China?s Hangzhou Bay Trans-oceanic Bridge is one of the masterpieces of modern architecture. It is the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world - 36 kilometres - and comes with a price tag of 11.8 billion yuan (US$1.70 billion). Opened in May 2008 some 600 Chinese engineers draftsmen architects and designers spent 9 years on planning preparation and design of the bridge. It is an S-shaped stayed-cable bridge linking Ningbos Cixi county in the south to Jiaxing in the north. The Bridge has a 6-lane motorway which shaves 120 kms off the driving journey between Shanghai and Ningbo. There are also 2 extra lanes 13 reserved for backup and emergency use.
Hotel & Observatory tower in middle of Hangzhou Bay Bridge
What is so unique about the Hangzhou Bay Bridge is that it has a 10000 sq. metre service centre right in its middle. The centre has a restaurant petrol kiosk hotel conference rooms and a lookout tower from where visitors can observe the extraordinary tide and waves of Hangzhou Bay. The service centre is like an artificial island which rests on piers to avoid obstructing the sea current in the Bay. Two public parks are also being planned on either side of the bridge. Hangzhou Bay is known for it?s tides and waves - a natural wonder and a major tourist attraction. The waves move at speeds reaching 30 kph and at times sound like the roar of thunder. The S-shaped bridge was specially designed and built to withstand typhoon and hurricane weather.