A 100-hectare reclamation project on Lantau Island, northeast of the airport, is favoured by the government for the landing point of the proposed Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. It is one of three options - unveiled for the first time yesterday - for boundary-crossing facilities at the Hong Kong end of the planned 35km bridge across the mouth of the Pearl River. The others include a site west of the airport and one close to Tai Ho Bay. No date has been set for a start on the HK$30 billion project, with talks among the three involved governments, which started in 2003, bogged down over financing. The shortlist of options for the Hong Kong landing point, selected after a five-month study, were presented to the Islands District Council yesterday. The government said the northeast site was favoured because it was 2km away from Tung Chung town, meaning there would be no noise and air quality impact on residents. It also would not affect the Lantau shoreline, airport channel, dolphin habitats, or the ecologically sensitive Tai Ho Bay, and was away from a geologically complex area of undersea cavities to the west. The proposal received a mixed response from councillors. Highways Department project manager Cheng Ting-ning said the close proximity between the checkpoint and the airport would enable the two developments to work together for 'synergy and greater convenience to passengers'. It could also integrate with the proposed Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link. But the disadvantage was that it might require reprovisioning of facilities on the shoreline of the airport island, including SkyPier and the Marine Cargo Terminal so it would take longer to build than the other two options. Several council members said a site to the west of the airport would enhance the entire development of Lantau Island. But the government said three possible sites to the west, looked at during the study, would have affected aircraft landing and taking off, and an archaeological site at San Shek Wan. It added that the site close to Tai Ho Bay was ecologically sensitive and passengers would need to take a longer route to and from the airport and the northwest New Territories. A consultant appointed to study the issue said that as the three governments had decided on separate checkpoints and holding areas rather than one joint facility, a reclamation of 90 to 100 hectares was needed. Tam Hon-choi, Highways Department chief engineer and also responsible for the bridge project, said the consultation process had started to gauge public opinion on the options. Mr Tam said a detailed environmental impact assessment would be conducted after a consensus was reached about the site location.