The Hong Kong Secretary for Transport and Housing, Anthony Cheung Bing-Leung admitted last Thursday that the budget for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge will exceed the original expected cost, according to Hong Kong’s Information Services Department.
The cost overruns will be shared between the three governments.
However, the Hong Kong official did not reveal the exact figures, saying that there had been challenges with the construction of the main bridge at Lingdingyang (the middle channel of the Pearl River estuary) as well as manpower issues.
Construction on the bridge started in 2009, and it was originally budgeted to cost some RMB15.73 billion (MOP18.27 billion/US$2.29 billion) with Macau to contribute RMB1.98 billion.
After inspecting the Hong Kong section of the super bridge project last Thursday, Cheung also revealed that the Hong Kong section will be completed by the end of this year.
Regarding the predicted opening date, the Hong Kong official said it would depend on the decision of the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau governments.
“The commissioning date is yet to be determined,” Leung said after the inspection. “At the moment, whether the main bridge in mainland waters or the Hong Kong side works as well as the Macau, Zhuhai side works, the objective is to complete the works by the end of this year.”
Rosário: plan to open for vehicles by this year-end
The Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosário offered no comments on the budget overruns for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, but said that the limited time for such a large-scale construction project had posed the biggest challenge. According to local Chinese newspapers, Macau is currently focusing on the construction of the artificial island in an attempt to reach the goal of opening the bridge for vehicle travel by the end of this year. In addition, the Secretary added that discussions on the matter of border crossings, vehicles, and passenger travel are still ongoing.
He affirmed that an official announcement would be released by the three governments once concrete decisions have been made.