See the world's longest sea-crossing bridge

Costing $20 billion, this 35-mile-long bridge connects Hong Kong and Macau to Zhuhai on the Chinese mainland.

Posted: Oct 25, 2018 12:55 AM
Updated: Oct 25, 2018 12:57 AM

Chinese President Xi Jinping officially opened the world's longest sea-crossing bridge Tuesday at a ceremony in the southern city of Zhuhai.

The $20 billion megaproject further connects mainland China with the semi-autonomous territories of Hong Kong and Macau, with a 55-kilometer (34-mile) road bridge that has been in the works for almost nine years.

It's a key element of China's plan for a Greater Bay Area covering 56,500 square kilometers (21,800 square miles) of southern China, and encompassing 11 cities, including Hong Kong and Macau, that are home to a combined 68 million people.

"I declare the Hong Kong -- Macau -- Zhuhai bridge officially open," Xi said in a seconds-long speech before a giant display showing the bridge.

The announcement was greeted with applause from the hundreds of guests in attendance, including the leaders of Hong Kong and Macau, Carrie Lam and Fernando Chui, and Guangdong Party Secretary Li Xi.

The bridge will open to the public for the first time on Wednesday.

Greater transport links

Proponents of the bridge say it will significantly cut journey times between the cities, enabling commuters and tourists to easily move around the region.

"With the bridge, the traveling time between Hong Kong and the Western Pearl River Delta region will be shortened significantly, thereby bringing the Western Pearl River Delta region within three hours' drive from Hong Kong," the city's transport secretary, Frank Chan, said Friday.

Despite the focus on drive time however, private car owners in Hong Kong will not be able to cross the bridge without a special permit. Most drivers will have to park at the Hong Kong port, switching to a shuttle bus or special hire cars once they are through immigration. Shuttle buses cost $8 to $10 for a single trip depending on the time of day.

Critics however point to limited demand in Hong Kong for the project, and competition from improved rail links and the Shenzhen-Zhongshan bridge, which once completed around 2024 is expected to cut traffic on the Zhuhai link by over 25% within 20 years.

For critics of the Chinese government, the bridge is seen as a tool to drag Hong Kong -- which boasts a semi-democratic legislature and independent judiciary -- closer into Beijing's grip.

"You can't see the existing transport connections -- in a literal way. But this bridge is very visible ... you can see it from the plane when you fly in to Hong Kong, and it's breathtaking," lawmaker Claudia Mo told CNN earlier in the year.

"It links Hong Kong to China almost like an umbilical cord. You see it, and you know you're linked up to the motherland."

Huge engineering effort

Built to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake, a super typhoon and strikes by super-sized cargo vessels, the bridge incorporates 400,000 tons of steel -- 4.5 times the amount in San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

It also includes a 6.7-kilometer (4-mile) submerged tunnel to help it avoid the busy shipping paths over the Pearl River Delta. The tunnel runs between two artificial islands, each measuring 100,000 square meters (1 million square feet) and situated in relatively shallow waters.

While an impressive engineering feat, the building of the bridge brought its own controversies. The Pearl River Delta is home to an endangered Chinese white dolphin population that has been buffeted by massive land reclamation efforts in Hong Kong and other cities.

Conservation experts previously told CNN they feared the bridge, as well as ongoing expansion of Hong Kong airport, could be the final nail in the dolphins' coffin, sending the local population into terminal decline.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751242

Reported Deaths: 13795
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1032931788
Lake556911009
Allen41692692
St. Joseph36990565
Hamilton36588417
Elkhart29398461
Tippecanoe22901226
Vanderburgh22556400
Porter19356325
Johnson18471389
Hendricks17682317
Clark13226195
Madison13149344
Vigo12614253
LaPorte12419221
Monroe12207176
Delaware10966198
Howard10321225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8576146
Bartholomew8169157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7811180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6966103
Morgan6761141
Dubois6218118
Marshall6209116
Cass6016110
Henry5900110
Dearborn589878
Noble581488
Jackson509076
Shelby501496
Lawrence4742122
Gibson444894
Clinton442355
Harrison441875
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438090
Whitley406543
Huntington402681
Steuben400159
Miami395269
Jasper388054
Knox375991
Putnam372960
Wabash361983
Ripley347170
Adams345555
Jefferson335886
White331953
Daviess3033100
Wells295281
Decatur289992
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273072
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246036
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228058
Fountain220948
Sullivan214643
Owen211858
Fulton202942
Jay200932
Carroll193620
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166246
Parke149416
Pike138234
Blackford136232
Pulaski120647
Newton113936
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101714
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1108902

Reported Deaths: 20166
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1287491467
Cuyahoga1158082211
Hamilton814091250
Montgomery525571043
Summit484351001
Lucas43359820
Butler39018606
Stark33338929
Lorain25675505
Warren24595303
Mahoning22376603
Lake21211388
Clermont20124253
Delaware18856136
Licking16663222
Fairfield16576204
Trumbull16551482
Medina15612271
Greene15284248
Clark14237306
Wood13292200
Portage13251215
Allen11914239
Richland11607211
Miami10849225
Wayne9146223
Columbiana9034230
Muskingum8906135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8650250
Marion8642138
Erie8056165
Ashtabula7161179
Hancock6999132
Ross6945161
Geauga6838151
Scioto6534106
Belmont6157174
Union584649
Lawrence5732102
Jefferson5679158
Huron5546122
Sandusky5442126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5320109
Athens523960
Auglaize502187
Mercer487385
Shelby476895
Knox4572112
Madison444366
Ashland435797
Putnam4336103
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4040110
Brown402461
Logan387677
Preble3856105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373681
Highland359865
Williams348278
Champaign344859
Guernsey324953
Jackson318254
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285450
Hardin275365
Henry273467
Holmes2702101
Coshocton269060
Van Wert247264
Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240750
Wyandot234556
Hocking220563
Carroll197348
Paulding176542
Meigs148440
Monroe136344
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan109624
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 69°
Angola
Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: °
Huntington
Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 69°
Decatur
Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 69°
Van Wert
Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 76°
Calm and cool conditions are expected across the Midwest through the middle of the work week.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events