A notice issued by the central government’s liaison office said the ceremony to celebrate the opening of the long-awaited bridge would be conducted next Tuesday in Zhuhai but gave no further details, according to today’s South China Morning Post
A government source said President Xi Jinping was likely to attend the opening ceremony in Zhuhai but would not enter Hong Kong or Macau.
However, another source said the city’s police would still mount a land and sea security operation during the official opening.
He said marine police launches would patrol the Hong Kong section of the bridge and observation posts would be set up at Chek Lap Kok.
The 55km bridge, which is the world’s longest sea crossing, marks a new milestone in Beijing’s broader push to create the Greater Bay Area – a technology-led economic hub comprising Hong Kong, Macau and nine Guangdong province cities to rival San Francisco’s Silicon Valley.
The bridge will put the three cities within an hour’s drive of each other and is expected to boost economic development and tourism in Hong Kong, which has invested HK$120 billion (US$15.3 billion) into the project.
It is understood about 800 customs and immigration officers will work in the Hong Kong control point of the bridge on a 130-hectare artificial island north east of Hong Kong International Airport.
A new X-ray facility, costing tens of millions of dollars, that can screen two cross-border container trucks at the same time and produce high-resolution images would be used at the control point, a government source said.
Police also install anti-terrorism spy cameras on Hong Kong mega bridge
The bridge will provide a fast lane to the western part of the Pearl River Delta, Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.
A trip between the Kwai Chung Container Port, in Hong Kong, and Zhuhai would be reduced from about 3½ hours to an hour and 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, it would only take around 45 minutes to travel from Hong Kong International Airport to Zhuhai. The journey currently takes about four hours.
Preparations for the ceremony have begun on the artificial island at Zhuhai Port, a source familiar with the situation said.
It was understood Zhuhai public security officials have been deploying security measures at the port over the past two weeks.
The source said Xi was also expected to visit Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou on October 21.