CIXI CITY, China - China on Tuesday completed construction of the world's
longest sea-crossing bridge, a 36-kilometre-long (22.5-mile-long) road link
across the East China Sea.
Costing about $1.5 billion, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge dwarfs other bridges
across seawater, such as the 25-km (15.5-mile) causeway connecting Bahrain to
Saudi Arabia. It is long enough to link Britain and France across the English
The bridge across the Hangzhou Bay in
East China is seen under construction on June 26, 2007. The 36-kilometer
(22-mile) bridge that its builders claim is the world's longest
sea-crossing structure was formally linked-up Tuesday just south of
Built to withstand typhoons that hit the eastern Chinese seabord near
Shanghai, as well as shifting soil conditions, the concrete-and-steel bridge
took three years to complete and was one of China's most challenging
construction projects. Firecrackers and traditional dancers greeted over a
thousand guests at a ceremony in the middle of the bridge as engineers finished
work on the final construction block.
With three lanes in each direction and a rest and refuelling area at its
middle, the bridge links Cixi City in Zhejiang province with Jiaxing City to the
north, shortening the journey between Shanghai and the major port of Ningbo by
120 km (75 miles).
Officials aim to open the bridge to traffic in June 2008 after support
facilities such as toll gates and feeder roads are completed.
The official Xinhua news agency said private firms provided about 29 percent
of the bridge's cost, making it one of China's first big infrastructure projects
to involve major private participation. Costs will be recouped through a toll
($1 = 7.62 yuan)