Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge: The Longest In The World

On May 24, 2014 by Tim Newman

Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge - Purple shade

Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge in China gets the prize for being the longest bridge in the world at a startling 164,800 m in length.

That’s 100 miles or so, about the distance from Brighton to Oxford i.e. quite a way. It’s the winner by a long chalk too, its nearest contender is more than 50 km shorter.

China it seems is either the best at growing long bridges, or the only country who wants bridges that long. The top three longest bridges in the world are all in China. Second place goes to Tianjin Grand Bridge (113,700 m) and third to Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge (79,732 m).

Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge - straight

I guess they love long bridges. In fact out of the top 35 longest bridges in the world China have built 17 of them.

Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge - smog

Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge hosts a train line that runs between Shanghai and Nanjing in East China’s Jiangsu province. Here’s a map that charts its course:

Danyang Kunshan Grand Bridge Map

There’s a 9 km long section that flies over the open water of Yangcheng lake.

Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge - mist

The bridge opened in 2011 at a cost of around $8.5 billion. It took 10,000 people four years to build. In total, the bridge is supported by 9,500 concrete pilings Here’s the opening ceremony. Pretty wild:

Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge - Opening day

Because China are so adept at bridge construction, the 2,050ft-long Oakland bridge that spans San Francisco’s bay started its life in China. It was moved over in massive chunks all the way from Shanghai.

China are currently winning a significant number of big infrastructure contracts as African nations begin working on developing their bridges, roads and railways. Ex-soviet countries, like Serbia and Bulgaria, have also been employing Chinese companies to sort their big structure stuff out.

Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge - junction

According to Engineering News Record, five of the world’s top ten contractors, in terms of revenue, are now Chinese. Good on them, they’re taking over. Perhaps they will eventually begin a new wave of colonial invasions. Now that really would be interesting. It might give us Europeans a taste of our own medicine perhaps? They would leave us with some wonderful bridges though.

Danyang–Kunshan Curvature

Although the bridge was built a few years ago now, it has recently started coming back into discussion, why? The flat earth guys. Recently, you may have noticed a foray of people who started arguing the case for a flat earth, again.

Although the battle still rages on in some corners of the blogosphere, I think we can safely say, the earth is actually round. But the reason Danyang–Kunshan bridge has been getting a mention, is that when building it, the designers had to account for the curvature of the earth because it is so very long.

Although this will not convert the flat earth brigade to the way of the globe, it does kind of prove them wrong. But that doesn’t matter if you believe something utterly bonkers, does it?

Asia Collection

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