Check out the bridge below!
The world’s longest sea-crossing bridge is finally open. The bridge connects Hong Kong International Airport to the mainland city of Zhuhai and the gambling city of Macau which are both across the Pearl River Delta.
President Xi Jinping himself attended the opening ceremonies for the bridge which took nearly a decade to build. It was one of the most challenging engineering projects in the world.
Spanning 34 miles, or around 20 Golden Gate bridges strung together, the bridge required nearly 420,000 tons of steel and cost over 130 billion yuan (£14 billion) apart from having taken the lives of seven workers with 129 injured during the course of its construction.
It’s built to withstand natural disasters and is reportedly good for 120 years. Two man-made islands were constructed in the middle so that an underwater tunnel could be built so that the river delta could still be used by ships.
The bridge had been plagued by delays and even corruption allegations but Chinese officials claim that the bridge will benefit businesses that will see their travel times cut by as much as 60%. It will be a key component in the government’s vision for a Greater Bay Area. This plan covers 21,800 square miles and will closely connect 11 cities in southern China.
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan said that travel time between Zhuhai and Hong Kong International airport is expected to be cut from four hours to around 45 minutes. This will help facilitate both commerce and tourism from that side of the river delta to and from international destinations.
In a press briefing on Friday, he said, “It is envisaged that the collaboration between Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao in terms of trade, finance, logistics, and tourism will be strengthened.”
Whether those figures and expectations are accurate remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure, this new sea-crossing bridge has definitely earned its place as one of the engineering marvels of the world.
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