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World’s Longest Sea Crossing Bridge Opens in China

For decades now the Chinese have gotten us used to impressive engineering projects. They gave us the Pingtang telescope, the 11-miles long Qinling Tunnel or the Su-Tong Yangtze River Bridge. And now they just opened the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world, and the sixth longest bridge on the planet.
Hong Kong - Macau - Zhuhai bridge 10 photos
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Spanning for a length of 55 km (34 miles), including access roads, the bridge links Hong Kong to Macau and the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai, over and under the waters of the South China Sea.

The construction in itself is not a simple bridge, but a bridge-tunnel system. The above water roadway consists of three cable-stayed bridges, while a tunnel runs under the sea. To complete the tunnel’s entrance and exit, the Chinese also had to construct two artificial islands, an engineering feet they’ve gotten us used to in recent years.

The Chinese had to go underwater with part of the bridge so that ship transit in the area could continue. The stretch of water between Hong Kong and Macau is a supply route for other cities in the region, like Shenzen or Guangzhou.

Construction of the bridge started in 2009 in mainland China and in 2011 in Hong Kong. Over the years, 400,000 tons of steel have been used for the construction which was inaugurated by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday.

The goal of providing a road link between mainland China and Hong Kong is part of a broader effort by the Chinese to create a Greater Bay Area zone that encompasses 11 cities and around 70 million people, according to CNN.

The bridge would cut travel time between Hong Kong and the Western Pearl River Delta from three hours to about half an hour.

During its construction, ten people working on it died and between 200 and 600 have been injured. The safety of the build has often come under scrutiny, especially after the arrest of 21 employees last year for faking safety tests results.

 
 
 
 
 

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