Would You Drive on the World’s Longest Sea-Crossing Bridge?
It’s 34 miles long and includes a four-mile undersea tunnel.
While crossing the Golden Gate Bridge is certainly a bucket list experience for many, a new bridge that’s 20 times its length may have a few people balking at that opportunity.
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge—set to open this week—stretches over the Pearl River Estuary connecting three very populous areas of southern China. At 34 miles long, it’s the largest bridge-tunnel ever built, toppling the record of famous U.S. bridges like the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway (24 miles) in Louisiana and Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (17 miles).
When the bridge opens to traffic, it’ll take approximately an hour to get across. With six lanes and four tunnels—including a four-mile one designed to allow enormous shipping vessels to pass overhead—the project is an engineering feat, utilizing more than 420,000 tons of steel (enough to build 60 Eiffel Towers!).
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Between the two shorelines, four artificial islands help to prop up the structure. According to CNN, the entire marvel is designed to stand up to a magnitude 8 earthquake, a super typhoon, and strikes by super-sized cargo ships.
While we’d prefer not to be on the bridge when that testing happens, crossing the overwater wonder would certainly be a memorable experience. Some 40,000 vehicles are expected to do the commute daily, from private car owners with a special permit to pay-per-ride shuttle buses. Will you be brave enough to buy a ticket?