Amazing time-lapse video from China shows 1,300-tonne bridge built in less than 43 hours

It took more time to design the plan than to actually construct the bridge.

The Sanyuan Bridge in Beijing links 48 key routes and three major highways: the Airport Expressway, the China National Highway 101 and the 3rd Ring Road. Over 200,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily, so there were some major safety issues when it was discovered that the bridge was severely damaged due to the daily wear and tear from the hundreds of thousands of cars.

Engineers and city planners racked their brains in order to figure out the best and least intrusive way to overhaul the bridge in the fastest amount of time. It took 11 different iterations of the plans and countless hours of painstaking preparation, but the deconstruction of the old bridge and construction of a new one took only 43 hours to complete.

China’s first over-water highway almost complete

RocketNews 24:

If you’re like me, you’re probably more accustomed to seeing bridges cross rivers rather than run along their length. But this stretch of highway which was recently completed in Xingshan County of China’s Hubei Province does just that. Are the bridge’s creators crazy, or crazy like an ecologically minded fox?

The complete road runs about 10.5km (6.5mi) connecting Xingshan County with the Yiba Expressway.

Of the full roadway about 4km (2.5mi) runs over a mountain stream. It’s said that this was done to protect the environment by avoiding cutting through the forest or mountain itself.

The above-water stretch of highway cost about 2 million yuan (US$320,000) which was nearly half of the 4.4 million yuan ($700,000) it cost to build the entire thing.

In addition to not disturbing the landscape of the mountain it also provides motorists with a gorgeous view as they pass through.

Comments from Chinese readers about the road were mixed, with some celebrating this first-of-its-kind bridge as “an example of harmony between people and nature.

Many others questioned whether this plan was truly more environmentally sound than other methods – such as tunneling through the mountain – or simply cheaper.

There were also those who questioned the safety of such a bridge, but we will have to see how it fares when it opens to the public sometime in early 2015.