China Just Opened The World’s Longest Sea Bridge & Bloody Hell, It’s Not Short

My conception of distance is entirely based around my vague memories of primary school athletics carnivals. I know roughly what 100 metres looks like because that’s how far you have to run for a 100-metre race. I know roughly what 800 metres looks like because it’s the distance I always came last at, half jogging and half crying over the finish line. Because it is not a standard distance for a primary school running race, I cannot conceptualise 55 kilometres. Intellectually I can comprehend that it’s about the distance from my house to the Gold Coast but, really, all I know is that it’s a very long distance, and an extraordinary length for a bridge to be.

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The descriptively named Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge connects Hong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macau and was finally opened today after its completion in November of last year. The bridge cost approximately $28 billion and suffered a number of safety issues, with the BBC reporting that 18 people died during the construction of the bridge.

According to The Guardian, public access to the bridge from Hong Kong will be controlled via permits, with long-term permits granted to a select few people, including big-time taxpayers, big-time charity donors, and members of specific political groups. There are also private shuttle buses that will operate on the bridge, but no public transport. The fact that drivers in Hong Kong and Macau drive on the left while drivers in China drive on the right means that there is a ‘merge point’ in Hong Kong where cars stop and swap over to the other side of the road.

The Guardian also reports that drivers crossing the bridge will be fitted with heart rate and blood pressure monitors, in addition to drivers being monitored by cameras that will sound an alarm if they yawn more than three times in 20 seconds.