China is opening the world’s longest sea bridge — and it contains enough steel to build 60 Eiffel Towers

China is the midst of several megaprojects that will transform its cities.

Over the next decade, China plans to encourage 250 million people (29 times New York City’s population) to move into the country’s growing megacities. To cope with that huge migration, the country has invested tens of billions of dollars in giant infrastructure projects.

This summer, China will open its most ambitious megaproject yet, a bridge that connects Hong Kong, Macau, and the mainland’s southern city of Zhuhai. Stretching 34 miles, it’s the world’s longest cross-sea bridge, according to the AFP. Take a look:


Called the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the project is expected to cut travel time in half.

Source: Al Jazeera


Commuters will be able to travel across the Pearl River Estuary from Macau to Hong Kong in about an hour.

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A street in Hong Kong.
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Wikimedia Commons

Source: AFP


Here’s a map of the route:


The bridge features six lanes and four tunnels, one of which is underwater.

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Reuters

China also built four artificial islands to support the structure.


Touted as an “engineering wonder,” the bridge is made of 420,000 tons of steel — enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers.


Some sections have slight inclines.


Some 40,000 vehicles are expected to use the bridge daily, including shuttle buses running at 10-minute intervals.


Pedestrians will not be able to cross the bridge, nor will bicyclists; it’s just for cars.


Officials say the bridge will be up and running for 120 years.


The price is unclear; local outlets report its construction will cost $15 billion.

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Reuters

The project has faced controversy because of its expensive price, construction delays, alleged corruption, and worker-safety concerns. Two workers died and 19 more were charged with faking concrete-test reports.

Source: Hong Kong Free Press


Construction lasted seven years. The 2012 photo below shows artificial islands China built for the bridge near Lantau Island, in Hong Kong.


China is already home to (now the second) longest sea bridge, which spans 26.3 miles. Completed in 2011, the $1.5 billion structure links the eastern coastal city of Qingdao to the suburb of Huangdao.

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Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge is seen in Qingdao, Shandong province, in this general view taken June 27, 2011.
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Reuters

Source: NPR


The new bridge is one of two big transportation projects that will open in the region this year. By 2019, China’s high-speed rail system is set to grow by 2,180 miles.

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Hundreds of high-speed trains at a maintenance base wait to set out on the first day of the 40-day Spring Festival Travel Peak, February 1, 2018, in Wuhan, China.
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Getty Images

Source: The Telegraph