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Building begins on railway bridge over Hangzhou Bay

By MA ZHENHUAN in Hangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-15 09:23
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The first pile foundation for the Hangzhou Bay Railway Bridge, an integral part of the Nantong-Suzhou-Jiaxing-Ningbo High-speed Railway, was drilled in Haiyan county, Zhejiang province, on Friday, marking the start of offshore construction on the world's longest cross-sea high-speed railway bridge.

The Nantong-Suzhou-Jiaxing-Ningbo High-speed Railway is an important part of the medium- and long-term plans for China's high-speed rail network. It connects Nantong and Suzhou in Jiangsu province with Jiaxing and Ningbo in Zhejiang province from north to south.

As an important part of the Nantong-Suzhou-Jiaxing-Ningbo High-speed Railway, the Hangzhou Bay Railway Bridge is designed for a speed of 350 kilometers per hour and has a total length of 29.2 km.

The mega project involves large-scale mechanical equipment and marine engineering ships, and there are many difficulties and risks for construction, said Xu Bingfa, Party chief of the bridge project department of China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Company.

In addition, the bridge will pass through the marine ecological protection area of the Qiantang River estuary, so the construction requires the use of high technology to protect the local ecology and environment, Xu added.

The bridge will span Hangzhou Bay, from Haiyan county in Jiaxing to Qianwan New Area of Ningbo, connecting the urban circle of Shanghai, Hangzhou and Ningbo in the core area of the Yangtze River Delta. "The railway makes Haiyan an important bridgehead on the north shore of Hangzhou Bay, connecting surrounding cities, improving the county's comprehensive competitiveness, and promoting the integration and sharing of resources among cities," said Li Chao, a member of the standing committee of Haiyan county's Party committee, during a news conference on Friday.

By the end of 2027, the Nantong-Suzhou-Jiaxing-Ningbo High-speed Railway is expected to be completed and put into operation.

After that, travel time between Jiaxing and Suzhou and Ningbo via the high-speed railway will be shortened to 30 minutes and 35 minutes, respectively, which will improve the road network of the Yangtze River Delta region, increase travel efficiency and better integrate Jiaxing into the development of the Yangtze River Delta.

In addition, the railway will help Zhejiang take advantage of its favorable location, participate more in cooperation and exchanges in the Yangtze River Delta region, and open up more to the outside world.

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