Hong Kong will pay a share of RMB 2 billion (HK$2.36 billion) for overrun costs in the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge project. The latest approved project estimate for the main bridge is about RMB 48.1 billion (HK$56.8 billion).
The government announced in November that the bridge project ran up a budget overrun of RMB10 billion (HK$11.7 billion at the time). On Wednesday, the Transport & Housing Bureau said in response to media enquiries that the exact number was RMB 9.95 billion (HK$11.8 billion) over the budget.
The additional cost will be shared between mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, while the remainder will be financed by bank loans in accordance with the project’s principles. The three sides are expected to pay RMB 4.6 billion (HK$5.4 billion) in total as contributions to the capital cost.
According to the bureau, the increase in costs is due to “the complicated construction conditions in the open sea, the difficulty in the construction method, and the increase in labour and material costs, as well as the refinement of the design and construction schemes.”
“The bureau will report to the Legislative Council when the final amount and arrangement are confirmed, and will seek lawmakers’ approval for the additional funding required,” the bureau said.
The bridge project has been plagued by over-spending, delays, deadly accidents involving workers, instances of hacking, and falsified test results.