A proposal on financial arrangements for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and its boundary crossing facilities will be released by the end of the year, it was announced yesterday. These two issues have caused discussion on the bridge to become deadlocked. Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung said in a Legco transport panel meeting yesterday that a group set up by the three governments would release a feasibility report soon. This would then be studied by the governments before a conclusion was reached and sent to the central government. The report would suggest possible arrangements and locations of the separate immigration and customs checks, which had been agreed by the three governments after other suggestions, such as a shared checkpoint, had been rejected. Container truck drivers had complained that having three checkpoints could hold up drivers. But Dr Liao said although they had agreed on the method, there were complex details involved. 'Boundary crossings above the sea will be tricky [to define] and need to be studied in detail,' she said. 'We will also have to consult the related mainland authorities.' She said the most difficult issue was the financial arrangement. 'This is a project co-operated with the business sector. The mainland's policies on working with the business sector on infrastructure projects are different from ours.' It was also difficult to give a budget for construction of the bridge because it was a 'chicken or egg' deal. 'When we haven't decided on boundary crossing locations, we can't really tell how much it will cost,' Dr Liao said. 'We are spending time on feasibility studies because it is worth doing so. It's better to have longer planning so the work can be done easier later.' The bridge could be built by global open tender, on a build-operate-transfer basis or with Beijing taking the lead in financing and allowing a company to take a majority stake.