China opens world’s longest bridge over water

Zachary Roth

After four years and the pouring of 81 million cubic feet of concrete, the Jiaozhou Bay bridge is finally ready.

China opened the world's longest bridge over water Thursday, linking the eastern port city of Qingdao to Huangdao island--a span of 26.4 miles.

You can see more photos here, and some vital stats are below:

• The structure used 81 million cubic feet of concrete, and 450,000 tons of steel--enough for 65 Eiffel Towers.
• It's supported by more than 5,000 pillars.
• It's 110 feet wide.
• At least 10,000 people are reported to have worked on building the bridge, in two teams that labored around the clock.
• Estimates of the cost vary, but some put it as high as $8.8 billion, and even China's government admits it was more than $1 billion.
• It's more than 2.5 miles longer than the previous longest bridge over water, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana.
• It's reportedly expected to carry more than 30,000 cars a day, starting today.

The United States has a major bridge project of its own in the works. Two dozen steel modules that will be part of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge are currently being constructed--in Shanghai.

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