The world’s longest sea bridge connecting Hong Kong and China will reportedly open on 24 October 2018, nearly a decade after construction began in December 2009.

According to Chinese state-owned English language news outlet CGTN, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge’s (HZMB) opening date was announced by its administration on Friday.

Construction on the megaproject started on 15 December 2009, and most was mostly completed on 31 December 2017.

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Once up and running, the three-lane highway will cut down driving time between the three cities to 30 minutes, a 90-minute reduction on today’s two-hour drive-time.

The connection, which will include 23km of bridges, 6.7km of tunnels, and two artificial islands, will also establish a new land transport link between the east and west banks of the Pearl (Zhujiang) River, as CGTN reported.

According to separate reports from Bloomberg, China’s Transport Department has capped the number of permits for cross-border private cars at 5,000.

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The news comes over four years after a joint venture of Leighton Asia and Chun Wo secured a $315.8m contract in April 2014 to construct HZMB’s border crossing building.

The 80:20 Leighton-led joint venture’s scope of work included bored pile foundations, the reinforced concrete structure, profiled steel roof, curtain walling and glazing, architectural finishes, mechanical and electrical work.