Shanghai opens spectacular toll bridge and tunnel to Yangste River mouth islands
By Peter Samuel
In Shanghai there are celebrations for the opening of a spectacular toll bridge and tunnel expressway linking Chongming Island in the mouth of the Changjiang (Yangste) River. Named the Changjiang Tunnel-Bridge Expressway it consists of an 8.9km (5.5 mile) tunnel between Shanghai's Pudong area and a small island, and then a 10km (6 mile) cable stay bridge to the large Chongming Island.
Chongming Island of 1270km2 (490 sq miles) has a population of 0.7m people and has previously been linked to Shanghai (pop 18.5m) and the mainland only by ferries. What used to be a trip of about 80 to 90 minutes is reduced to 20 to 30 minutes drive by the bridge-tunnel expressway.
The bridge and tunnel provide 3+3 traffic lanes and 2 rail lines.
The tunnel was constructed by a tunnel boring machine from Herrenknecht of Germany and has a diameter of 15.43m (50.6ft). This allowed a finished inner diameter tunnel of 13.7m (45ft).
The bridge is 10.3km (6.4 miles) long.
The 25.5km (15.9 mile) expressway that encompasses the bridge and tunnel cost Y12.6b ($1.9b).
Plans being led by Chicago-head officed Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) are to develop the island and double the population living there. It is expected to be a major center for shipyards, manufacturing of ship machinery, cranes and other port equipment. It is also intended to develop it as an attractive area for recreation and tourism.
Overseas investment is being sought for the island based on plentiful open land in close proximity to China's biggest city.
The island is also getting a tunnel connection northward to Jiangsu province - now under construction. The bridge-tunnel just opened is toward the eastern end of the island.
A third crossing at the western end is planned.
Everything is described as 'green' in design and 'eco-friendly.'
Tolls for cars are Y30 ($4.40) for the bridge and Y20 ($2.90) for the tunnel. Transit vehicles go free.
The project seems to be by the City of Shanghai.
http://www.herrenknecht.com/ (website under water when we tried)