World's longest sea-crossing bridge set to open between Hong Kong and China

Chandra Lanier

The world’s longest sea-crossing bridge ever built is set to open.

Just after nine years of construction, the $20 billion bridge will connect Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai.

The 34 mile bridge is a key element in China’s plan for a Greater Bay area. According to CNN, proponents say it will cut travel time between cities from 3 hours down to 30 minutes.

Private car owners, however, will need a special permit forcing most drivers to park at the Hong Kong port and switch to a shuttle bus or special hire car which will cost between $8 to $10.

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CNN reports that even with all of the positives, the bridge has faced some criticism, including the death of seven workers during construction, as well as another 275 injuries.

Other critics point to the huge amount of money spent by Hong Kong, approximately $9 billion, when the city is reportedly dealing with an acute lack of public housing and widespread poverty.

Overcrowding in Hong Kong is a concern for many residents who worry that the city can't accommodate the large number of tourists.

Conservation experts previously told CNN they feared the bridge could be the final nail in the coffin for dolphins.