Despite the delays caused by a couple of major typhoons, the last piece of asphalt was laid on Shanghai’s Donghai Bridge yesterday, ensuring that it will be open to traffic by the end of the year. Construction work on the massive 32.5-kilometre bridge began in Luchao Harbour (on the coast of Nanhui District, south of the Pudong International Airport), in 2002. According to one report: “The major construction phase of the bridge was completed within three years while engineers said a similar effort could take as long as seven to eight years.”
Hmmm. One wonders if this means that four to five years’ worth of corners were cut.
Speaking of corners, the bridge has a couple of big ones. It was designed in the shape of an “S” in order to improve driving safety. (Perhaps to provide a challenge so that drivers stay awake). Not that there should be too many accidents: the structure will boast six lanes for traffic and is designed to flow at around 80 kilometres an hour.
All of this is very exciting. At least it would be exciting — if Donghai Bridge happened to take cars to a point break with 6-foot barrels, or a little volcanic island with mineral baths, or a golden white beach with Brazilian models in bikinis playing volleyball. Or anywhere with a bar that serves these.
No such luck. In fact, the Donghai Bridge goes to the Yangshan Deep Water Port, with lots of oily boats and shipping containers.
Still, judging from the accompanying photo of China’s latest engineering feat (snapped by Shanghaiist during a recent domestic flight), it could be a nifty place to watch the sun go down and to experience the sensation of traveling at 80 — rather than 15 — kilometres per hour once more.