to challenge the world’s other megalopoli.
This is no ordinary bridge; main span notwithstanding (which is roughly the same length as 15 Golden Gate Bridges), the engineering feat involves creating two artificial islands (one next to Chek Lap Kok Airport in Hong Kong and one off the Macau/Zhuhai coast) and building a 4.2-mile underwater tunnel section to allow for busy shipping channels. All this while having to withstand typhoons, violent tidal flows, and minimize negative effects on the estuary’s complex wildlife and ecosystem.
Thirty years after first being proposed tobolster Zhuhai’s prospects as one of China’s first Special Economic Zones, completion was slated for this year (2016), but a series of delays and monumental cost over-runs mean that 2020 now seems ambitious. Once completed, however, the HKZM will slash travel time from Hong Kong to Macau or Zhuhai from over three hours to just 30 minutes, opening up a realm of economic and social possibilities across the Pearl River — including making Macau an easy day-trip destination from Hong Kong.
Estimated cost: $17 billion
Expected completion date: 2017 — 2020
Distance from Conrad Macau, Cotai Central: 17 minutes by cab