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First trips on Hong Kong-Macau mainland megabro

The world's longest sea bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland opened for traffic Wednesday, with excited travelers making…

The world’s longest sea bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland opened for traffic Wednesday, with excited travelers making their first trips along what has been described as a politically driven and expensive white elephant.

Passengers and tour groups gathered in Hong Kong’s cross-border bus terminal and bus operators gave away Chinese pastries and roasted meat to passengers.

“I wanted to try this and see if it’s comfortable. I’ll check out the view, for all this is a historic engineering project,” said Angie Cheng, 58, who took the second day’s bus to Macau.

The 55-kilometer intersection connects Hong Kong with the southern mainland Zhuhai and the spell in Macau, across the water of the Pearl River Estuary.

Supporters have hailed it as a technical triumph, but opponents say it’s a politically driven and costly white elephant that is part of an attempt by Beijing to integrate semi-autonomous Hong Kong into the mainland.

It is the second major infrastructure project that connects Hong Kong to the mainland to open within a few weeks – a high-speed train line began its last month’s sparking criticism. Hong Kong abandoned territory with part of the terminal under the jurisdiction of mainland. 19659007] With a deep view of the ocean, the mountains and the rocky islands, the bridge was partially sheltered on Wednesday Wednesday when AFP took an early bus to Macau, but passengers still registered the entire trip on smartphones.

Traffic was easy after the criticism of some legislators and residents that public access to the bridge is too limited.

“Every major infrastructure has a relatively small volume of passenger and traffic flow during the initial period. It takes time to build,” said secretary for transport and housing Frank Chan to journalists.

Only 10,000 licenses have been granted to Hong Kong residents to drive private cars to Zhuhai if they meet very selective criteria, including holding certain mainland government positions or making major contributions to charity organizations in the South China province of Guangdong.

Most people will need to go by bus.

Travelers go through immigration and customs at both ends of the bridge.

Chan did not say how many Hong Kong residents would travel the bridge Wednesday but estimated 30,000 Chinese people from the mainland would cross the Hong Kong on the opening day.

The government had previously said that the bridge would attract 29,000 vehicles daily 2030.

Bus trips to Zhuhai should take 45 minutes, from four hours.

An early bus ride to Macao Cotai casino hub took about an hour.

“The duration is similar to the ferry. I get a little bit on the ferry, so the bus ride was more comfortable,” told Cheng AFP after traveling to Macau.

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