London: The world’s longest sea bridge has been unveiled by China.
The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge is 26.4 miles – five miles further than the distance between Dover and Calais and longer than a marathon. It is almost three miles longer than the previous record-holder, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana.
It is 174 times longer than London’s Tower Bridge, over the Thames River – and shaves 19 miles off the drive from Qingdao to Huangdao.
It links the main urban area of Qingdao city, East China’s Shandong province, with Huangdao district, straddling the Jiaozhou Bay sea areas.
The bridge took four years to complete and cost GBP 5.5 billion.
“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,” the Daily Mail quoted one engineer as saying.
Now completed, the bridge will shorten the route between Qingdao and Huangdao by 30km, cutting the travel time by about 20 minutes.
“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.