Depending on where you live in the world bridges may be essential to your travel on a daily basis. But usually you can cross them in just a few minutes. In China, it can now take you almost an hour, traffic permitting, as they have just opened the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world. It beats the Lake Pountchartrain Causeway in Louisiana by 3 miles.
It’s called the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge and is 42.5km (26.4 miles) long, so not something you’d want to breakdown on halfway across as you would quite literally be telling the repair guy you are in the middle of the ocean.
It’s no small bridge in terms of how much traffic it can carry either, as it can cope with 8 lanes of vehicles (35 meters wide in total) and is expected to have 30,000 vehicles a day pass over it. China built it to ease congestion and cut travel time. It spans from Qingdao to Huangdao and will cut travel time between the two by as much as 40 minutes through shortening the distance travelled by 31km (19 miles).
While it is impressively long, I think the standout statistic is the fact it only took 4 years to build. The final construction used 2.3 million cubic meters of concrete and 450,000 tons of steel. The 10,000 people working on it had to secure 5,000 pillars into the seabed in order to support the bridge and all those heavy vehicles that now get to travel across it.
The question is, would you want to travel over it the day it opened? I think I’d wait a few weeks and see how it copes with 30,000 cars and all that weight every day.
Read more at Crienglish.com and The Telegraph (additional info via Wikipedia)
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