Bidding for the design of the longest sea link, a bridge connecting major cities in the Pearl River Delta region, opened in Guangzhou last weekend, according to China Daily.
‘The 29.6km bridge, to link Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao, is estimated to cost up to US$10 billion. It will connect the reclaimed island off Gongbei of Macao and the eastern artificial island for the tunnel section of Hong Kong.The six-lane bridge will cut down the drive between Hong Kong and Zhuhai from about four hours to just half an hour. Guangdong provincial government sources said a total of 18,200 freight vehicles and 1,177 passenger vehicles transitted Hong Kong each day, while the figures for Macao were 883 and 354 respectively.At the annual session of the National People’s Congress in early March, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the bridge construction would begin towards the end of 2009.The preliminary design and investigation of the bridge’s main body started on March 13, according to a contract signed between the authorities from Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macao.Authorities emphasised the protection of the white Chinese dolphins in the Pearl River estuary during the construction. The estuary has the largest protection area for the white Chinese dolphins.”Any tendering reports will be required to include efficient measures to protect the sea environment near the estuary,” the office said.