Invisible innovations for the world’s longest bridge

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The world’s longest sea crossing, linking Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai, in Guangdong Province, China opened October 24th to much fanfare. The 55-kilometer bridge and tunnel took almost 10 years to complete. Design and construction had to overcome a myriad of challenges, ranging from frequent typhoons to airport height restrictions. To achieve a structural life of at least 120 years, the designers needed a suite of innovations – a number of which came from BASF.

BASF chemistry will extend the service life of the bridge, protecting bridge piers from corrosion, water and wear. Additional technologies will enable the pavement to safely absorb traffic loads and improve the durability of the parking garage.

Sustainability was an intrinsic goal from the start. The bridge’s cable-stayed design minimized material use, time required for construction, and pollution.

The structure has attracted attention from all over the world for its size, design and aesthetic beauty. It was designed to look like three Chinese dragons – both to appeal to users and to keep drivers awake and alert during the journey. Almost 30km of roadway crosses the Pearl River Delta. A 6.7 km dip in the middle, for an undersea tunnel, allows ships to pass by unfettered. The trip between Hong Kong and Zhuhai, which normally takes up to four hours, is targeted to eventually be 30 minutes.

For more on the Hong Kong Macau Zhuhai bridge, go to