HZMB tunnel in a rendering. Credit of HZMB Authority

Macau | Main section of HZMB completed in early February – Bridge Authority

Macau (MNA) – Works on the main section of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) spanning the 29.6-kilometre bridge-island-tunnel complex across the Pearl River Estuary are expected to be completed in early February, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

The new timetable, disclosed by the chief engineer of the HZMB Authority, Su Quanke, is the first official update on previous announcements according to which major construction work on the principal section of the super bridge would be completed by the end of 2017.

The official cited by Xinhua said the Bridge Authority will set a date before the Chinese New Year (February 16 to 18) to communicate the completion of the RMB48 billion-main section.

The attendant authorities have not specified a date as to when the entire bridge will be ready for traffic, reiterating previous claims that the decision belongs to the central government.

The latest cost estimate for the total 55-km bridge is of nearly RMB120 billion (US$18.4 billion), according to information provided by HZMB Authority finance department manager Su Yi cited by Xinhua.

The HZMB chief engineer added that the bridge carries more than 400 patents and that a few Mainland factories involved in its development have received orders from the United States, Norway and Serbia for bridge projects.

The finance manager of the superstructure, Su Yi, was also quoted by Xinhua as saying that although investment in the project will take decades to recover it will ensure the economic future of the Greater Bay Area.

According to official estimates, the net current value of the project could reach RMB40 billion in 20 years, with the designed life span of the bridge set at 120 years.

Of the remaining RMB26 billion investment from bank loans, the finance manager claimed the money will be paid back from bridge tolls over the next 30 years.