The nearly finished Shenzhen-Zhongshan Suspension Sea Bridge, connecting two major cities on the Pearl River Delta in China, is becoming a bigger combination of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation.
Media personnel from Lancang-Mekong Cooperation countries led by officials from People’s Daily, a host of the LMC Media Summit and Workshops had the opportunity to observe the construction of the bridge closely on 2 July 2023.
Myanmar journalists took the elevator to the highest part of the bridge and had the opportunity to study the stunning completed parts of the bridge.
The Bridge is connecting Shenzhen City on the eastern side and Zhongshan City on the western part of Guangdong Province. It is a world-class cluster project of “bridges, islands, tunnels and underwater connectivity”, and a core transport hub in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
It consists of a series of bridges and tunnels, starting from Bao’an International Airport on the Shenzhen side. After completion, it will appear as a dynamic world-class city cluster, an important support for the construction of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, a demonstration area for in-depth cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong and Macao. The proposed 49.7 kilometres eight-lane link is scheduled to be completed in 2024 and is expected to cost around US$4.83 billion, as stated by the officials concerned.
Lingdingyang Bridge, an important control project of Shenzhen-Zhongshan Link, has a total length of 2,826 metres, a main span of 1,666 metres, which is the world’s largest span full offshore Suspension bridge. The bridge has a deck height of 91 metres, making it the world’s tallest mid-sea bridge. The main tower adopts a portal structure, with a height of 270 metres. The anchor weighs 1.7 million tonnes and is the world’s largest anchor in the ocean.
The main cable of the bridge consists of 199 strands and each one is about 3,000 meters long and weighs about 85 tonnes. Constructors remotely predict the relative static height difference of cable strands through optical photography and intelligent analysis, which solves the problems of manpower consumption, low efficiency, and errors in cable force measurement.
Additionally, the constructors invent an unmanned traction robot based on image recognition technology, which realizes remote and real-time monitoring, greatly reducing manpower and labour intensity.
Based on the digital twin technology, the project team develops an intelligent construction control system for the upper structure of the suspension bridge to ensure more efficient and safer construction of the upper structure.
The idea of a separate link to connect Shenzhen with Zhongshan was originally proposed in 2008. The project will consist of a 6.7-kilometre tunnel starting on the Shenzhen side, and 19 bridges totalling 43 kilometres (aggregate length); the longest continuous section of the bridge is about 22.5 kilometres, from which about 15.5 kilometres stretch above the sea. There will be four lanes in each direction, with a maximum speed of 100 kilometres per hour. The bridge will join the Guangshen Expressway to the south of Shenzhen airport and the Jihe Expressway to the east of the airport on the eastern side of the delta with the Zhongjiang Expressway on the western side. It will cut travel time from Shenzhen to Zhongshan to less than 30 minutes.
China Communications Construction Group Company Limited, with its brand name “CCCC”, is mainly engaged in the construction of the model bridge. CCCC has a strong ability for independent innovation and has created several “world top” projects. It not only has the whole industry chain integration serviceability in the field of transport upgradation but also has unique advantages in internationalization, river lake sea governance and so on.
With over 30 years of experience in the Lancang-Mekong market, CCCC has been fully involved in the construction of the economic development belt in the area, especially after the introduction of the Lancang-Mekong cooperation mechanism. The organisation has implemented over USD 13 billion of high-quality infrastructure projects with Chinese technology and solutions, creating a series of landmark projects that served as the ‘Bridge linking hearts’, ‘Road to wealth’, ‘Port for development’, ‘City of happiness’, and ‘Clean power’. These projects have brought a better living experience to the local people.
Analysts from mainland China and Hong Kong found the project might draw as much as 40 per cent of the potential traffic away from the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and reduce the regional dominance of Hong Kong’s airport and harbour.
Myanmar has many river bridges, but sea bridges are still needed. The strength of a sea bridge is the power of transport, making the journey much shorter. The workforce of professionals and engineers is especially necessary if Myanmar is going to build such modern and beautiful bridges.
With the help of China’s world-famous construction company limited (CCCC), it is believed that Myanmar will soon be able to build world-class modern suspension sea bridges. Along with the scholarship programmes, local architects and construction experts should also be sent to study in China and acquire such kinds of construction technologies.
Until now, Bangladesh, a neighbouring country of Myanmar, and Malaysia, an ASEAN country, have jointly engaged in construction projects with CCCC. Myanmar’s socioeconomic development is almost entirely dependent on good transportation. It is very important for the country’s infrastructure to emerge stronger in the not-distant future.
In the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation projects, construction cooperation is key. CCCC’s creativity with the help of the Chinese government will best support Myanmar’s road and bridge construction. Therefore, the strengthening of this cooperation is a better move for the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, including Myanmar.