Amazing China - Mega Projects 1
This video clip shows renovation of the Sanyuan Bridge - an important traffic corridor in Beijing. The central columns of this bridge, on a major Beijing highway, were dismantled in just six hours and cleared away within 24 hours.
Then 70 minutes later, new beams were already in place! After concreting and laying asphalt, entire construction was completed in 43 hours. Locals going to work on Monday didn't even notice the bridge had been renovated!
Foreigners are impressed by this video, commenting that comparable projects typically take years and cost dozens of times more than original estimates in their countries.
Bridge construction in China appears something of a magic trick. So China is dubbed "Infrastructure Magician."
Of the world's ten tallest bridges, eight can be found in China with five of them built in the last five years.
And here is the chart-topper, the Beipanjiang Bridge, 565 meters high, stands equivalent to a 200-storey skyscraper! So, you could put the Empire State Building under this bridge and still have enough space for a hundred more storeys!
It also has amazing "bones" - the steel-cables, which are as significant as other parts. When connecting the cables and pulling them straight, it can extend longer than the distance between Beijing and New York. No wonder an awestruck BBC reporter called it 'China's impossible engineering feat.'
Despite the complicated geology of the area, this bridge was completed in just five years. Meanwhile, a combination of various technologies were featured, including smart concrete for automatic even flow, smart checkup and data recording on bridge conditions, as well as Cloud Health Keeper to detect problems and send out alerts when necessary.
The construction was completed in such a short time with a futuristic design. How much would this cost? 150 million US dollars! For the scale of this project, it is so cost efficient that foreign countries are bursting with envy.
But if you think that's impressive, just take a look at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to be completed this November - full of fantasy and futuristic facade. During its 55-kilometer stretch, it takes traffic through an immersed tunnel, some 6,000 meters in length, between two artificial islands.
How does the tunnel balance forces of gravity and buoyancy? How come it doesn't sink? And how was it built undersea? Whatever the complex construction and calculations involved, Chinese engineers have figured them all out! So forget the math and just enjoy the ride!
As for highways, China now boasts the largest expressway mileage in the world!
The Jingxin Expressway, connecting Urumqi City in the west with Beijing in the east, is dubbed China's "Route 66."
With a length of 2,540 kilometers, it's the world's longest road traversing through the desert. You will find beautiful and varying scenery along the journey - deserts and plains, valleys and hills, glorious vistas of star-filled skies... abundant views for everyone to enjoy.
But this project had to contend with some of the most difficult conditions challenging civil engineers – with a limited water supply, more than a hundred sandstorms per year, and surface temperatures ranging from subzero to an asphalt-melting 50-degree-plus ℃, depending on locations and time of year.
Yet, the entire project was accomplished in just 6 years!
There's a Chinese saying: "You wanna be rich? First build a road!" And President Xi Jinping has quoted it as well.
During the past five years, the Chinese government has recognized the importance of transportation in economic growth and invested heavily in infrastructure.
With easier road access, people can travel more conveniently, thus facilitating trades and businesses. For example, the Beipanjiang Bridge has reduced the traveling time from 6h to 1h. Jingxin Expressway has shortened the traveling mileage between Beijing and Xinjiang by 1,300km.
Today, Chinese engineers continue to create splendid works. They are determined to open up road access to people in the remotest villages.
Not limited to these fields, China has also made great achievements in harbor and railway construction. Let's learn more about that in our next episode.