So the bridge isn’t going to help Lantau tourism

It seems even the boosters of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge don’t think it will help the local tourism industry.

The SCMP has run two slightly panicked pieces on the pending opening of Shanghai Disneyland and just how badly that might hurt our own temple to the Mouse.

A long feature on Saturday asked if the two cities can “share the spoils?”  Yet in the hefty list of compelling features at the local Disney site – we’re talking Iron Man Experience and Fairy Tale Forest here – no one has thought to mention the bridge.

That is odd because those building the bridge have insisted for years that it is an essential piece of infrastructure and critical to our future livelihood.

The official HZMB project page cites a “substantial reduction in both transportation cost and time” as a significant benefit.  But urban planners estimate it will cut the travel time from Zhuhai to Penny’s Bay no more than by 15 minutes.  Not to mention that mainland cars aren’t permitted into Hong Kong.

On Sunday, SCMP editor Tammy Tam devoted a column to the same topic. And though she concludes that they are unlikely to be direct competitors there is no mention of the b— word. Another opportunity missed to talk up the city’s new infrastructure. At a total cost of HK$130 billion it’s difficult to overlook.

It might be that even supporters are embarrassed to even mention the bridge with its cost over-runs, abysmal safety record and continual delays – but in fairness that never stopped them in the past.

The HZM bridge matters. It is a testament to blind faith in the kind of ill-conceived, pointless capital works that are now bringing undone the national economy.

That economic model is dead and buried, but right now Hong Kong government leaders and business interests are determined to railroad through another series of gratuitous public works.  They should not be allowed to forget the massive failure that is the Macau bridge.

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