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China builds world’s longest sea bridge (video)

Sun, 03 Jul 2011 00:00:00 -0700

Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge - world's longest sea bgridge

We’ve got some decent bridges in the UK. Some are pretty – Tower Bridge – and some are more practical, like the Queen Elizabeth II Dartford crossing.

Some of our bridges even seem quite big, by UK standards. The Dartford bridge makes it possible to drive around the M25 and get from Essex to Kent without using the Blackwall Tunnel or the Woolwich Ferry. And it’s got to be a half a mile long, and it took three years to complete.

All of which pales in to complete insignificance when you compare it to the newly-opened Qindao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China, which extends to a mammoth 26.4 miles in length – probably fifty times the length of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at Dartford – yet took just a year longer to complete.

The Qindao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge connects the urban part of Qingadao with the less populous are of Huangdao and cost around £1.4 billion to build, which seems something of a bargain when the Darford Bridge cost £200 million.

You’d have thought the Chinese would only have embarked on such a mammoth project if the bridge was a way to save an otherwise massive round-trip to get round the water obstacle. In fact, the new bridge only saves a 20 mile round trip, cutting about 20 minutes off journey times

Unsurprisingly, the Qindao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge has been recognised by Guinness as the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world, although there are dissenters to that claim.

The Americans – or at least the good Burghers of Louisiana – dispute that this is the world’s longest bridge because it curves, so in their odd logic that means it’s shorter as it’s only 16 miles as the crow flies from one end to the other. Which is a bit like saying the 400M track event doesn’t count as you’ve gone nowhere.

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway on the other hand goes in a straight line across water covering around 24 miles from beginning to end.

Pontchartrain Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou calls the Chinese a ‘Bunch of wannabes” and goes on to say that the Causeway ”…brings pride to the region. Like all Americans, you want to be the best of the best.” Sadly for Mr Dufrechou, they no longer are. The Chinese are.

But then the Chinese probably own Louisiana anyway. Along with much of the rest of America. Or however much of the US of A a trillion dollar or so buys these days.

By Cars UK