Deputies to the Guangdong Provincial People’s Congress from Shenzhen and Zhuhai urged the construction of the Shenzhen-Zhuhai Link be expedited to connect Shenzhen with the cities west of the Pearl River and stimulate regional economic growth.
The construction of the link, for both vehicles and trains, will be able to cut the travel time between the two cities to half an hour, according to a report by the Shenzhen Economic Daily yesterday.
In June 2018, Shenzhen Municipal Transport Commission unveiled a plan to optimize the city’s high-speed rail network and proposed to reserve an area to connect with the future Shenzhen-Zhuhai Link. Zhuhai also passed its city rail network plan in November 2018, which included a passage over the Pearl River to strengthen ties with cities east of the Pearl River.
According to Lu Guolin, deputy chief engineer with Shenzhen Urban Transportation Planning, Design and Research Center, the average annual passenger and freight traffic crossing the Pearl River Estuary is expected to increase by 5 percent each year, and the average daily passenger volume will exceed more than 300,000.
Lu added that the Humen Bridge is already overburdened, with 100,000 vehicles crossing a day. More cross-river links are needed to connect Shenzhen with the western part of the Pearl River Delta, among which the Shenzhen-Zhuhai link should be on top of the agenda.
In the Guangdong Provincial Government’s overall plan for projects across the Pearl River in 2017, cross-river infrastructure includes the Humen Bridge, Shenzhen-Zhongshan Corridor, Shenzhen-Maoming Railway, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Shenzhen-Zhuhai Link.
“The Humen Bridge is overloaded, and Shenzhen-Zhongshan Corridor will be crowded when it is put into operation. The construction of the Shenzhen-Zhuhai Link should be expedited,” said Pan Yujuan, deputy chief engineer with Zhuhai Planning and Design Institute.
“We will make full use of the Shenzhen-Zhuhai Link to connect the cities along the banks of the Pearl River and stimulate the economic growth of the eastern and western areas of Guangdong,” Pan said.
According to a preliminary plan, the Shenzhen-Zhuhai Link is located between the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Shenzhen-Zhongshan Corridor, which is about 20 kilometers from each of the two cross-river passageways. The link is also a combined highway and railway bridge, according to Zhuhai Municipal Transport Bureau.
The link starts at Shenzhen’s Qianhai, connects with Guangzhou-Shenzhen Riverside Expressway and Nanping Expressway, and crosses the Lingdingyang Sea to touch land in Tangjiabei at the border of Zhuhai. The Lingdingyang Bridge will run 46.5 kilometers and the western extension will be 81.8 kilometers long.
Currently, a one-way trip by car between Shenzhen and Zhuhai takes around two to three hours.