China’s vaulting economic ambition has set a new record with the construction of the world’s longest bridge over water.
At 26.4 miles long, the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge would easily cross the English Channel and is almost three miles longer than the previous record-holder, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in the American state of Louisiana.
The vast structure links the centre of the booming port city of Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong Province with the suburb of Huangdao, spanning the wide blue waters of Jiaozhou Bay.
Built in just four years at a cost of £5.5 billion, the sheer scale of the bridge reveals the advances made by Chinese engineers in recent years.
No longer dependent on western expertise for such sophisticated projects, the six-lane road bridge is supported by more than 5,200 columns and was designed by the Shandong Gausu Group. When it opens to traffic later this year, the bridge is expected to carry over 30,000 cars a day and will cut the commute between the city of Qingdao and the sprawling suburb of Huangdao by between 20 and 30 minutes.
At least 10,000 workers toiled in two teams around the clock to build the bridge, which was constructed from opposite ends and connected in the middle in the last few days.
Read more: telegraph