China Built Longest Sea Crossing Bridge Ever

image: South China Morning Post

Many have an impression, there’s nothing on earth that China can’t do. Strengthening their belief a little more, China has now built the longest sea-crossing bridge on earth. The 34 mile (55 km) long bridge will look like a bitomin snake crawling in the sea when you see it from the sky.

The bridge will connect the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. After completing the construction work, the bridge is now waiting to be opened in this summer.

There was not less controversy over the bridge which was first proposed to be constructed in 2003. The gigantic spans made by concrete and steel not only represents the Chinese ability to build record making and breaking structures, it is also a symbol of the country’s growing geo-political influence over the region.

For the last few years, tensions have been growing between mainland China and Hong Kong, Taiwan. Relations are tensed with Japan and South Korea too. China’s aggressive attitude toward South China Sea became a headache issue for other neighboring countries of the region. In this scenario, this bridge is being seen as a symbol of China’s grand geo-political ambition.

Comparison among world’s longest bridges (CNN)
Comparison among world’s longest bridges (CNN)

One decade ago the government of China took a master plan to massively develop the country’s Greater Bay Region. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is a part of it. The country is hoping to convert the region as like San Fransisco, New York or Tokyo in technological and economical advancements.Around 68 million people in 21800 square miles (56500 square km) area live in the Greater Bay Area located in the center of Southern China. Total 11 cities including Hong Kong, Macau and 9 others in Guangdong province are situated in this bay area. The population and area of this region is respectively entire China’s 5% and 1%. But significantly, the share of China’s GDP of this region is 12%! This indicates economically how important this region is to the Chinese authority. If you consider the Greater Bay Area as a country, then it is the 11th biggest economy in the world.Though the master plan was taken a decade ago in 2009, for some practical reasons it couldn’t be achieved by now. Such as, there are different legal systems in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. Citizen carry different passports and identity cards. They speak in two different languages (Cantonese and Mandarin).The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is a step to squeeze this gap. When the bridge will be opened for the public in a few days, the traveling distance among these cities will be reduced to 30 minutes from 3 hours.The bridge will bring a wave in good transports too. Till now which was conducted through air and sea only.The newly built bridge will also change the tourism scenario of the region dramatically. Everyday, a hue number of people visit Hong Kong from.mainland China, some for shopping, some for just traveling. Macau has an empire of casinos in it. Macau is infact called the ‘gambling capital’ of the world. In greater China region, gambling is officially legal only in Macau. On the other side, the mainland City of Zhuhai is called the ‘Florida of China’ for it’s vast greeneries. Nowadays it is becoming a very popular family friendly tourist destination. The local authority too is spending a lot to build modern holiday resorts, theme parks, golf courses to boost tourism.

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge diagram (CNN)
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge diagram (CNN)

The Architectural Feat

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is build In such a way that can bear a magnitude 8 earthquake, a super typhoon or strikes by giant cargo vessels. Total 400,000 tons of steel have been used for it’s construction.The most difficult part of the entire project was the construction of the submerged tunnel. The 4 mile (6.7 km) long tunnel goes through the Pearl River Delta, which has one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. Each day approximately 4000 passenger and container vessels pass through this area. The tunnel has run between two artificial islands, each has an area of 1 million square feet and located in relatively shallow waters.After all these heckles, when the bridge will start functioning within few days, the Chinese government is hoping that the economic prosperity of the region will overcome many of the neighboring regions’.

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