China inaugurated the world's longest cross-sea bridge on Thursday as part of its effort to boost economic integration and development in the Yangtze River Delta.
The opening ceremony of the 36-kilometer bridge, which spans Hangzhou Bay near Shanghai, was held on Thursday afternoon and will open to traffic on a trial basis at midnight.
Trucks, overloaded vehicles and vehicles that carry dangerous chemicals will be barred from passing through the bridge during the trial operation period in a bid to ensure smooth traffic and safety of visitors.
"The bridge has become well-known and is expected to attract many visitors," said Jin Jianming, deputy chief commander of the bridge construction project.
The bridge links Haiyan, Jiaxing City to Cixi, Ningbo City in Zhejiang Province.
It will cut the length of the road trip from Shanghai to Ningbo, a busy port, by 120 km. It is designed to last 100 years.
The bridge, with a 32-km section spanning the sea, is a cable-stayed structure built at a cost of 11.8 billion yuan (1.69 billion U.S. dollars).
Private investors funded almost 30 percent of the project, the first time China's private sector had invested in a major public infrastructure project in the country.