The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Thursday, 01 November 2018 00:00

World's longest bridge ready to operate

World's longest bridge located in China World's longest bridge located in China.

The longest sea bridge in the world, located in China, is ready to open.

The $20 billion bridge will connect the cities of Hong Kong and Macau to the Chinese mainland. In particular, the 55km bridge links Hong Kong's Lantau island to Zhuhai on the southern coast of Guangdong province with Macau's gambling hub which is a tourist attraction. An additional undersea tunnel has also been constructed in order to enable ship crossings between two artificial islands.

The framework of the construction is designed to withstand winds at speeds of up to 340km/h. The towers of the bridge appear to look like dolphins (to honor the Chinese white dolphin) while the road is designed to look like a snake.

The construction of the bridge was highly criticized in Hong Kong since the beginning of its conception. Some residents state that it is an inadequate use of taxpayer funds while others believe that the purpose of the bridge is to bring the autonomous regions closer to China. Eddie Chu, pro-democracy lawmaker, commented: "It is a politically driven mega-project without urgent need." Moreover, a competitive project, that will lower the traffic on the bridge by 25% at the end of 2020s, is another cause to doubt the usefulness of the construction.

Interestingly, private cars must apply for a special permit in order to use the passage. Freight vehicles and busses will mostly use the bridge but no public transport will be available.

Despite being an industry breakthrough, the project was not flawless. In the beginning, it was planned to open in 2016 but delays, budget overruns and safety issues occurred. During the construction, 9 workers died while 200 were injured. In 2018, 6 subcontractors were fined for putting workers in danger.


Read 329 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 November 2018 16:39

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