The world's longest sea-crossing bridge is now open to traffic. Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the marvel of infrastructure, officially called the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge, on Tuesday during a ceremony in the southern city of Zhuhai.
CNN reported the bridge cost $20 billion to construct and better connects mainland China with the Hong Kong and Macau territories. Both territories are semi-autonomous from the central government of China, but the 34-mile-long bridge brings them closer. The bridge will help tourists and commuters to travel the region with greater ease.
But motorists can't simply pass through. Private car owners will need a special permit to travel on the bridge. Otherwise, motorists will have to park their cars and take a shuttle bus or hire a private driver to carry them across the bridge. A single trip costs $8 or $10.
The Hong Kong–Macau–Zhuhai bridge becomes one of the world's longest bridges of any kind. The United States cracks the top nine with just one bridge—the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana. The causeway measures 24 miles long, or ten miles shorter than the new Chinese bridge. The world's longest bridge, the Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge, is also within China and covers 102 miles of railway.
Far-spanning bridges are nothing new, but China is home to most of them. One proposal from 2015 called for a Trans-Eurasian Belt Development bridge to span London to New York City. Russia proposed the intercontinental bridge, which would also connect the United States and Russia via the Bering Strait. The original proposal noted a drive from London to New York City would span nearly 13,000 miles.
Since 2015, there hasn't been any news suggesting that such a bridge and superhighway will come to life, however.