Feb 14, 2018
CHINA is planning to build a high-speed railway bridge over part of an ocean that has been described as Asia’s ‘Bermuda Triangle’ in a £1.2billion project.
The Pingtan Strait Railroad Bridge has been under construction since 2013 and will connect Pingtan Island to the mainland Fujian Province.
Chinese workers are convinced they can complete the high-speed railway bridge over the Pingtan Strait within a year, despite experts fears they are constructing in a “no-go zone” for bridge builders.
The challenges to building the bridge are almost unheard of with the Pingtan Strait is famous for its strong winds and perilous conditions.
For 300 days of the year, strong gusts can reach a staggering 13.8 meters a second which can create waves as tall as 10 storeys.
Many ships have gone missing in the region – 2016 there were 85 crashes which led experts to dub the area the Asian Bermuda Triangle.
Fan Lilong, the chief engineer of the bridge, told China Central Television Station constructing Pingtan bridge is the most difficult challenge he has faced in his 20-year career.
He said: “Pingtan Strait Railroad Bridge is the most difficult railroad bridge that is being built in the entire world.
“I was trying to think of a solution even when I was dreaming. It seemed impossible – like putting a nail into a stone.”
China has built a powerful fleet to conquer the strong seas.
One is known as the ‘Sea Power 801’, which is a drillship that can drill into the seabed with great precision.
Another is the ‘Bridge Seagull’, which is capable of cranking up to 3,600 tonnes.
Mr. Fan said: “All of the machines are made in China. Nowadays, as long as we want, we could build any kind of machines.”
The project will see a two-level structure built between the mainland and the island that will be a staggering 11 kilometers long – some 45 times longer than London’s Tower Bridge.
Up to 300,000 tonnes of steel and 2,660,000 tonnes of cement will be used to build the bridge which would be enough to build eight Burj Khalifa towers.
The bridge will have an eight-lane highway on the top and a railway bridge on the bottom which will allow trains to travel up to 200 kilometers per hour.