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China opens world's longest cable-stayed bridge

Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 - 00:37

July 20 - The world's longest and widest multi-pylon, cable-stayed bridge opens to traffic in east China after over four years of construction work. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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The world's biggest multi-pylon cable-stayed bridge opened to traffic in eastern China on Friday (July 19). The Jiaxing-Shaoxing Sea-Crossing Bridge, which stretches 10 kilometres across the Hangzhou Bay in Zhejiang Province, took over four years to complete, designers said. The main 10-kilometre stretch across the Qiantang river estuary has six masts and cost over 6.4 billion yuan (1 billion U.S. dollars), designers said. The bridge, which is the second to be built over the Hangzhou Bay, will halve the driving time from the city of Shaoxing to the eastern financial hub of Shanghai, the state-run Xinhua news agency said. The head of construction for the main body of the bridge, Lin Daojin, could himself enjoy the drive across after his team successfully overcame significant challenges. "The Jiaxing-Shaoxing Bridge is located in an area where the tide of the Qiantang River is stronger. The bridge is long and the tide is turbulent, so it presented a huge challenge for our designers. Sometimes we say that this is a no-go zone for building a bridge. When building this bridge, one problem was that we needed to make sure we protected the tide of Qiantang River from being effected by the bridge. But on the other hand, we also needed to control the risk that the tide poses to the bridge," he said. Commuters were already feeling the benefits of the bridge, which is known as the 'Jia-shao Bridge' for short. "It's pretty convenient now that the Jia-shao Bridge is open to traffic. I come to Haining and Jiangyin often for my work. After the opening of the Jia-shao Bridge, it takes me just over ten minutes to get to Jianshan from Shangyu. When I used to go through Hangzhou, it would take at least an hour. The distance is considerably shortened and my work is now much more convenient," said 32-year-old Sun Feng. "I feel very surprised driving across the Jia-shao bridge for the first time. The construction on the Shaoxing side is magnificent. And it's much faster than before, and I can avoid the traffic jams in Hangzhou. I have always driven this route, and now I can save a lot of time," said 31-year-old Xia Feng. Footage provided by Shaoxing TV showed the bridge's official inauguration on Thursday (July 18), when the first vehicle pushed through a ribbon held up by traditional Chinese lion dancers. The bridge is just one in a number of huge infrastructure projects the world's second largest economy has completed in recent years. In 2011, China completed the a 42.5 kilometre-long sea bridge in eastern Shandong province, which Guinness World records has recognised as the longest bridge over water on earth. Infrastructure spending leapt in China since 2009, when the government rolled out a 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion U.S. dollar), two-year stimulus package to counter the global economic downturn.

China opens world's longest cable-stayed bridge

Saturday, Jul 20, 2013 - 00:37

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