China Begins on Record-Breaking Bridge

Tue June 10, 2003 - National Edition

BEIJING (AP) China has begun building one of the world’s longest bridges south of Shanghai, adding to an ambitious series of dams, railway lines and other massive construction projects.

Work on the 22-mile bridge across Hangzhou Bay began in early June , state newspapers said, adding that the bridge is to open in 2009.

Hangzhou Bay is at the center of a booming, densely populated region that includes Shanghai, the Chinese commercial capital, and the major port of Ningbo.

News reports said the $1.4-billion structure would be the longest transoceanic bridge. The Guinness Book of Records says the world’s longest bridge is the 24-mi. Second Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana.

”Construction of the new sea-crossing bridge is an indication of China’s increasing economic power,’ the official Xinhua News Agency said, citing Jin Jianming, an official in charge of the construction.

Construction began a week after engineers began filling the reservoir of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River, the world’s biggest hydroelectric project.

Other projects include the first railway linking Tibet to the rest of China. It will be among the world’s highest, crossing mountain passes at altitudes of up to 16,737 ft.

The Hangzhou Bay bridge is part of a planned 3,200-mi. (5,150 km) highway that is to link the northern province of Heilongjiang with China’s southernmost city of Sanya on Hainan, an island in the South China Sea, Xinhua said.