The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge is 42.5 kilometres (26.4 mi) long and cuts the distance between Qingdao and Huangdao by 31 kilometres (19 mi). Opened in 2011, the structure is the world’s longest bridge over water. The bridge took four years to build, and employed at least 10,000 people. 450,000 tons of steel and 2.3 million cubic meters of concrete were used in the construction of the bridge, which was designed by the Shandong Gausu Group. It is designed to be able to withstand severe earthquakes, typhoons, and collisions with ships.
• 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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