Qingdao Bridge Opens Amid Concerns

12 Jul

The cartoon refers to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for one of the world’s longest sea bridges that was opened in Qingdao, China on June 30th.  It is called the Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge (青岛胶州湾大桥) and has opened with a total investment of 14.7 billion yuan.  The minimum fare for small cars to cross the bridge, which has a length of 36.48 kilometers, making it longer than the Hangzhou Bay and the Su Tong bridges in China, is 50 yuan, compared to 30 yuan for cars taking the Jiaozhou Bay Tunnel.   Responding to criticism that the bridge toll is too high, averaging just over one yuan per kilometer, transportation officials  say that the Hangzhou and Su Tong bridges actually charge more, about 80 yuan per vehicle to cross.  However, netizens also have had safety concerns about the Qingdao Jiaozhou Bridge just one week after its “grand opening.”  The bridge was opened the day before the Chinese Communist Party kicked off celebrations for its 90th anniversary–July 1st.  Netizens are concerned that traffic safety has been compromised by opening the bridge so early.   Many travelers going over the bridge discovered that bolts on some isolation barriers had not been properly tightened, with some places not even having isolation barriers completely installed.

The red line above represents the bridge, which runs 36.48 kilometers.  The double green lines represent the tunnel.  More photos of the bridge opening can be found here at SOHU.

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