China apart from being one of the fastest growing countries in terms of technology and economy, now has one more thing to boast about – the world’s longest sea bridge. The newly constructed 26.4 miles-long Qingdao Haiwan Bridge would easily cross the English Channel and is almost 3 miles longer than the previous record-holder, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in the American state of Louisiana.
The vast structure links the centre of the booming port city of Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong Province with the suburb of Huangdao, spanning the wide blue waters of Jiaozhou Bay. At least 10,000 workers toiled in two teams around the clock to build the bridge, which was constructed from opposite ends and connected in the middle in the last few days.
A staggering 450,000 tons of steel was used in its construction – enough for almost 65 Eiffel Towers – and 2.3 million cubic metres of concrete, equivalent to filling 3,800 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Chinese officials said that the bridge will be strong enough to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake, typhoons or the impact of a 300,000 tonne vessel.
In December 2009, work started on a 31 mile bridge that will link Zhuhai in southern Guangdong Province, China’s manufacturing heartland, with the financial centre of Hong Kong. The £6.5 billion project is expected to be completed in 2016.