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The economic integration amongst China’s fastest growing cities in the Pearl River Delta requires infrastructure connectivity to adequately facilitate the communications of people, goods and services. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Border Crossing Facility is one of the world’s most iconic mega engineering projects to further fire up the country’s economic engine.
AECOM, as a member of the consortium led by China Communications Construction Group (CCCG), is conducting the design and construct contract for the tunnel and two artificial islands of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB)’s Main Crossing.
Situated in the waters of Lingdingyang of Pearl River Estuary, HZMB is a large sea crossing linking the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Zhuhai City of Guangdong Province and Macao Special Administrative Region. The functions of the bridge are to meet the increasing demand of passenger and freight transport among Hong Kong, the Mainland (particularly the region of West Pearl River Delta) and Macao, to establish a new land transport link between the east and west coasts of the Pearl River, and to enhance the economic and sustainable development in the three places.
HZMB project includes three major components: First, the Main Crossing comprising of the sea bridges, the tunnel and the artificial islands; Second, three boundary crossing facilities in Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao; and Third, Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao links with the Main Crossing. Of those components, the design and construction of HZMB’s Main Crossing is the core as well as the most critical and complicated one.
The 55-km HZMB, comprising the 12km Hong Kong Link Road, 29.6km Main Bridge and 13.4km Zhuhai Link Road, is the longest bridge-cum-tunnel sea crossing in the world. Operating 24 hours a day, HZMB puts major cities in the Pearl River Delta within a three hours' commute from Hong Kong; and it will take only 40 minutes to travel the distance of approximately 42km from Hong Kong Port to Zhuhai Port and Macao Port.
Since the project will be built in open sea, the design and construction of tunnels and artificial islands face a series of world-class engineering challenges, for example, the long distance ventilation and safety design (6.7-kilometers in length and 40-meters in depth) of the tunnel, prefabrication and marine transportation of huge tunnel segments, joining segments under high water pressure as well as construction of the west and east artificial islands. On completion, the tunnel will become the longest immersed tube tunnel in the world. Considering its technical challenges and significance, Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China has organized the “Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Cross-sea Bridge Construction cluster key technology research and demonstration,” which has been officially included in the national science and technology support programs.