The government has suggested that cars may have to drive on the right on the HK$117 billion Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), despite Hong Kong’s left-hand traffic arrangement.
The government said the main bridge is located in mainland waters. But the linkage road from the Hong Kong side will also adopt a right-hand traffic arrangement “to reduce the need for vehicles to change lanes when crossing the boundary between the Mainland and Hong Kong and to ensure road safety.”
The reason, it said, was that the connection point of the main bridge and the linkage road is an expressway with a speed limit of 100 km per hour.
It said in a document to lawmakers that there will be suitable road facilities to the north of the vehicle clearance plaza at the boundary crossing facility on an artificial island near the Hong Kong airport. The facility will ensure a safe interface of the left-hand and right-hand traffic arrangement.
The document proposed legislative amendments to introduce the changes effective December 15 this year.
However, the government clarified that the date did not indicate the beginning of operations of the long-delayed bridge.
“This is to ensure that the legislative amendment work pertinent to the traffic arrangements can be completed before the commissioning of the HZMB,” it said.
In Macau, cars also drive on the left, unlike the mainland.
The government also proposed legal amendments permitting New Territories and Lantau taxis to enter the artificial island. There will be a public transport interchange at the boundary crossing facility.
Red urban taxis are already allowed as they can operate in any area.
Meanwhile, the Highways Department was accused of covering up the irregular movements of seawalls erected as part of the bridge project for over two years.
Highways chief Daniel Chung Kum-wah claimed it was a natural phenomenon and removal fees will be paid for by the contractor.
The government said earlier this month that the bridge project may run over-budget once again.