China has the world’s longest sea bridge. It stretches out 26.4 miles long and links China’s eastern port city of Qingdao to the offshore island Huangdao.
The Jiaozhou Bay bridge is 26.4 miles long and 110ft wide and is the longest of its kind. It cost nearly $1.5 billion to build. The immense structure which is supported by more than 5,000 pillars stretches for 24 miles along China’s eastern port city of Qingdao to the offshore island Huangdao.
It took four years to build the bridge, which is supported by more than 5,000 pillars across the bay, and it is almost three miles longer than the previous record-holder – the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana. That structure features two bridges running side by side and is 23.87 miles long.
The three-way Qingdao Haiwan bridge is 174 times longer than London’s Tower Bridge, spanning the River Thames, but cuts only 19 miles off the drive from Qingdao to Huangdao. Two separate groups of workers have been building it from different ends of the structure since 2006.
After linking the two ends of the bridge on December 22, 2010 one engineer said:
‘The computer models and calculations are all very well but you can’t relax until the two sides are bolted together. Even a few centimetres out would have been a disaster.”
The engineering feat will only hold the record as the longest sea bridge for a few years – it will be beaten by another Chinese bridge in the next decade.
In December 2009 officials announced workers had begun constructing a bridge to link southern Guangdong province with Hong Kong and Macau. Set to be completed in 2016, officials said the $10 billion bridge will span nearly 30 miles.
It will be designed to cope with earthquakes up to magnitude 8.0, strong typhoons and the impact of a 300,000 tonne vessel. But both structures will still be dwarfed by the longest bridge in the world, also in China. The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge is an astonishing 102 miles in length.