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Consensus reached on financing of HK-Zhuhai-Macau bridge (with photos)

    The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) Advance Work Co-ordination Group has reached a consensus on the bridge¡¦s financing and way forward at a meeting in Guangzhou today (February 28).

    The group's convenor, Secretary for Transport and Housing Ms Eva Cheng, described the agreement as a significant step forward for the project and thanked the representatives of the Guangdong and Macau Governments for their efforts. 

    "We were briefed on the findings of the feasibility study for the bridge by the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge Advance Work Co-ordination Group Project Office and the Highway Planning and Design Institute. The meeting focused its discussion on the financing arrangement as well as the next stage of work," Ms Cheng said.

    "The three sides agreed that the three Governments would be responsible for the construction and operation of the boundary crossing facilities and the connecting roads to the bridge within their own territory.  The connecting roads are about 12.6 kilometres on the Hong Kong side and 13.9 kilometres on the Mainland side. "   

    Under the proposed construction package, the main body of the bridge will be about 29.6km.  To the west, it lands on the artificial island off Gongbei, and to the east, it lands on the eastern artificial island for the tunnel section just west of the Guangdong boundary.  It will be built according to the six-lane expressway standard with vehicle speed of 100 km per hour.  To ensure unimpeded sea traffic of the main navigation channels towards the Guangzhou and Shenzhen ports, there will be a tunnel linking up the two artificial islands that provide bridge/tunnel switching facilities.

    The three sides have also agreed to share the amount of the subsidy by adhering to the principle of equalisation of cost-to-benefit ratios.  The equation has taken into account the economic benefits to each of the three sides, such as the savings in transport costs and time, as well as the costs of each side in building their connecting roads and their share of subsidy for the main body of the bridge.

    Private investment will be invited for the construction of the main body of the bridge.  The three governments will share the funding gap according to the above principle.  The actual amount of the subsidy will be subject to the tendering result.

    "On the basis of the consensus reached on the financing package, the project¡¦s feasibility study report will be revised as soon as possible. At the same time, the group will start the preparatory work for tendering," Ms Cheng said.

Ends/Thursday, February 28, 2008
Issued at HKT 18:59


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