No opening date has been set for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, according to transport secretary Frank Chan.

The Highways Department said in April it was confident that the bridge’s projects in Hong Kong can be completed by the end of 2017 and “achieve readiness for commissioning.”

But Chan said on Monday that, as the three sides of the project are in varying states of readiness, the bridge can only open when they are all ready and all sides have decided on a date. The central government in Beijing will also have to approve the date.

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. File Photo: GovHK.

“There is usually a launch ceremony with a guest for such a large-scale project – we need to communicate with the central government to find out when all the preparations will be completed, who will be the guest, and find a suitable time,” he said.

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 bridge project has been plagued by over-spendingdelaysdeadly accidents involving workers, instances of hacking, and falsified test results.

Last week, the pro-democracy camp formed two investigative committees, including one to investigate the bridge project’s budget overrun.

Sha Tin to Central Rail Link

Earlier this month, the MTR Corporation confirmed an additional HK$16.5 billion budget overrun for the Sha Tin to Central Rail Link, making it the most expensive rail project in Hong Kong at HK$97.1 billion.

Housing and Transport Secretary Frank Chan
Housing and Transport Secretary Frank Chan. Photo: In-Media.

Chan said the Highways Department was looking into the figures with the Corporation and that it would take several months to check the details.

“I believe the public would expect us to have an accurate review of the figures. We are willing to pay reasonable parts of the budget, but we believe they did not do well in some parts – we will have to review it,” he said.

He added that it was too early to say whether the government will set a limit on how much it will pay.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.