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Bridge is a world-record breaker
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The record-breaking Sutong Bridge linking Suzhou and Nantong in Jiangsu Province is now officially open, and will cut the traveling time from Shanghai to Nantong to one hour from the previous three.

The 32.4-kilometer bridge, the longest cable-stayed crossing in the world, will serve as a major land link between Jiangsu Province and Shanghai and promote economic growth in the Yangtze River Delta.

Construction of the six-lane bridge began in June 2003 and finished on May 12.

The 7.89-billion-yuan (US$1.15 billion) structure has an 8,146-meter section above the Yangtze while its main span measures 1,088 meters, surpassing Japan's Tataro Bridge which has an arch of 890 meters.

The bridge has the world's largest and deepest foundation covering an area equal to a soccer field that is about 300 meters below the river level.

The concrete tower on the bridge stands 300.4 meters high, again outshining the Tataro's 224-meter steel tower.

Sutong Bridge also has the world's longest single stayed cable at 577 meters.

The bridge joins the national highway system on the both banks.

The journey between Shanghai and Nantong now only takes one hour, but previously it took almost four hours, including a ferry trip.

The bridge had a month-long trial run before its official opening, which saw a daily flow of 20,000 to 30,000 vehicles, Xinhua news agency reported.

About 10.7 million people visited Nantong last year, said Zhou Xiaoping, an official with the Jiangsu tourism bureau.

(Shanghai Daily July 1, 2008)

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