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Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge infrastructure projects in Hong Kong commenced

     The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, officiated at the launching ceremony of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) today (December 14). The launch of the project signifies a significant step toward further economic integration and development among Hong Kong, the Western Pearl River Delta and Macao.

     "The HZMB is the first major cross-boundary infrastructure project jointly undertaken by Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. With the active participation and involvement of the three governments, a consensus was reached on construction, financing and operation of the project beneficial to all the concerned parties. It is a fine example of co-operation of the three places," Mr Tsang said.

     "Upon commissioning, the HZMB will usher in a new era of traffic connections between Hong Kong and the Mainland. The Western Pearl River Delta will fall within a reachable three-hour commuting radius of Hong Kong. This will provide impetus to Hong Kong's long-term economic development and bring new opportunities to various sectors of Hong Kong, including the tourism, financial, trading, commercial and logistics industries."

     Implementation of the works of the HZMB in Hong Kong will create many job opportunities. The works that have already obtained funding support from the Legislative Council will create more than 14 000 jobs. The works for the HKBCF commencing today will create about 9 290 jobs, including about 1 410 professional and technical staff and 7 880 labourers.

     The HKBCF artificial island, covering some 150 hectares, will be located at the north-eastern waters off Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). Being the gateway to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by the HZMB, it will provide efficient and convenient services to inbound and outbound passengers and vehicles.  

     The HKBCF will be equipped with a comprehensive road system connecting HKIA and Tung Chung New Town, and will also be linked to a strategic road network leading to the Northwest New Territories and other areas of Hong Kong, making the HKBCF a strategic multi-modal transportation hub for Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao.

     In addition, to minimise the environmental impact of the reclamation, a non-dredging seawall construction method will be used for the first time in Hong Kong for the HKBCF reclamation works. The method will make it unnecessary to dredge the soft marine mud in the seabed before backfilling. Instead, interlocked large-diameter steel cells, to be backfilled with inert construction and demolition materials, will be sunk, penetrating through the marine mud and resting on the underlying firmer alluvium to form the perimeter seawall. Reclamation works could thus be carried out at the centre.  

     This innovative reclamation method can avoid large-scale dredging and disposal of marine deposits. As a result, the release of marine suspended solids and disruption to marine traffic will be minimised.

     The Chief Executive added that although the HZMB local projects had been delayed by almost a year because of judicial review, the Government would compress the work schedule through adjustment of construction methods and deployment of additional manpower and machinery.  

     The Government is confident that the works will be completed as scheduled to meet the target of commissioning the HZMB Main Bridge in 2016.

Ends/Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Issued at HKT 20:05


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