Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hangzhou Bay Bridge - World’s Longest Span Across The Ocean

China has formally opened what it says is the world's longest sea bridge with a ceremony and fireworks. The six-lane bridge was built to address traffic congestion in the booming region, and will cut the driving time between Shanghai and Ningbo to two-and-a-half hours from four. Image Credit: BBC NEWS

Hangzhou Bay Bridge - World’s Longest Span Across The Ocean

Hangzhou Bay Bridge is an S-shaped stayed-cable bridge linking both sides of the Hangzhou Bay. It is the longest sea-crossing bridge on this Oblate Spheroid! The bridge is 22.37 Miles long; it has six lanes in both directions and shortens the distance between Shanghai and Ningbo by 74.56 Miles.

MAP - Hangzhou Bay is a gulf in the East China Sea. For the Zhejiang province this is a first class project as both ends of the Hangzhou Bay Bridge are in the province´s cities of Cixi and Zhapu. The bridge is the main project of the 5.200 kilometres national highway between Heilongjiang Province in the north toi the Hainan Province in the south. Graphic Credit:

Although the bridge is already linked and the opening ceremony was held on 26th June 2007, it opened to the public transport May 1, 2008.

First preparations for planning the bridge started a decade ago; close to 600 experts spent nine years on designing the Hangzhou Bay Bridge. Chief Commander of the Hangzhou Bay Bridge project is Mr Wang Yong.

Hangzhou Bay is known both in China and internationally for it´s fantastic tides, a natural wonder that is a major tourist attraction. . The tides are moving in a speed that can reach 30 kilometres (19 miles), sounds like thunder and the waves can be up to 8 meters (25 feet) high. One reason for the study of the project for a decade is the tide which will make the construction process complicated. Image Credit:

This excerpted from Times Online -

China opens world's longest road bridge

Jane Macartney in Beijing - Times Online - May 2, 2008

“If you want to grow rich, you must first build roads,” an old Chinese saying goes. The opening yesterday of the world’s longest road bridge over the sea should swell still further the coffers of the glittering metropolis that is Shanghai.

The £840 million [1.66 billion dollars] bridge, measuring 36km, spans Hangzhou Bay to link China’s financial hub and the port city of Ningbo to the south. It will reduce travel time between the two key cities in the Yangtze delta from four hours to two and a half.

A ceremony was held in the middle of the cable-stayed bridge to mark the official opening. The bridge has been built to withstand the typhoons that sweep in from the Pacific to batter the east coast each summer. Its steel pylons are 89m long, reaching beneath a sea as deep as 60m in some places. In addition, the sections of the bridge had to be winched into position over expanses of quicksand-like mudflats.
In a break with tradition, private firms provided almost a third of the investment needed for the project. Image Credit:

State television greeted the start of traffic on the bridge with great fanfare, devoting almost the first ten minutes of the evening news of the Labour Day holiday to the subject. Wen Jiabao, the premier, visited the southern end of the bridge in Ningbo.Private investors funded almost 30 per cent of the project, the first time that China’s private sector had been allowed to put money into a major public infrastructure work. Officials say that the capital costs should be recovered in 15 years.
Reference Here>>

Please note that the title of the Times Online article referenced here is in error, in that the longest "ROAD BRIDGE" is located in the United States. The world's longest road bridge on this Oblate Spheroid is in Louisiana: the Lake Pontchatrain Causeway near New Orleans links Metairie to Mandeville, and spans 24 miles (~40 km). It is not an engineering marvel, but it is longer by almost a couple of miles ... Sorry China.

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