing regional tourism, shortening commute time and fostering closer ties with the delta, grew in prominence. The quantity of visitors from Macau, Zhuhai as well as western delta to Hong Kong is anticipated to develop.

Transport links amongst Hong Kong and cities from the western delta this sort of as Foshan, Zhongshan and Jiangmen are undeniably weak. When going to any of such cities from Hong Kong by road or coach, we at this time will have to consider a detour, travelling north to Shenzhen and crossing the Humen pearl River Bridge.

Also, on prolonged weekends, several Hong Kong holidaymakers head to Macau en masse for just a brief split, but the only way for some individuals to go to the previous portuguese enclave is by sea (helicopters being a fairly costly means of journey), and it will take additional than one hour by jetfoil. Using the completion with the bridge, Hongkongers is going to be provided a different method to head to Macau and, most importantly, the journey can be slash by 50 percent, which makes it under some time essential to vacation from New Territories to your gridlocked districts in Hong Kong, this kind of as Causeway Bay, and appear for your vehicle park.

Likewise, the journey time from Hong Kong to Zhuhai will also be halved, efficiently putting these three towns within a one-hour radius. What could well be the implications for Hong Kong?

Some Hongkongers may possibly look at transferring to either Macau or Zhuhai, or perhaps a minor even more, while commuting to work in Hong Kong, supplied the ever-soaring household selling prices and rents in the SAR.

Also, this mega bridge can potentially participate in a role in advertising and marketing the formation from the Larger Bay Location in southern China. With some 66 million individuals, this Bigger pearl River Delta rivals quite a few bay areas worldwide. First mentioned inside the Chinese federal government perform report in March 2017 and later on envisioned by president Xi Jinping to rework the realm, the Bigger Bay Region can increase Hong Kong?ˉs position as a world-wide metropolis in Asia, and like a window to the world for the remaining mainland cities in the area, furthermore to Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

There undoubtedly can be likely good and adverse impacts within the territory after the opening on the bridge. Coming 1st to thoughts is the improve specified to the development from the Lantau Island, exactly where the northern side is earmarked for professional and housing advancement, when the southern is for recreational and tourism reasons. In truth, the bridge will further more increase Lantau?ˉs job to be a bridge involving Hong Kong plus the Bigger pearl River Delta. Subsequently, well-planned progress on Lantau will harness Hong Kong?ˉs placement being an global fiscal, transportation and trade centre.

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Having said that, you will find potential damaging impacts for Hong Kong to take into consideration. If a lot more mainland vehicles with cross-border permits make their way to the territory, the street circumstances, notably in Lantau and New Territories West, may well deteriorate. If landlords in districts such as Tuen Mun and Tung Chung see a higher stream of individuals and merchandise like a outcome of the bridge, this could possibly provide being an excuse to raise dwelling selling prices and rents. They are just some of your adverse impacts that our federal government needs to be well prepared to deal with following the bridge opens, so as never to spoil any option for Hong Kong to help make the ideal from the bridge.


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