China recently opened the longest sea bridge to the public that connects Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland, 9 years after its construction first started. This sea bridge is considered the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world with a span of 55km (34 miles) and costs about $20bn (£15.3bn), connecting Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai.
The ceremony was presided over by President Xi Jinping himself which took place in Zhuhai, along with the leaders of Hong Kong and Macau. Based on reports, the bridge reduces the travel time of 4 hours to 30 minutes. According to BBC, the bridge was “designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons, it was built using 400,000 tonnes of steel, enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers.”
However, some people begged to disagree about the purpose of the mega project. Hong Kong democratic politician Claudia Mo said:
“It’s not exactly necessary, because Hong Kong is connected to mainland China in every way already, by land, by air, by sea. But they still need it as a political symbol or icon to remind Hong Kong people … that you are connected to the motherland, with this very grand bridge. It’s almost like an umbilical cord.”
The bridge should have opened in 2016 but the construction has been dogged by safety issues, taking the life of 18 workers (9 from mainland and 9 from Hong Kong). Vehicles that would cross the bridge every day is estimated about 9,200. For people who are asking if anyone could just drive across the bridge, BBC wrote:
“No. Those who want to cross the bridge must obtain special permits, allocated by a quota system. And all vehicles will pay a toll. The bridge is not served by public transport, so private shuttle buses will ply the route. There is no rail link.”
WWF Assistant Direction of Ocean Conservation Samantha Lee argued about the over its impact to the environment and the possible harm it has caused to marine life.
“The project has made irreversible damage to the sea. I am worried that the number will never rise again.”
Watch the video below: