The six-lane Hangzhou Bay Bridge took five years and $1.7bn to build [Reuters]

China has formally opened what it says is the world's longest cross-sea bridge.

 

Measuring 36km, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge links the cities of Shanghai and Ningbo.

 

It cuts the journey between the two key commercial hubs by 120 kilometres.

 

The bridge cuts 120km off the journey
between Shanghai and Ningbo [Reuters]
The six-lane bridge was built as part of a plan to develop the Yangtze river delta region, one of China's richest regions accounting for around 20 per cent of the country's GDP.

 

The concrete-and-steel structure, built to withstand typhoons and shifting soil conditions, is long enough to link the UK and France across the English Channel.

 

The project cost $1.7bn and took nearly five years to complete.

 

The bridge is slightly shorter than the 38.4km Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge in the southern US, which is often billed as the world's longest.

 

Just under a third of the project's financing came from private sources, said to be a first for such a large infrastructure project in China.

 

China is spending heavily on infrastructure to maintain its double-digit rates of economic growth.

Source: Agencies