China opens world’s longest sea-crossing bridge

China is set to open the world’s longest sea bridge after nine years of construction.

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge connects Hong Kong and Macau to the China mainland. It covers 34 miles.

It will be opened to traffic on 24 October by President Xi Jinping. Private car owners will require a special permit to use the bridge, but shuttle buses will have access.

“With the bridge, the travelling time between Hong Kong and the Western Pearl River Delta region will be shortened significantly, thereby bringing the Western Pearl River Delta region within three hours’ drive from Hong Kong,” the city’s transport secretary, Frank Chan, said, according to CNN

Built to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake, a super typhoon and strikes by super-sized cargo vessels, the bridge incorporates 400,000 tons of steel 60 times the steel used to build Eiffel Tower. The bridge which includes a 4-mile undersea tunnel is connected by two artificial islands.

It costs $20bn to build. It is estimated to be in use for 120 years. The bridge was delayed by a number of years as a result of controversies from corruption.