On 1 July, 2011 China unveiled another piece of their engineering excellence, the longest sea bridge in the world, Qingdao Bay Bridge. Read on to find more information.
Qingdao Haiwan Bridge, stretches across the Jiaozhou bay, Northern port city of Qingdao and industrial suburb of Huangdao. The starting point of the bridge is the Qingdao-Lanzhou Highway and it ends at Red Cliff, which links to the Jinan-Qingdao Expressway. The deputy director of the city’s traffic management committee, Han Shouxin said that the 26.3 miles long sea-bridge will shorten the route by 18.6411 miles, shortening the drive from 40 minutes to 20-25 minutes. It took about 4 years to build this bridge. The project was complex as the bridge is located in the frozen sea region of north China which faces natural freezing 50 times a year, approximately. Protecting the marine environment as the sea is rich in marine resources and preventing the bridge from erosion were other complexities.
Main Features of The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge
1. The bridge stretches to 26.3 miles in length, including the Cangkou Channel Bridge and Red Island Channel Bridge which spans for 260 meters and 120 meters respectively. They are rare cable-stayed bridges.
2. The main path is 17.4275 miles long and the actual sea-crossing length is 15.6405 miles .
3. The width of the bridge is 35 meters and the height of the bridge is 149 meters which is equal to a 50 story building.
4. Qingdao Haiwan Bridge’s main track starts at 200 meters form the Licun River Bridge of Jiaozhou Bay Express Way at Qingdao side and ends at Huangdao Side, express way at 0.621371 miles and its thickness is 1 meter.
5. It has 6 two-way lanes and its driving speed is to be maintained at 49.7096 miles/hr.
6. The bridge has maintained a dual limitation from the ship and the airplane. The highest navigation point for a ship is 49 meters, a width of 260 meters and the wheel can pass 10,000 tons. The navigation point for the airline is limited to 120 meters.
7. It ranks first in the number of pillars used, which is above 5000.
8. The number of workers required for the construction were 20,000 and the cost of the project is estimated to US$ 2.3 billion.
9. The punching bored concrete piles and the cushion caps used are 5127 and 1258, respectively and ranks first in the world.
10. The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge has adapted low pile cap and is first in the world to do so.
11. It was also the first project to have used the non-bottom sealing technology in concrete pouring jacket, which prevents the jacket from cracking.
12. The new anti-erosion method system, has been used to construct the bridge, which will prevent the bridge from erosion because of salinity, industrial waste, freeze thawing and typhoon. It is also said to be earthquake and typhoon proof.
13. It has set a new domestic construction record by adopting the rotary drilling unit offshore construction Φ2.5m piles based on the GPS measurement and orientation system of RTK and VRS technology.
14. The 4D construction management system of Qingdao Haiwan Bridge has been formed by the 4D technology and the 4D Management and is the first of its kind in China.
15. Life of the bridge is marked as 100 years.
When Did The Project Start?
Research on the project started in 1993 and took about 14 years before the construction actually started. It took about 4 years to construct the entire bridge.
Why Was it Made?
This bridge was a basically a vision seen 25 years back keeping in mind the increasing economic activity and population. Also the Qingdao region is considered as the national tourism city of China and Huangdao is a suburban region which is moving towards becoming the next booming economic region of China. Huangdao has become a hub for industries like electronic appliances, building material, pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals. This bridge is certainly going to expand the trade in these regions and also make trade more viable.
The traffic on the bridge is currently regulated on trail basis and heavy commercial good vehicles are banned for the time being. Cars are currently allowed to plow the 110ft-wide highway across the bay free of charge, but after a month, a trip on the bridge will cost 50 yuan ($7.75 USD).
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The tender of the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge project was won by Shandong High-speed Group through the public tender issued to the world in the form of franchising. The investment return is estimated to be 15 years for this project. The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge is estimated to have large social as well as economic benefits.
The day Qingdao Haiwan Bridge was inaugurated, China also unveiled the 5.88438 miles long under-sea tunnel, Qing-Huang Tunnel. It is located in the Shandong Province and runs parallel to the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge connecting the Qingdao and the Huangdao regions. The length of the tunnel is 4.34959 miles and the lowest part of the tunnel is 81 meters below the sea level. The bridge and the tunnel were planned together as the Jiaozhou Bay Connection Project.
The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge is certainly an accomplishment of excellent engineering and vision. China is already a home to many of the longest bridges in the world. Tsing Ma Bridge, Hangzhou Bay Bridge, Xihoumen Bridge, Runyang Bridge, Jiangyin Suspension Bridge, Huangpu Bridge Balinghe Bridge, Yichang Bridge, Si Du River Bridge and Sutong Yangtze River Bridge are a few to name. China with its continuous evaluation of innovative methods and technologies will continue to emerge as a growing economy where huge figures of population, poverty and illiteracy cannot combat its growth.