The world's longest sea bridge has opened. It links Hong Kong and Macau to mainland China. The bridge is called the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and is 55 kilometres long. The bridge took over a decade to construct. Builders had to make artificial islands in the Pearl River Delta to provide the supports for the bridge. There is also a 6.7-kilometre underwater tunnel in the middle of the bridge. This is to allow ships to sail through the Delta. The new bridge stretches longer than 14 Golden Gate Bridges lined up end to end. The bridge will greatly cut the time it takes to travel from mainland China to Hong Kong and Macau. The journey time to Macau has been cut from over three hours to just 30 minutes.
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Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the bridge on Thursday. He hopes the new crossing will help to connect 68 million people in 11 different cities. China's government believes that up to 29,000 cars will cross the sea link daily by the year 2030. A trade and tourism expert said: "This makes Hong Kong a lot more accessible for goods, passengers and trade, so this is a benefit from the economic perspective." The bridge will be open to tourists to drive across it. However, local car owners will not be able to cross the bridge unless they have a special permit. Most drivers will take a shuttle bus to make the journey. The shuttle buses will cost $8-$10 for a single trip.