Tuesday, 10 April 2012

New Bridge News

Sexy Bridge
We bloody love a bridge here at Cold Ghetto Towers, well I do, the other two and the bird and the monkey can fuck right off if they don’t quite frankly, but I bloody love a bridge.

You may remember that I told you all about the Baluarte bridge that some Mexicans built that spans a deep ravine in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains, that took the title of the world’s highest bridge from one spanning a gorge in Southern France, that stands some 403m from the bit at the bottom. The bridge forms the backbone of a new road network aimed at connecting Mexico’s bleak, cactus riddled, deserty interior with the Pacific coast (and what fun we had with that as well). We then looked at a lovely bridge that spans Tokyo bay, which links up the big bit of Tokyo with the main shipping container port, which was designed to knock many minutes of boring driving time off a journey between the two islands.

Well I thought that was that, but it turns out, that not unlike many other things in the modern world, the Chinese have gotten involved in some bridge building of their own, and as is the way with the global juggernaut that is modern China they’ve only gone and built a fucking whopper.

The Anzhaite Long-span (they aren’t joking there) Suspension Bridge in Jishou, Hunan province in the middle bit of China is a big red monster of a bridge. At 1,102 ft high and 3,858 ft across it automatically becomes not only the world’s highest bridge but the world’s longest suspension bridge as well. No bad for a days work. You can’t say that the Chinese lack ambition or an ability to see the bigger picture, if the rotten Tory/LibDem coalition government we’ve got in Britain had a gorge to span we’d end up with a rickety, shit bridge that was made out of stuff that you throw into a skip, it would cost £10,000,000,000 to build, you’d be charged £300 just to cross it and it would be built by Michael Gove’s brother.

Ooohhhh, pretty bridge
But back to the bridge in China, the Anzhaite Long-span Suspension Bridge has been built to cross the Dehang canyon, a very big canyon in the middle of China, and is designed to cut driving time between the two sides from 30 minutes down to little over 1 minute, and because it’s a four lane motorway, and because it has a pedestrian level under the road anyone can go and look at the spectacular views of the canyon from inside a cloud, pretty!

Building of the bridge started back in 2007 and although the main structure of the bridge was up last year the road still had to be laid and then there were stress tests and that sort of Health & Safety thing to consider because the last thing the Chinese want is to open a brand spanking new bridge only for it to fall down and kill thousands of unsuspecting, trusting Chinese motorists.

The bridge also lights up at night so if you’re tempted to go to the pub in one of the little villages that sit in the basin of the canyon and you have one too many sherbets, stagger home pissed on one night when it’s all a bit pea-soupy and you’ve forgotten that the bridge is there you might think you’re being attacked by a UFO.

The bridge is actually the fourth suspension bridge to span the massive Dehang Canyon and is part of a 65-kilometre road, which also has 18 tunnels under mountains, which is known as the Jishou-Chadong Expressway.

Yummy Bridge
But if that wasn’t enough the Chinese also have the longest bridge in the world, the Danyang Kunshan Grand Bridge, which is more than a frankly mind staggering 100 miles long, which is part of the Beijing-Shanghai high speed railway and which was completed and opened for business two years ago. Part of the 102.4 miles of massively big train bridge actually crosses a 5.6 mile lake which is very impressive but we know bridges go over water, I told you all about the one in Tokyo, except that isn’t the longest bridge over water, it’s just a very pretty bridge, neither is that bridge between Sweden and Denmark the longest bridge to span water, because the longest bridge to span water is in, you’ve guessed it, China.

The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge is 26.4 miles of water spanning bridge loveliness, although only a mere 15.8 miles of the bridge actually spans water, the bridge itself is big enough that it could link England to France (of course we don’t really want that and we’d prefer it if the stinky French tunnelled in). In what seems like a yearly event in China this big bridge was finished last year at a cost of $1.5billion and it took 10,000 people four years to build it as they bolted together 5,000 pillars, 450,000 tons of steel, 2.3 million cubic meters of concrete and laid down six traffic lanes.

The design of the bridge means that is expected to be able to withstand earthquakes, typhoons and drunken ship captains clobbering into one of the massive stanchions that hold it up, and just to prove that New China is all about choices, they gave the Chinese motorist the option of using a tunnel as well because on the same day the bridge was opened the Qing-Huang Tunnel also opened and became a whole new way of seeing nothing as you cross Jiaozhou Bay, and that’s nearly six miles long so that’s quite a lot of nothing.

Both the bridge and the tunnel are both engineering marvels that help the Chinese motorist span Jiaozhou Bay by connecting the Huangdao District with the city of Qingdao all of which is in Shandong Province.

So there you go, three big bridges, all in China. Nice.

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