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Hong Kong starts building its part of massive HK-Macao-Zhuhai bridge

(Xinhua)

18:47, December 14, 2011

HONG KONG, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong finally began on Wednesday construction of its part of the world's longest cross-sea bridge linking the city with Macao and Zhuhai, after the project was delayed for a year by a legal challenge over its environmental impact.

The city government held a brief launching ceremony in the morning on the eastern side of Hong Kong International Airport, which was attended by Chief Executive Donald Tsang, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong Guo Li, Secretary for Transport and Housing of the city government Eva Cheng, and other officials and representatives from contractors.

The Hong Kong section of the massive bridge linking Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao includes three major projects -- Hong Kong boundary crossing facilities, the Hong Kong Link Road as well as the detailed design of Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link and Tuen Mun Western Bypass. In total, the three projects are expected to cost 48.5 billion HK dollars (6.2 billion U.S. dollars).

Wednesday's ceremony marked the beginning of the construction of Hong Kong boundary crossing facilities, which was the most important project with the largest investment among the three projects. Its budget was 30.43 billion HK dollars.

An 150-hectare artificial island would be built in the waters northeast of Hong Kong International Airport to house the boundary crossing facilities.

Tsang said although the start of the works has been delayed for a year, the city government would catch up on the progress through the compression of programs, and by implementing additional machinery and manpower. Construction of the Hong Kong section would be completed on schedule, enabling the bridge to be operational in 2016, he said.

Construction of the Hong Kong section had originally planned in late 2010. But it was delayed after a retired resident living near the bridge site challenged the city government's decision on the bridge work in a judicial review.

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