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Hangzhou Bridge to open tomorrow
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Long-distant buses from Shanghai to the cities of Ningbo, Cixi, Yuyao and Zhoushan in Zhejiang Province will begin to use the world's longest sea bridge from Friday, a Shanghai newspaper reported today.

The bridge will open to the public at 11:58 pm tomorrow after an opening ceremony and trial operation in the morning, Shanghai Morning Post said, citing Ningbo traffic police.

Tickets prices for buses from Shanghai to Ningbo will drop to 90 yuan (US$12.86) from 110 yuan, Shanghai Nanzhan Long Distance Passenger Transportation Company said on its Website.

From May 15, passengers can buy the round-trip tickets from both Shanghai Nanzhan and Ningbo Nanzhan Long Distance Passenger Transportation Company, the report added.

The 36-kilometer Hangzhou Bay Bridge starts at Jiaxing, near Shanghai, and ends at Cixi, about 70 kilometers from Ningbo.

It will reduce the 400-kilometer drive between Hangzhou and Shanghai by 120 kilometers and shave about an hour off the trip.

To ensure the safe running of the bridge, operators have made 15 emergency plans for the elements including heat, rain, wind, ice and snow, Life Ningbo newspaper said today.

Operators will set speed limits or dispatch police vehicles to guide vehicles in bad weather.

Under extreme weather conditions, the bridge will be closed, the Ningbo report said.

For example, if the air temperature is higher than 37 degrees Celsius or the road surface temperature is higher than 70 degrees, an 80kph speed limit will be enforced.

Updated weather conditions will be displayed on the bridge.

(Shanghai Daily April 30, 2008)

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