Crossing the estuary

Just opened: the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge now allows cargo to be trucked across – and underneath, through a tunnel – the Pearl River Delta

Photo: shutterstock / EQRoy

At first glance it looks like a giant sea serpent. And we really are looking at something gigantic here: it is a section of the world’s longest sea bridge, recently opened in southern China. With a total length of 55 kilometers (34 miles), the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge carries traffic – and hence goods transported – across the Pearl River Estuary. The “snake head” shown here is one of two artificial islands where the just under 30-kilometer (almost 18.5-mile) long main bridge disappears into an undersea tunnel to allow unobstructed maritime traffic.


To make the bridge earthquake and typhoon-proof, some 400,000 metric tons of steel were used during construction, which began in 2009. Hong Kong is home to one of the world’s biggest container ports, among many other facilities, and the city of Zhuhai and its metropolitan region is an important location for a number of manufacturing industries.