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Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge

Safety concerns over Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge indicate gaps in government’s public outreach

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2018, 3:55pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2018, 3:55pm

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, at 55km the world’s longest sea crossing, will connect three major cities in the Pearl River Delta. The project had already cost Hong Kong HK$110 billion as of last November, when yet more was set to be needed. 

The project is expected to cut travel times, open up new job options, and boost the tourism and logistics industries. However, the bridge has been dogged by problems, especially cost overruns, and safety and environmental concerns

And now, public doubts over the bridge’s overall safety standards have deepened, after a video posted on social media appeared to show concrete blocks placed around an artificial island, which will house a border crossing, drifting away, though officials have tried to allay those fears.

The delays in completion (the bridge was supposed to open in 2016) and repeated budget blowouts have imposed a heavy economic burden on the Hong Kong government and taxpayers.

Let us also not forget worker safety issues – at least 10 workers have been injured or killed since construction began – and the scandal over faked concrete tests.  

Repeated controversies over the project indicate a lack of communication in the public sphere. 

It is hoped that the government can set up more communication platforms for better public engagement on policies and projects.

Carly Fung, Tseung Kwan O