Why the bridge died down during the past decade
When Liang Guangda, then Zhuhai mayor, proposed the Lingdingyang Bridge in 1996, he was given a cold shoulder by the then British colonial government in Hong Kong. However, the major setback came from the Central Government.
Although Liang transformed Zhuhai from a small town into a bustling city within three years, some of his projects caused the Zhuhai government financial headaches.
In 1996, Zhuhai inaugurated a first class airport with an annual capacity for 10 million passengers. But in 2001, only 540,000 passengers passed through the airport, and the authorities were sued for RMB 70 million for unpaid construction costs.
Although the State Council gave approval for the bridge to be instituted as a study item in 1997, it has since remained only a study.
"Over the years, in fact, there were many communications between the Hong Kong SAR government and Guangdong provincial government on the bridge, but these exchanges were on a rather low level," a planning official said.
Cheng Yiu Tong, an Executive Council member who supports a bridge link between Hong Kong and Zhuhai, thinks that the plan is not being given the right attention by the Hong Kong SAR government.
"I think the government should appoint a Deputy Chief Secretary to liaise with the Guangdong government about the project," Cheng said during a press conference showing his support for a bridge linking Zhuhai and Tuen Mun in the northwestern part of Hong Kong's New Territories.
He also suggested that Hong Kong should set up a new Regional Development Department to centralize cross border infrastructure developments.