Hainan's Puqian bridge setting records
The main portion of Puqian bridge, which links Haikou, capital of Hainan province and Puqian, an ancient town in Wenchang city, was completed on Saturday, breaking a number of records in China’s bridge-building history.
The bridge, expected to officially go into operation late this year or in early 2019, will cut drive time from an hour and a half to just 20 minutes between Haikou and Puqian, well-known for its culture and tourism spots.
Built with 3.015 billion yuan ($436 million) in total investment, the bridge, to be named Haiwen bridge when put into official use, will serve as a gateway to Haikou’s Jiangdong New District, which is being built as a comprehensive demonstration area of the China (Hainan) Pilot Free Trade Zone, according to local reports.
The new landmark transport project, with a total length of 5.597 kilometers, will also promote development and integration of the Haikou, Chengmai and Wenchang economic circle in the northeastern part of Hainan Island.
The bridge has attracted great attention since planning began. For Hainan, it is the largest single-tower and double-cable-plane steel box girder cable-stayed bridge, with the highest investment.
Launched in 2015, construction of the bridge has set seven national records.
They include the highest level of seismic resistance fortification; the highest level of designed wind speed; the only cross-sea bridge built over seismic faults; the first three-dimensional adjustable cross-fault bridge system; the first continuous steel box across-fault girder structural system and the largest domestic steel pipe foundation, made with 32 steel pipe composite piles, each 4.3 meters in diameter according to the Hainan provincial transport department.
In addition, it is the country’s first complex bridge project built in project management contracting mode.
The local ecosystem was deliberately protected during construction of the bridge, with mud drilling from the sea during the construction period handled properly and noise-reduction facilities being installed to avoid disturbances to birds in the nearby Dongzhaigang National Reserve, local transport authorities said.