After nine years of construction and controversy, China is set to officially unveil the world’s longest sea bridge on Tuesday at a ceremony in Hong Kong.
At more than 34 miles long, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is part of a master plan to create a global science and technology hub by connecting two Chinese territories, Hong Kong and Macau (the world’s largest gambling center), to nine nearby cities.
With an economic output of $1.5 trillion, the new mega-region — known as the Greater Bay Area — is positioned to rival Silicon Valley. The plan also includes the construction of an $11 billion bullet train, which opened in September.
The bridge is expected to open to traffic on Wednesday, though only certain vehicles — shuttles, freight cars, and private cars with permits — are allowed to cross. Pedestrians and bicyclists are prohibited.
Take a look at its remarkable design below.
The $20 billion structure is 20 times as long as the Golden Gate Bridge.
The title of world’s largest sea bridge previously belonged to the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, which stretches 26.3 miles.
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is designed to last for more than a century, with the capacity to withstand major storms and earthquakes.
The structure should hold up in the face of 211 mph winds. That claim was put to the test in September, when Typhoon Mangkhut swept through Hong Kong, destroying roofs, shattering windows, and toppling trees.
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