China opened the world’s longest sea bridge, connecting Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. The 55 km long bridge took nine years to build and cost almost $20 billion. The sea crossing bridge required a creation of two artificial island in order to be completed.
The bridge also travels through the Pearl River delta in to a tunnel underneath the sea which is also a shipping lane – allows for shipping and boat traffic to move unhindered. Designed to link the cities of Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai, the crossing can also withstand earthquakes and typhoons.
The bridge was created to spur on local economic growth and to have a direct connect between China and Hong Kong. Prior to being opened the bridge suffered safety issues, with eighteen workers dying and hundreds injured the bridge was also criticized for being too costly taking nine years to build.
The long term goal of the bridge is to allow for the creation of an economic cluster between Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Macau which will also connect eleven cities and have a population of 68 million. China wants this cluster to be the innovation centre similar to Silicon Valley in the US.
Image Source: The week UK