NINGBO, Zhejiang Province, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese engineers on Tuesday oversaw the connection of two sides of a 36-kilometer-long bridge, the world's longest sea crossing structure.
Workers fixed the last steel beam to the bridge spanning Hangzhou Bay, near Shanghai, linking Haiyan of Jiaxing City to Cixi of Ningbo city in Zhejiang Province, east China.
The bridge will cut the length of the road trip from Shanghai to Ningbo by 120 km when it opens to traffic in August 2008. It is designed to last 100 years.
The bridge, with a 32-km section spanning the sea, is a cable-stayed structure built at a cost of 11.8 billion yuan (1.42 billion U.S. dollars).
Private investors funded almost 30 percent of the project, the first time China's private sector has invested in a major public infrastructure project in the country.
Construction of the six-lane bridge, which will have a speed limit of 100 km per hour, began in November 2003.
Workers will finish the road paving by the end of the November.
The bridge was a key part of east China's freeway network and represented advanced technologies in bridge building, said Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan in a congratulatory letter.
Wang Yong, head of the project, said the project led to more than 250 technological innovations and engineering breakthroughs.
The project survived 17 challenges, including typhoons, sea tides and geological problems, during construction, said Wang.
The bridge, a shortcut between Zhejiang and Shanghai, would greatly alleviate traffic flow in the booming Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo triangle, said Xue Zhen'an, deputy director of Zhejiang Provincial Traffic Bureau.
It would also help boost economic integration and development in the Yangtze River Delta, which covers almost 100,000 sq km of land in Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu and was home to 72.4 million people, said Xue.
The base of the bridge was reinforced and efforts would be made to improve navigation and bridge management to prevent it from being hit by ships, said Lu Zhongda, chief engineer of the project.
A section of the Jiujiang Bridge in south China's Guangdong Province collapsed after it was hit by a boat loaded with sand on June 19. The bodies of seven of the nine people missing after the bridge collapsed have been recovered.
World's longest sea bridge bestrides
NINGBO, June 26 (Xinhua) -- A grand ceremony will be held on Tuesday
afternoon to mark the linking of the two ends of a trans-oceanic bridge that
spans Hangzhou Bay near Shanghai on the east China coast, according to its
The spectacular 36-km-long Hangzhou Bay Bridge starts
at Jiaxing, near Shanghai, and ends at Cixi, about 70 km from Ningbo city in
Zhejiang Province. Full story
Hangzhou Bay Bridge's ends set to link
BEIJING, June 26 -- The two halves of the Hangzhou
Bay Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea span, are to be linked today after
more than three years of construction. Full story
World's longest bridge span connects
over Yangtze River
NANJING, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The two ends of the
bridge with the world's longest span were connected over China's Yangtze River
on Monday. Full story