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Pingtan cross-strait bridge connects its main fairway

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-06-06 11:12

The Pingtan cross-strait road-rail bridge linking downtown Fuzhou with Pingtan connects its main fairway, June 5, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

FUZHOU - The Pingtan cross-strait road-rail bridge connected its main fairway from both ends on Wednesday morning, marking a decisive step towards the opening of the bridge.

Yuanhong fairway, which spans 532 meters, allows for the two-way passage of 50,000-tonne-class freighters. The fairway bridge is a steel truss hybrid girder cable-stayed bridge.

The bridge spans across the extremely rough sea off the coast of Southeast China, a region that sees strong winds all year round and treacherous ocean currents.

"We try every means to reduce the time of on-site construction because only 120 days of the year are suitable for construction," said Liu Zhijun, chief commander of the project.

Liu said the bridge was even more difficult to build than the newly-accomplished Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea bridge, due to the notoriously strong winds, choppy waters and rugged seabed in the region.

The road-rail bridge has a six-lane expressway on the top and a high-speed railway at the bottom, which is designed to support bullet trains traveling as fast as 200 kph.

All sections of the bridge will be connected in September, followed by track laying, orchestrated testing and debugging.

The bridge is expected to be open to traffic by the second half of next year.

With a full length of 16.34 km, the bridge connects Pingtan Island and four nearby islets to the mainland. Upon completion, the bridge will shorten travel between Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, and Pingtan, an island about 126 km away from Taiwan.

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