Engineering Marvel: The World’s Longest Sea Bridge
The Jiaozhou Bay bridge was opened to traffic in 2011, connecting the coastal city of Qingdao to Huangdao. At 42.4 kilometres long, it currently holds the record for the longest bridge over water in the world, and has won awards for achieving many “firsts” in megastructure engineering. Here are some facts about this awe-inspiring structure:
- It could easily bring you across the English Channel, which at its narrowest point is 32 kilometres wide.
- It beat the previous record-holder, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana, by 4 kilometres.
- The project cost over US$1.55 billion and took four years to build.
- There are more than 5,200 pillars supporting the structure.
- The bridge’s underwater non-sealing concrete jacket is the first of its kind.
- It has a capacity of more than 30,000 cars a day.
It might not be the world’s longest bridge for much longer as work has begun on another bridge in China, to link Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macau. Originally targetted to be opened by this year, technical difficulties in building the underwater tunnel portion has led to an indefinite delay.