The world’s longest sea-spanning bridge has just opened between Hong Kong and Zhuhai in China. The bridge runs a total of 34 miles and connects the three major cities that make up part of the Pearl River Delta—Zhuhai, Macau, and Hong Kong. While being able to claim a world record is a nice feature, there was a reason for the $20-billion undertaking.
Prior to the bridge being opened, the only way to get from Zhuhai or Macau to Hong Kong was to board a ferryboat and take the 1-hour ride across the pearl river. Your other options are to take a helicopter (and if you can afford that, feel free to stop reading this article right now) or you can take a 5-hour bus ride over land. The new bridge now makes it possible to get between Hong Kong and the other two cities in about 45 minutes.
If you don’t have a car of your own (many people in Hong Kong don’t) you don’t have to worry. There’s also a new bus line that will take passengers along the same route and across the bridge. However, there are few hoops you’ll need to jump through. Hong Kong and Macau are both technically cities in China, but they fall under different governing bodies, so that means you’ll need to have travel documentation, the same as if you were passing through immigration between two countries.
The good news is that the bus will be running 24 hours a day, so even if you get hung up with travel paperwork you won’t have to wait long to get another ride, which will only cost you around $8-$10 per ticket—which is less than you’d pay to take the longer ferry ride.
There are other coach lines and public transportation options, too. The other options vary in price and frequency with which they make runs, but it’s good to know that there are so many options for those looking to make the commute.
We’re spending all this time talking about public transportation because driving a personal vehicle on the bridge is not exactly an easy task. It can certainly be done, but drivers will have to have a special permit and insurance that is valid in all three of the cities. Plus, you’ll end up driving on different sides of the road depending on whether you’re in Hong Kong or on the bridge, which could make for some dangerous confusion, which is why they limit the number of private vehicles they’ll allow on the bridge at one time.
Still, it’s a world-record setting convenience, and the people that live in this area and are required to travel should be very happy.