From Hong Kong to Macau in 30 Minutes
The monster project took 9 years to complete and cost USD 17 billion. The bridge, which also includes a 6.7 kilometer long tunnel running between two artificial islands, was criticised for delays, corruption investigations and overruns of construction costs, but President Xi Jingpin has now opened the bridge and made Hong Kong feel the breath and iron fist of the mainland even more strongly.
Interestingly, the project had to overcome many hurdles because three different economic and political systems clash because of the bridge. Hong Kong and Macau have their own currencies, the Hong Kong dollar and the Pataca; and the two are special economic zones, not like the Chinese mainland. On the bridge, same as on the Chinese mainland, there is right-hand traffic; in Hong Kong and Macau, on the other hand, there is left-hand traffic.
The bridge between Macau and Hong Kong is part of a huge urbanisation project called the “Greater Bay Area”, which is to connect nine economically flourishing cities from the southern Chinese province of Guangdong with the two former colonies. About 70 million people live in the area.