By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Cities
Over land or over water, China is now home to the world's longest bridges.
Over land or over water, China is officially home to the world's longest bridges.
On Thursday, Chinese officials announced the opening of the Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Railway, which consists of the 102-mile long Danyang–Kunshan Grand bridge and the 71-mile long Tianjin Grand Bridge -- the two longest in the world.
Officials also unveiled the world's longest sea bridge, a 26-mile expanse of steel and concrete that stretches from Qingdao to Huangdao. Both achievements were celebrated in ceremonious fashion, with live bands and an appearance by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, to demonstrate the country's commitment to ensuring that a massive infrastructure will be in place to support its rapid economic growth.
Work on the Jiaozhou Bay bridge began in 2008 with two teams constructing the bridge from opposite ends. Engineers used computer modeling to map out how the bridge would connect with the utmost precision. Xinhua, the country's official news agency, estimates the bridge's total cost at $2.3 billion dollars. So if the calculations were a bit off, you'd have on your hands some very costly errors.
"The computer models and calculations are all very well but you can't really relax until the two sides are bolted together," said one engineer, "Even a few centimeters out would have been a disaster."
There were also some safety concerns but Chinese officials reassured the public that the bridge is sturdy enough to withstand earthquakes up to magnitude 8, typhoons and ships that might crash into the pillars carrying a force of 300,000 tons.
However, management representing the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana, the previous record holder, isn't relinquishing its spot in the Guinness Book of World Records that easily.
According to Channel 4 News:
Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said his bridge, built in the 1950s and traversing the Lake Pontchartrain in a straight 24-mile line, deserves to hold on to the title.
Dufrechou told the UK's Channel 4 News that while he agreed the Qingdao bridge is a "magnificent bridge", he believes the 54-year-old Causeway bridge still holds the record by eight miles.
Terminology appears to be at the heart of the dispute. Dufrechou maintains that because the Qingdao bridge is curved, it is using part of that curvature over the water to add to its length of 26 miles.
If you were to measure the distance from the start of the bridge to the end of the bridge as the crow flies, it would only measure a distance of 16 miles over the water, he argues. His bridge by comparison is a straight 24 miles from end to end over the water.
Even if the bridge is record-breaking, which Guinness has since made official, Dufrechou isn't giving the Chinese engineering team much credit, going so far as calling them "a bunch of wannabees."
But no one is disputing the record-breaking feats that has helped the high-speed rail become a reality. After four years and $33 billion dollars, the 204 mph bullet train is able to shuttle commuters between Beijing and Shanghai in less than four hours, a trip that normally took 10 hours by train, according to Time Magazine.
And as impressive as all this sounds, nothing compares to seeing a structure of this caliber with your very own eyes:
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Jul 4, 2011
China has full employment because the whole nation profits from these wonderful projects - not some fat guy- like in the US.
What happens when you are halfway across and run out of gas, or break down? I saw no emergency telephones. How about lighting for night driving? Maybe it's curved to keep drivers from falling asleep? Is there a maximum and/or minimum speed limit? Do they allow fishing from the bridge? Enquiring mind wants to know...
The article dated July 5, 2011 started with a contradictory title, casting doubts about the Chinese bridge by questioning if it was the longest worldwide. Then it proceeded to scare the reader of an imminent disaster, quoting the following: ???The computer models and calculations are all very well but you can???t really relax until the two sides are bolted together,??? said one engineer, ???Even a few centimeters out would have been a disaster.??? Then to scare the public by claiming that ???There were also some safety concerns.??? Derogation goes on to this ridiculous allegation of Mr. Dufrechou: However, management representing the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana, the previous record holder, isn???t relinquishing its spot in the Guinness Book of World Records that easily. According to Channel 4 News: Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said his bridge, built in the 1950s and traversing the Lake Pontchartrain in a straight 24-mile line, deserves to hold on to the title. Finally, the article concludes with Mr. Dufrechou???s demeaning, depreciatory refusal to give the Chinese engineering team much credit, going so far as calling them ???a bunch of wannabees.??? Luckily the Chinese team didn???t need his credit or beg for it. Any child knows the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But it seems the Chinese bridge designers didn???t know this universal fact, so they curved their bridge just for fun, to tease Mr. Dufrechou and force him out of his Guinness spot. To the great disappointment of the ???anonymous engineer???, the Chinese crews working from both ends of the bridge completed the project without disaster. Likewise the safety concerns were addressed. At the time many Americans are earning their bread in China, others are struggling to get a morsel of the Chinese cake and California is saving $400m by outsourcing a Chinese company for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, an arrogant culture of insults has emerged, deliberately demeaning, degrading and derogating others to the extent of branding them as ???a bunch of wannabees.??? The question is: Will this arrogant culture of insults restore America???s lost leadership in innovation and technology as testified by leading Americans?
longs this bridge holds up the structure what has been designed for what counts and how it can stand the real test.
One more nail in our coffin/s We actively engaged in transferring our wealth and know-how to China over the past 30 or so years, because of OUR GREED. Lenin was right - "The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." I hope I'm dead by then
In all the news clips of this bridge, they only show the one section, over & over again. They need to start on one end and go to the other end, to show the whole thing. Plus did ya notice all the trash on it?
@ NoSacredCow The video footage is real aerial footage of the bridge. It may seem virtual, but it's definitely the real deal.
Don't they have real video of the bridge instead of this animation mock up? Reminds me of the Olympics opening ceremony...
MHO of course :-) Mainland Chinese Contractors have proven they are the masters of cutting corners. I've never seen more creative people. Example: In one case, a Mainland Company left out an oil pressure relief valve in a container load of small engines in order to (pocket the savings). Engines TYPICALLY ran 300 PSI cold instead of popping the relief valve at far less pressure. Imagine the stress on that oil pump. Fit an aftermarket oil filter and watch it explode :-) Manufacturer says...."Just return those engines, and we'll see if the repair qualifies to be fixed under warranty." That takes guts... Time will tell if they can afford to keep this bridge in service. Only green peas will be envious..
This general manager is a freaking loser! When you drive from point A to point B, do you measure the distance by the actual mileage or by crow flies? In case he didn't know, the oldest existing bridge was built by Chinese some 1400 years ago and still working well. Who's the wannabes?
On a project this expensive, it seems odd that the bridge would be curved so much that it takes 26 miles to cover a 16 mile gap. I could understand some curvature so that the bridge would be routed over shallower water and reduce the expense of deep caissons, but 10 miles extra seems extreme.
I enjoyed the video of the new bridge in China but found it interesting that the music would be the Agnus Dei sung in Latin.
Here is a little story for those who keep saying the US needs to build infrastructure like Chinas HSR system. They have to rebuild over 1,000 miles of HSR because of shoddy work. Now this. http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/rs-640-crore-bridge-develops-crack-in-just-13-days-70043
As BIG as the break down lanes are I'm sure there will be Broken Parts, and Missing Bolts to find at will. I would want a 10 lane 26 mile bridge where no Sow can hide. Opener up and just see what this rice burner can do. Maybe do a little drifting and hope the parts and bolts hold together. Do the chinese drive on the right side or the wrong side? Since I never venture to China I don't know. Could you please be more specific about this part of the story? Is this bridge facing East West or North SOWth? Sorry I couldn't tell.