Authority: 5.54 bln yuan investment in HK-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge this year

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Authority expects to complete investment of 5.54 billion yuan (MOP6.82 billion/US$852.5 million) in the super bridge by this year, striving to make the bridge meet the standards for traffic next summer before it officially opens by next year-end. According to China News Service, the Authority estimates that the deck closures of the whole bridge could be completed this August and could connect the whole bridge to the undersea tunnel at the beginning of next year. In addition, deck paving for the bridge is expected to be completed by next March. The completion of the bridge linking the Chinese city and the two Special Administrative Regions was initially slated for the end of this year. However, the Hong Kong Highways Department said last year that completion could only occur in late 2017. It still remains unknown whether the bridge will open for traffic as the latest schedule following Hong Kong news reports indicated earlier this week that seven faulty underground pilings of the super bridge need to be reconstructed. The cross-region project started construction in 2009 with an initial budget of 15.73 billion yuan. The bridge includes a 29.6 kilometre dual 3-lane carriageway and an immersed-tube tunnel of about 6.7 kilometres in addition to two artificial islands.