The World’s Longest Sea Bridge is Strong Enough to Withstand Anything Mother Nature Can Throw at It
Two artificial islands have been built as part of this project as wellby Sidd Dhimaan, on
The world’s longest sea-crossing bridge was officially inaugurated on Tuesday at a ceremony in the southern city of Zhuhai by Chinese President Xi Jinping and will be open for public use on the 24th. The project came at a cost of $20 billion and connects China with a few remote territories of Hong Kong and Macau. Wondering why are we talking about it? Well, the bridge is 34 miles long, is exceptionally strong, and will be a hoot-and-a-half to drive.
The World’s Longest Bridge
The bridge took nine long years to build.
The bridge is instrumental in China's plan for a Greater Bay Area covering 21,800 square miles of southern China, and the surrounding 11 cities, including Hong Kong and Macau.
These cities are home to around 68 million people. The bridge will not be open to anyone and everyone. So, If you are hoping that you can drive the bridge on your next trip there, we’re sorry to break the news to you, but it won’t work that way. Most drivers will have to park at the Hong Kong port and take a shuttle bus. Private car owners in Hong Kong that can cross the bridge will do so only after obtaining a special permit, and those will probably be offered in limited quantity. Shuttle buses, however, will cost between $8 to $10 for a single trip depending on the time of day.
What They Had To Say
The bridge will not only shorten journey times between the cities but will also boost transport industry efficiency. According to the city’s transport secretary, Frank Chan, “With the bridge, the traveling time between Hong Kong and the Western Pearl River Delta region will be shortened significantly, thereby bringing the Western Pearl River Delta region within three hours’ drive from Hong Kong,"
A lawmaker, Claudia Mo said, "You can’t see the existing transport connections — in a literal way. But this bridge is very visible ... you can see it from the plane when you fly into Hong Kong, and it’s breathtaking. It links Hong Kong to China almost like an umbilical cord. You see it, and you know you’re linked up to the motherland."
How Strong Is It?
When you build something this humongous, it must be able to withstand all sorts of calamities. This bridge can withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake, a super typhoon, and it can even handle being struck by a super-sized cargo vessel.
The bridge is made of 400,000 tons of steel and also includes a four-mile submerged tunnel to help it avoid the busy shipping paths over the Pearl River Delta.
The tunnel runs between two artificial islands, each measuring 100,000 square meters (1 million square feet) and situated in relatively shallow waters.
It’s Not All Hunky-Dory
While it is an impressive engineering feat, the building of the bridge brought its own controversies. The Pearl River Delta is home to an endangered Chinese white dolphin population that is said to be seriously affected by massive land reclamation efforts in Hong Kong and other cities. However, the bridge seems to be a short-term plan. There was a limited demand in Hong Kong for the project because the rail links have improved tremendously in the last decade or so. Then there’s the Shenzhen-Zhongshan bridge, which once completed around 2024 is expected to cut traffic on the Zhuhai link by over 25-percent within 20 years. Some people also pointed out that despite barely any demand for the project, the Chinese government built the bridge to use as a tool to drag Hong Kong closer into China’s grip.
We will have to wait for the actual reviews from the people who have used the bridge to assess if the bridge was actually worth the time, money, and the hype. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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