World’s Longest Sea-Crossing Bridge To Open This Week

Macau operates on the same “One Country Two Systems” principle designed to safeguard local freedoms as Hong Kong

Macau operates on the same “One Country Two Systems” principle designed to safeguard local freedoms as Hong Kong

The world's longest cross-sea bridge, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, is ready for its official opening. The six-lane bridge has been constructed in just nine years.

An aerial view shows construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge in June 2016 in Zhuhai in China's Guangdong Province.

Here's what you need to know about the megaproject.

Since its inception, it has been one of the most criticised initiatives in Hong Kong, where residents believe it is a poor use of taxpayer funds.

Hong Kong fears that it will receive more tourists now.

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When it officially opens on Wednesday morning local time, the bridge will carry six lanes of traffic - and drivers will have the novel experience of seeming to plunge underwater in two spots, where artificial islands were created to house openings for a four-mile tunnel. Others say the bridge is another way for Beijing to bind the autonomous administrative regions closer to China.

A Hong Kong government video explaining the ease of bridge travel, but which detailed a process requiring permits from Macau, Hong Kong and China, has been particularly mocked online.

It is the second major infrastructure project tying Hong Kong to mainland China to launch in a matter of weeks, after the opening of a high-speed rail link last month, and is part of a Beijing-driven strategy to create a sprawling "Greater Bay Area" economic hub.

As well as crossing above the water, it also includes an undersea tunnel, which will stop the bridge blocking the shipping traffic that travels in the bay.

"Hong Kong has had to fund a lot of the bridge, but we won't see many benefits here", Mo said.

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While an impressive engineering feat, the building of the bridge brought its own controversies.

The area is also known for strong typhoons each year and rare marine species including Chinese white dolphins.

"Today I'm off duty, so I took my child to see the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge".

The bridge has also faced considerable public criticism over safety standards.

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