Enjoy the Ride on the Longest Bridge over the Sea in China
China knows how to amaze – whether it is the Great Wall of China, the world’s largest radio telescope or the longest escalator. And now it has another “the best”. It is the longest bridge over the sea with a length of 55 kilometres (34 miles). Its construction cost China an impressive $ 20 billion.
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is made from 420,000 tons of steel, which is enough material to build sixty Eiffel towers. It took eight years of construction work and six years of preparation to finish a bridge that connects Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao. To get from Hong Kong to Zhuhai, drivers had to spend just three hours in the car.
Thanks to the bridge, the travel time from Hong Kong to Zhuhai will be reduced to maybe 30 minutes. Moreover, driving will be very enjoyable, as this architectural gem also offers a nearly 7-kilometre underwater tunnel located about 40 meters below sea level. This tunnel was made specially for the ships be able to passing through the estuary and it also include two artificial islands.
Why It Almost Never Happened
The bridge was supposed to be opened already in 2016. But, the realization of such giant project could not do without unfortunate incidents and injuries. The development of the bridge was impeded by an environmental impact assessment, corruption investigations and budget overruns. In addition, nine people lost their lives in seven years. Another 129 workers were injured. Most deaths were associated with a fall from a great height.
The Main Benefits
However, the positive impact on economic development is unquestionable. The bridge will help trade in faster transportation to Hong Kong International Airport. And that is not all. Macau should be one of the primary recipients of revenues with an excepted rise of tourism. Especially casino visitors, since Macau is the Asian version of American Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, the bridge is almost not used except for buses and other commercial vehicles with passengers. Local taxis and private cars are not allowed. At least for now.
The world’s longest bridge is the railway viaduct between Beijing and Shanghai. It is 165 kilometres long and runs through lakes, rivers and rice fields. China completed it in 2010. In Europe, the longest opened 18-kilometer bridge from Russia to Crimea last year.