The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge – longest water-crossing bridge in the world – was built at a cost of between US$1.5BN and US$8.8BN, depending on who you listen to. Either way, that’s a lot of money.
The bridge was built to shorten the travel time from Qingdao and Huangdao by roughly 19 miles, theoretically shortening travel time by 10-20 minutes.
That’s in theory. In actuality, however, there’s a toll of 50RMB (about US$8.00) each way, making the cost prohibitive for most. Making matters worse, there are only three toll booths on the Huangdao side, adding as much as an hour wait time to the trip.
In terms of its stated purpose, then, the bridge is completely useless to commuters and tourists.
You can’t make this stuff up. Tax dollars at work. It’s nice to know that it’s not just the U.S. that has wrong-headed self-serving politicians in office. I guess.