Main tower of world’s largest road-rail cable-stayed bridge built

NANJING – Construction of the second 330-meter-tall tower for one of the world’s largest cable-stayed bridges was completed in East China’s Jiangsu province on Thursday.

The 11,072-meter-long Hutong Yangtze River Bridge, linking the cities of Nantong and Suzhou, is designed with a main span of 1,092 meters, making it the world’s first road-rail cable-stayed bridge with a span over 1,000 meters.

Ning Chaoxin, with the China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group Co., Ltd (MBEC), the project’s contractor, said the two cable towers are the key force structure of the bridge. The longer the bridge spans, the higher the cable tower needs to be.

To ensure the shipping on China’s busiest waterway, the bridge is designed to have a longer span. About 73,000 cubic meters of concrete and 11,000 tonnes of steel bars were used to build each tower, whose height is equivalent to a 110-storey skyscraper.

Ning said the huge construction volume is required so that the bridge can withstand violent typhoons, magnitude-8 earthquakes and impacts from the collision of a 100,000-tonne ship.

The bridge will have a 6-lane expressway on the upper deck and four railway tracks on the lower deck.

The track laying on the bridge will start in January 2020, according to MBEC. The bridge is expected to ensure the river shipping on the Yangtze, while easing the road and railway traffic pressure in the Yangtze River Delta region, China’s economic powerhouse.

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