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A marathon effort: 26-mile bridge opens

A bridge so long that it could host an entire marathon race has been opened between the Chinese port of Qingdao with the industrial suburb of Huangdao. It crosses Jiaozhou Bay and is the world's longest sea bridge.

The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge stretches 26.4 miles, making it two-tenths of a mile longer than the English Channel.

Construction teams totalling 10,000 workers took four years to build the £1.42bn bridge, which carries a six-lane highway, 110 feet across, that has halved the journey time across the bay for motorists to half an hour. It is expected to carry up to 30,000 cars daily.

It is designed to stand up to a magnitude-eight earthquake and is supported by 5,200 pillars – 450,000 tons of steel and 2.3 million cubic metres of concrete were used in its construction.

But come 2016, it is due to be surpassed by an even longer structure, linking Hong Kong with the Guangdong province.