China's World-Beating Bridge

3 November 2018 | Posted under International News STEM

The longest sea crossing in the world has just opened to traffic in China, nine years after construction first began. It crosses 55km of sea between the cities of Hong Kong and Macau, across a large bay where the Pearl River enters the sea. It includes a 30km bridge and two artificial islands with a tunnel between them, so that ships can pass over the crossing safely.

The project cost about €17.5 billion! But is it worth it? On the plus side, it has reduced the journey between Hong Kong and Macau from four hours to 30 minutes! It will make travel and trade easier for the 68 million people who live in the region. And it has been designed to withstand earthquakes, storms and large waves.

However, the construction of the bridge was well over time and budget. Tragically, 18 workers died on the project. There have also been some environmental concerns. Experts say that it has damaged the habitats and feeding grounds of marine life in the region, including the rare Chinese white dolphin. The number of dolphins seen in Hong Kong has decreased from 148 to 47 in the past 10 years and they are now absent from the waters near the bridge.

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