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Tsing Ma Bridge, Hong-Kong

May 13th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Tsing Ma Bridge (Chinese: 青馬大橋; Cantonese: cing1 maa5 daai6 kiu4; Mandarin: Qīngmǎ d qiáo) (named after two islands of Tsing Yi (青衣島) and Ma Wan (馬灣) in Cantonese), of Hong Kong is the world's sixth largest suspension bridge (22° 21N, 114° 04 E). It has two decks and carries both road and rail traffic, which also makes it the largest suspension bridge of this type. The upper deck carries a dual three-lane carriageway and there are two tracks of railway and a two-lane emergency roadway in the lower deck for maintenance and the diversion of traffic during high winds. It has a main span of 1,377 metres (4,518 ft) (more than the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco) and a height of 206 metres (676 ft). The span is the largest of all bridges in the world carrying rail traffic.

The 41m wide bridge deck carries six lanes of automobile traffic, three lanes in each direction. The lower level contains two rail tracks. There are also two sheltered carriageways on the lower deck for maintenance access and as backup for traffic when particularly severe typhoons strike Hong Kong. Though car traffic would need to be closed in that case, trains could still get through in either direction. Along with the Ting Kau Bridge and Kap Shui Mun Bridge, it is closely monitored by the Wind and Structural Health Monitoring System (WASHMS).

The Tsing Ma Bridge links Tsing Yi Island on the east to Ma Wan island on the west over Ma Wan Channel. It is part of the Lantau Link, which, with three long span bridges links the New Territories and Chek Lap Kok, where the Hong Kong International Airport is located. The other two bridges are the Kap Shui Mun Bridge linking Ma Wan to Lantau Island over Kap Shui Mun, and the Ting Kau Bridge, linking Tsing Yi Island and Tuen Mun and Yuen Long, over Rambler Channel.

The rail line is part of MTR's Tung Chung Line and Airport Express.

Construction work of the bridge began in May 1992 and ended in May 1997. It cost HK$7.2 billion. The Lantau Link, of which the bridge is an integral part, was opened on April 27, 1997. The ceremony was inaugurated by the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Surveillance cameras were installed over the bridge to record traffic conditions. The video is available at the government website[1]. It is updated every two minutes.

The Tsing Ma Bridge has been an important gateway to Lantau. It will become part of the planned Route 8 expressway, which will connect the Lantau Link, the West Kowloon expressway, Cheung Sha Wan and Shatin.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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