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China's Megabridges Across the Pearl River Delta

Updated on May 5, 2013

There is sort of a race within two Chinese areas to be the regional dominant in business affairs- the Shenzhen-Zhongsham and Hong Kong - Zhuhai bridge projects. Both cross the Pearl River Delta.

This area is home to 60 million people, it is China's breadbasket accounting for 30% of China's exports. Both areas are rivals. Both Shenzhen-Zhuhai are in the "special economic zones" known for more western capitalistic economies like Hong Kong. Spurring the need for megabridges are lower labor costs and cheaper land not found in the areas of Shenzhen and HK.

The megabridges when completed will cut the travel time to from four hours to just 45 minutes. That is significant as is their construction. The bridge from HK to Zhuhai is a wonder, being 26 miles long costing $9 billion with six lanes including a 4 mile under the sea tunnel! Not to be out done, the Shenzhen to Zhongshan bridge is 31 miles long with eight lanes.

Both bridges will be the longest in the world when completed in 2016 and 2021. Both are modeled after the American 20 mile suspension bridge across the Chesapeake Bay that connects Virginia Beach with Delmarva Peninsula.

The construction industry, as a whole in China, consumes 50% of the world's concrete and 35% of its steel.

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