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[China Daily] Infrastructure construction given boost in Bay Area

Last updated :2019-02-25

Source: China Daily 2019-02-25 Page 3
By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou

Construction of large infrastructural projects linking major cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has been stepped up after the central government unveiled a development plan for the area.

The Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, released on Feb 18, guides the current and future cooperation and development of the area to make it an international first-class bay area and a world-class city cluster.

It has inspired the involved regions to accelerate infrastructure construction for better connectivity among the three areas, with focus on expressways, bridges and airports expansion, according to the statement from a symposium where authorities and experts got together to discuss the implementation on Thursday.

Guangdong province, for example, plans to speed up construction of projects such as expressway linking Shenzhen and Zhongshan, two of its major cities, the province’s governor, Ma Xingrui, said in his annual government work report.

“The release of the Outline Development Plan for Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has encouraged workers to overcome difficulties and speed up construction of our projects,” said Chen Weile, director of Shenzhen-Zhongshan Link Administrative Center.

The 24-kilometer link, which includes underwater tunnels, bridges and artificial islands, is expected to be completed in 2024, playing a big part in expanding connections in the Bay Area.

Construction of the second Humen Bridge has reached its final stage, Said Xu Yonggang, an engineer on the project.

“The bridge, the second across the mouth of the Pearl River, is expected to be completed and traffic to start flowing in May, contributing to construction of the Bay Area,” Xu said.

The bridge links Dongguan’s Humen township to Guangzhou’s Nansha district, where Nansha Port is situated.

Fu Zhengping, executive vice-dean and professor at the Institute of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Development Studies at Guangzhou-based Sun Yat-sen University, said a highly efficient infrastructure link among cities in the Bay Area would certainly help those cities to integrate and expand cooperation.

“Therefore, Bay Area cities should spare no effort to create seamless infrastructure links and achieve coordinated development to further improve the Bay Area’s competitiveness,” he said.

Fu mainly studies international investment, transnational corporations, strategic management and industrial clusters.

In addition to the planned network of expressways, a study on construction of light rail to connect the airports in Guangzhou and Shenzhen has been part of the agenda, said Qiu Jiachen, president of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport Co.

A world-class airport cluster, listed in the outline, would help further improve the competitiveness of the region’s airports, he added.

“The smooth cooperation of the five major airports - in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Macao and Hong Kong - will enable a mutually complementary relationship. The aviation market in the Bay Area still has huge space to grow because of sustainable economic development in the future,” he said.

The region has seen the number of passengers grow in recent years. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, one of the three busiest airports in the mainland, handled more than 70 million passenger trips last year, up from 65 million in 2017.