Hangzhou Bay Bridge (2008) Jiaxing - Ningbo, China
At 36km (22 miles) long the Hangzhou Bay Bridge is the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world. It spans the Hangzhou Bay at the mouth of the Qiantang River as it enters the East China Sea and connects the municipal areas of Jiaxing and Ningbo in Zhejiang province.
It is a highway bridge with a cable stayed design for the main spans chosen for its strength and ability to withstand adverse conditions in an area prone to earthquakes, typhoons and strong tidal forces.
The Hangzhou Bay Bridge was first proposed in the early 1990s and it took a team of experts almost a decade to produce a suitable design to address the challenges presented by the magnitude of the project and the difficult location. Construction began in 2003 and was completed in just four years. It opened to traffic on 1st May 2008.
The crossing curves like a loose S-shape and consists of nine sections including lead roads at each end and two cable stayed navigable bridges. The northern bridge comprises a total length of 908m (2,980 ft) with a main span of 448m (1,470 ft) supported by twin diamond shaped towers. The southern bridge has just one A shaped tower and a shorter main span of 318m (1,043 ft).
The concrete and steel bridge deck is 33m (108 ft) wide and carries three lanes of traffic in each direction. More than 50,000 vehicles pay a toll to use the bridge daily and the proceeds from the tolls are expected to cover the cost of constructing the bridge, approx. $1.7bn, within 12 years.
A 10,000 sq. metre service centre called Land between the Sea and the Sky was constructed on a platform beside the middle of the bridge and opened in 2010. Facilities include a fuel station, a rest area, a restaurant, a hotel, a conference venue and a tall viewing tower to allow visitors to watch the tide movements. The platform is built on piers to avoid disrupting tides and currents.