Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 June 2019

Boris Johnson proposes bridge to connect Britain and France

The UK politician's suggestion would see a second transport link form between the two countries. How would the project compare to the most ambitious bridges in the world?

The planned Garden Bridge proposed by Boris Johnson in London has been scrapped. Garden Bridge Trust
The planned Garden Bridge proposed by Boris Johnson in London has been scrapped. Garden Bridge Trust

Not content with proposing one controversial bridge plan, the UK’s foreign secretary has announced his vision to build a bridge linking Britain to France.

Boris Johnson previously proposed a project called the Garden Bridge, a footbridge and public garden which would crossed the river Thames. The UK government pledged £60m towards the cost of the project. However, there was widespread criticism of the project over issues of cost, with many saying the bridge was not needed. The project has since been abandoned.

During French president Emmanuel Macron’s visit to the UK Thursday, Mr Johnson suggested the idea of a bridge to supplement the existing Channel Tunnel that currently connects the two nations.

Mr Macron has reportedly backed the idea, according to The Times.

Mr Johnson aired his view on Twitter: “Our economic success depends on good infrastructure and good connections. Should the Channel Tunnel be just a first step?”

The Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and is 33km (20 miles) wide at its narrowest point and building a bridge across the expanse of water would be a substantial project.

If Mr Johnson’s project gets the green light, it will join the ranks of one of the most ambitious bridge projects in the world.

This photo about the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge of Beijing-Shanghai Express Railway was taken at Kunshan, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. The bridge is the so called longest bridge in the world, which is part of Beijing-Shanghai express railway start from Danyang JIangsu Province and end to Kunshan Suzhou, Jiangsu Province in China. In my mind, it  actually more like a viaduct than bridge. For a 168KM long bridge, it's hard to have full view shot.
The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge. Getty

The longest bridge in the world is the Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge, a 164.8km (102.4 mile) viaduct on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway.

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is one of the longest non-suspension bridges in the world. View is south toward Metairie, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, USA. Getty Images
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. Getty Images

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway has been listed by the Guinness World Records as the longest bridge over water in the world since 1969. Formed over two parallel bridges, the longer of the two spans 38.35km (23.83 miles).

QINGDAO, CHINA - JUNE 27:  (CHINA OUT) A general view of Qingdao Jiaozhou bay bridge is seen on June 27, 2011 in Qingdao, Shandong Province of China. So far, the bridge is the longest cross-ocean bridge in the world, with a total investment of more than 10 billion yuan (about 1.544 billion USD) and a total length of 41.58 kilometers. It's reprorted that it will open on June 30.  (Photo by VCG via Getty Images)
The Jiaozhou Bay bridge. VCG via Getty Images

In 2011, the construction of the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, a 26.7km (16.6 mile) roadway bridge, caused the Guinness World Records to create two categories for bridges over water: continuous and aggregate lengths over water. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway then became the longest continuous bridge over water, while Jiaozhou Bay Bridge the longest aggregate bridge over water.

The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge will lose its title when the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge opens.

In this picture taken on November 29, 2017, a general view shows a section of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HKZMB) (C) that runs alongside the international airport (R) in Hong Kong. 
Billed as the world's longest sea bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, it has been touted by supporters as an engineering wonder. But critics say the multi-billion dollar infrastructure mega-project is politically driven and a costly white elephant.  / AFP PHOTO / Anthony WALLACE / TO GO WITH AFP STORY HONG KONG-MACAU-CHINA-POLITICS-ECONOMICS-BRIDGE,FOCUS BY ELAINE YU AND LAURA MANNERING
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. Elaine Yu and Laura Mannering

The Guinness title will be challenged by the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, which is expected to open to vehicles later this year. This bridge will run to 50km (31.1 miles) aggregate and will connect the three major cities.

Arguably, the two most famous bridges in the world are the Øresund Bridge, the setting for the Swedish and Danish TV crime drama The Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The red suspension bridge is a well-known landmark of the city and is infamously known as the second-most used suicide bridge in the world, after the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge.

Los Angeles, home to the state’s storied movie industry, would remain in the new California, but farmland and forested areas, along with San Francisco and the Silicon Valley technology hub, would be separated into the two other states. AFP/Kimihiro Hoshino
The Golden Gate Bridge. AFP Photo / Kimihiro Hoshino / AFP PHOTO / KIMIHIRO HOSHINO

Updated: January 19, 2018 06:25 PM