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01-04-2011, 01:23 AM #1
China unveils world's longest sea bridgeA bridge too far? China unveils world's longest sea bridge which is five miles LONGER than the Dover-Calais crossing
China has unveiled the world’s longest sea bridge, which stretches a massive 26.4 miles – five miles further than the distance between Dover and Calais and longer than a marathon.
The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge, completed earlier this week, links the main urban area of Qingdao city, East China’s Shandong province, with Huangdao district, straddling the Jiaozhou Bay sea areas.
The road bridge, which took four years and cost a cool £5.5billion to build, will be open for use in the New Year and is almost three miles longer than the previous record-holder, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana.
Longest: The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge was completed on December 27 and is 26.4 miles long - the equivalent of 174 Tower Bridges
That structure features two bridges running side by side and is 23.87 miles (38.42km) long.
The three-way Qingdao Haiwan Bridge is a staggering 174 times longer than London’s Tower Bridge, over the Thames River – and shaves 19 miles off the drive from Qingdao to Huangdao.
Two separate groups of workers have been building the different ends of the structure since 2006.
Shortcut: With an overall length of 42.58km, the route between Qingdao and Huangdao will be shortened by 30km, cutting the travel time by about 20 minutes
with Huangdao district, straddling the Jiaozhou Bay sea areas
And they were relieved when all the bridges connected properly, which they managed to do on December 22.
- Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge (rail) - China - 102 miles
- Tianjin Grand Bridge (rail) - China - 71 miles
- Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge (rail) - China - 50 miles
- Bang Na Expressway (road) - Thailand - 34 miles
One engineer commented: ‘The computer models and calculations are all very well but you can't really relax until the two sides are bolted together.
‘Even a few centimetres out would have been a disaster.’
With an overall length of 42.58km, the route between Qingdao and Huangdao will be shortened by 30km, cutting the travel time by about 20 minutes.
However, the colossal construction is set to hold the record as the longest sea bridge only for a few years – and it will be bettered by another Chinese bridge in the next decade.
Last December officials announced workers had begun constructing a bridge to link southern Guangdong province with Hong Kong and Macau.
Set to be completed in 2016, officials say the £6.5billion bridge will span nearly 50km (30 miles).
‘Through a more convenient and fast transport network, Hong Kong's financial, tourism, trade and logistics and professional services can become better integrated with the Pearl River Delta and the surrounding areas,’ said Donald Tsang, Hong Kong's Chief Executive.
The bridge will be a six-lane expressway that can handle earthquakes up to magnitude 8.0, strong typhoons and the impact of a 300,000 tonne vessel, said Zhu Yongling, one of the officials leading the project.
Even when constructed that structure will be dwarfed by the longest bridge in the world, which is also in China. The Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge, also Chinese, is an astonishing 102 miles in length....being a human...