The much anticipated opening of the bridge and tunnel connecting Qingdao and Huangdao finally happened on June 30, 2011. The Qingdao Haiwan bridge is reported to be the longest of its kind in the world, though some disagree, depending on how the distance is measured (btw, the Guinness Book says Qingdao’s bridge is longest). The record held by Qingdao’s marathon length bridge will be short lived though, as an even longer bridge connecting Hong Kong with Guangdong province is scheduled for 2016. These new ways to get across the Jiaozhou Bay supplement the long standing ferry routes that previously had frustrated many travellers on foggy and windy days when the boat service was suspended.
“The bridge has been a long-time dream for Qingdao residents,” said Qingdao Party Chief Li Qun at the inauguration ceremony.
The undersea tunnel connects Tuandao in Qingdao with Xuejiadao in the Huangdao Development Zone (Kaifaqu). Check out a video on the tunnel from CCTV. Getting across the bay via the undersea tunnel is quick (approx. 7 to 8 minutes) and can be done by car or bus. Private cars (including taxis) are charged 30 yuan to make the trip. Tunnel bus route details are as follows (h/t Cheyenne Xing):
There are 4 tunnel buses: (all 2 RMB per ticket)
- Tunnel Bus No. 1: Shandong University of Science and Technology Huangdao Campus to Qing Yi Fu Yuan (5 am-8 pm)
- Tunnel Bus No. 2: Xuejiadao Terminal Station to Tiantai Stadium (Xue Jia Dao 5.30 am-9 pm, Tian Tai 6.05am-9.35 pm )
- Tunnel Bus No. 3: Xuejiadao Terminal Station to Li Jin Road Passenger Station (Xuejiadao 6.20 am-9.30 pm, Li Jin Road 5.50 am-9 pm)
- Tunnel Bus No. 4: Xuejiadao Terminal Station to Sifang Long-distance Station (Xuejiadao 6.20 am-9.30 pm, Sifang Station 5.50 am-9 pm)
Check out more info and pics on msnbc. Watch a helicopter video of the bridge from The Telegraph. Qingdao’s main daily newspaper Bandao devoted a large part of the July 1 online edition to the bridge and tunnel opening. Please comment on your experiences below and let others know what to expect on the journey to/from the other side.
More on the bridge spanning Jiaozhou Bay from China Daily:
The bridge was built in four years, with several world records and national prizes achieved. Before that, it took more than 17 years for the authorities and experts to finish the exploration, planning, design and bidding for the project. Huangdao district, also known as Huangdao Economic and Development Zone of Qingdao, was among the first national development zones approved in the early 1980’s. Thursday also saw the opening of the nation’s longest undersea tunnel, also linking downtown Qingdao to Huangdao.
A report from Xinhua:
The bridge will shorten the route between the two centers by 30 km, cutting travel time down from over 40 minutes to around 20 minutes, said Han Shouxin, deputy director of the city’s traffic management committee. Previously, the longest cross-sea bridge in the world was the 36-km-long Hangzhou Bay Cross-sea Bridge that connects the cities of Jiaxing and Ningbo in east China’s Zhejiang Province.
The bridge, connecting urban Qingdao with the city’s less-developed district of Huangdao, cost about 14.8 billion yuan (2.3 billion U.S. dollars). Authorities expect the project to boost the development of an industrial zone in Huangdao and to facilitate the rise of foreign trade by increasing the port’s handling capacity. Business people have been complaining of the inconvenience of the current, less-efficient sea transport, whose operation is at the mercy of the weather.
Engineers overcame huge difficulties in building the tunnel amid a complicated geological environment, said Zhou Fengjun, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, adding that the project can now serve as a textbook for the country’s tunnel-construction projects.