Chinese President Xi Jinping has officially opened the world's longest sea crossing bridge, nine years after construction first began. Including its access roads, the bridge spans 55km (34 miles) and connects Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai. The bridge has cost about $20bn (£15.3bn) and seen several delays. According to the BBC construction has been dogged by safety issues - at least 18 workers have died on the project, officials say.

Mr Xi attended the opening ceremony of the bridge, which took place in Zhuhai, along with the leaders of Hong Kong and Macau. The bridge will open to regular traffic on Wednesday.

The crossing connects three key coastal cities in southern China - Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai.

Video by: @Nady_hk | @hongkong_greeters

The bridge, designed to withstand earthquakes and typhoons, was built using 400,000 tonnes of steel, enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers.

The remaining sections are link roads, viaducts and land tunnels connecting Zhuhai and Hong Kong to the main bridge.

About 30km of its total length crosses the sea of the Pearl River delta. To allow ships through, a 6.7km section in the middle dips into an undersea tunnel that runs between two artificial islands.

It is part of China's plan to create a Greater Bay Area, including Hong Kong, Macau and nine other cities in southern China.

The area is currently home to 68 million people.In the past, travelling between Zhuhai  and Hong Kong would take up to four hours - the new bridge cuts this down to 30 minutes.

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