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Jiangsu bridge construction going to plan
By Ding Qingfen (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-08-01 05:28

NANTONG, Jiangsu: The construction of the main foundation of the Sutong Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge with double-leg pylon and double cable-plane, has been completed, an official from the Sutong project told China Daily yesterday.

The cable-stayed bridge, with a main span of 1,088 metres, will set a new world record for that type of highway bridge, according to You Qingzhong, director of the Sutong project and deputy director of the Jiangsu Provincial Communications Bureau.

Sutong Bridge, 108 kilometres upstream of the Yangtze estuary and 82 kilometres downstream of the Jiangyin Bridge, is located in the Southeast of Jiangsu Province, linking Suzhou, an economically developed city in the province, and Nantong.

The formal construction of the Sutong Bridge began in June 2003 and it is expected to be open to traffic by the end of 2008.

So far, the project has received investment of 3.6 billion yuan (US$440 million) from Jiangsu Communications Holdings Co, the Jiangsu Provincial Communications Bureau and the provincial government. On completion, a total of 4.4 billion yuan (US$543 million) will have been injected into the project.

Work on the Sutong Bridge is expected to be finished by the end of 2008. "There is still a long way to go as far as construction is concerned, but we have full confidence in our ability to build the Sutong Bridge, the world's best cable-stayed bridge," said You.

"We also expect the establishment of the bridge will enhance the economic environment of Nantong."

Since the ground-laying ceremony of the Sutong Bridge in 2002, Nantong has been witnessing skyrocketing growth in foreign investment.

Since its establishment in 1986, the Nantong Economic and Technology Development Area had attracted US$1.8 billion in contractual foreign investment by the end of 2001, with actual foreign investment reaching US$900 million.

From January 2002 to June 2003 alone, the contractual foreign investment in the development area had topped a record US$2.3 billion, thanks to the vast business opportunities brought about by the Sutong Bridge project.

Currently, China has more than 100 bridges with a span length over 200 metres, most of which have been built in the past 15 years during the country's rapid development and subsequent need for an improved infrastructure

Due to meteorological, hydrological, geological and navigational complications, the construction of the Sutong Bridge is very challenging, according to He Ping, deputy director of the Sutong project.

(China Daily 08/01/2005 page3)

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