CHINA'S ministries in charge of transport have given their backing to a Zhuhai plan for a highway bridge linking the special economic zone with Hongkong - but the British administration is yet to agree. According to Zhuhai Mayor Mr Liang Guangda, key ministries in Beijing agreed the bridge would be conducive to the economic growth of the Pearl River Delta area, particularly its western part. Officials also maintain the plan would boost the development of Tuen Mun at the western part of Hongkong. The highway bridge linking Gongbei in Zhuhai and Tuen Mun, and running across the mouth of the Pearl River, will be 49.3 kilometres with six lanes. The project is expected to cost more than 10 billion yuan (about HK$13.47 billion), which will mainly come from Zhuhai and domestic firms, the Mayor said. Mr Liang said last night the lack of good transport had posed enormous inconvenience to investors in the special economic zone. ''Some foreign investors have expressed their wish that a bridge can be built to greatly improve transportation,'' he said. Mr Liang said they had never approached the Hongkong Government about the plan because the central government had to give a go-ahead. Only recently when there were fears in the territory that the bridge would worsen the traffic did Mr Liang talk to Hongkong officials. Mr Liang said Hongkong's Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, had expressed interest in the plan and they hoped to meet again when the central government gave the go-ahead.