Hangzhou Bay Bridge, the world's longest bridge across the sea, will open to traffic on May 1, officials said in Beijing on Friday.
A view of the Hangzhou Bay Bridge in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang Province, March 20, 2008. The world's longest bridge across the sea, will open to traffic on May 1, officials said on Friday. [Xinhua]
This bridge crosses the spacious Hangzhou Bay and connects Jiaxing and Ningbo, two prosperous cities in East China’s Zhejiang Province.
Ningbo executive deputy mayor Wang Yong, who is in charge of the project told a press conference that the main body of the 36-kilometer-long bridge has been finished and 95% of the ancillary works has completed. The bridge will open to traffic on May 1, eight months ahead of the schedule.
Ningbo plans to charge each passing small vehicle 80 yuan (US$ 11.4), pending the approval from price regulators, Wang said.
The bridge will help cut the driving distance between Shanghai and Ningbo by 120 kilometers, thus greatly improving the transportation network in the Yangtze River Delta.
Some 40,000 cars are expected to pass the bridge each day after May 1, and eventually to reach a maximum of 100,000 in 2026.
The bridge has three driveways in both directions with a designed speed limit of 100km/h. The expected life span is 100 years.
What is also remarkable about the bridge is private firms' investment, the first time for major public infrastructure projects in China. These companies contributed about 30% of the total 11.8 billion yuan (US$1.69 billion).
(China Daily March 30, 2008)