Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge

Ancient Routes

  • 07 Oct - 13 Oct, 2017
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Panorama

The world's longest bridge, the Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge in China, is part of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway. Spanning over 102.4 miles, the bridge opened in June 2011 and was constructed in just four years, employing 10,000 workers, at a cost of about $8.5 million.

It crosses low rice paddies, part of the Yangtze River Delta, with just a few miles of the bridge actually crossing the open water of Yangcheng Lake in Suzhou. The bridge averages about 100 feet off the ground. Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge hosts a train line that runs between Shanghai and Nanjing in East China’s Jiangsu province.

After many projects that started breaking bridge-building records from all around the world, Chinese government elected to bring to reality one of the most impressive bridges ever conceived – a railroad bridge. To achieve this great feat, designers of this bridge had to create a project that would accommodate not only immense size of this project that required creation of a bridge, but also to be built in an area that had land features such as rivers, lakes, canals, lowland rice paddies and uneven terrain.

The building of the Grand Bridge lasted four years, using the workforce as strong as 10,000 people and resources that reached the cost of $8.5 billion. While the bridge itself was completed on November 15, 2010, the grand opening happened in June of 2011 when first public transport was allowed on the bridge.

While the entire railroad network spans an impressive size, the bridge is also known for its individual parts that are used by the people living in the populated areas that are covered by the bridge (cities of Shanghai, Kushan, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Zhenjiang, and Nanjing). Another notable part of the bridge is its 5.6 miles section that goes across open waters of Yangcheng Lake. This section was built on top of 2,000 pillars, steel cables and an impressive 450,000 tons of steel structure. It has been constructed so sturdy so it can withstand not only natural disasters such as typhoons and magnitude eight earthquakes, but also direct impacts from naval vessels that weigh up to 300,000 tons.