Amazing China: How China becomes 'Infrastructure Magician' (Part 1)
Bridge construction in China appears to be something of a magic trick. Of the world's 10 tallest bridges, eight can be found in China with five of them built in the last five years.
Sanyuan Bridge is an important traffic corridor in Beijing. The central columns of this bridge, on a major Beijing highway, were dismantled in just six hours and cleared away within 24 hours.
Then 70 minutes later, new beams were already in place! After concreting and laying asphalt, the entire job was completed in 43 hours. Locals going to work on Monday didn't even notice the bridge had been renovated!
Foreigners were impressed by the footage of the process, commenting that comparable projects typically take years and cost many times more in their countries.
Beipanjiang Bridge /CGTN Photo

Beipanjiang Bridge /CGTN Photo

The Beipanjiang Bridge in southwest China is 565 meters high and stands equivalent to a 200-storey skyscraper! So, you could put the Empire State Building under this bridge and still have enough space for 100 more storeys!
It also has amazing "bones"– the steel-cables, which are as significant as other parts. If connecting the cables and pulling them straight, they would extend longer than the distance between Beijing and New York. No wonder an awestruck BBC reporter called it "China's impossible engineering feat."
Despite the complicated geology of the area, this bridge was completed in just five years. Meanwhile, a combination of various technologies was employed, including "smart" concrete for automatic even flow and data recording on bridge conditions.
The construction was completed in such a short time with a futuristic design. How much would this cost? Just 150 million US dollars! For the scale of this project, it is so cost-efficient that foreign countries are bursting with envy.
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge /CGTN Photo

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge /CGTN Photo

But if you think that's impressive, just take a look at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge to be completed this November – full of fantasy and futuristic facades. During its 55-kilometer stretch, it takes traffic through an immersed tunnel, some 6,000 meters in length, between two artificial islands.
How does the tunnel balance the forces of gravity and buoyancy? How come it doesn't sink? And how was it built under the sea? Whatever the complex construction and calculations involved, Chinese engineers have figured them all out! So forget the math and just enjoy the ride!
As for highways, China now boasts the largest expressway mileage in the world.
The Jingxin Expressway, connecting Urumqi City in the west with Beijing in the east, is dubbed China's "Route 66."
The Jingxin Expressway /CGTN Photo

The Jingxin Expressway /CGTN Photo

With a length of 2,540 kilometers, it's the world's longest road traversing through the desert. You will find beautiful and varying scenery along the journey – deserts and plains, valleys and hills, glorious vistas of star-filled skies... abundant views for everyone to enjoy.
But this project had to contend with some of the most difficult conditions challenging civil engineers – with a limited water supply, more than 100 sandstorms per year, and surface temperatures ranging from subzero to an asphalt-melting level above 50 degrees Celsius.
Yet, the entire project was accomplished in just six years!
There's a Chinese saying: "You wanna be rich? First build a road!" And Chinese President Xi Jinping has quoted it as well.
During the past five years, the Chinese government has recognized the importance of transportation in economic growth and invested heavily in infrastructure.
With easier road access, people can travel more conveniently, thus facilitating trades and businesses. For example, the Beipanjiang Bridge has reduced travel times between the city of Liupanshui in Guizhou Province and the city of Xuanwei in Yunnan Province from six hours to one hour. the Jingxin Expressway has shortened the traveling mileage between Beijing and Xinjiang by 1,300 km.
Today, Chinese engineers continue to create splendid works. They are determined to open up road access to people in the remotest villages.
Not limited to these fields, China has also made great achievements in harbor and railway construction. Let's learn more about that in the next episode.
Watch the first eight episodes of "Amazing China: A 5-year miracle" series below: