Shell Bitumen is making connections
Providing bitumen solutions and technical expertise for iconic engineering projects that help keep the world moving.
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge at sunset
At Shell Bitumen we help to develop roads with solutions that are more advanced, more durable and kinder to our surroundings. Our products help contribute to bringing about positive change in global infrastructure and over the last one hundred years we’ve had the pleasure of collaborating on some truly iconic projects.
One such venture was the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, a highly technical challenge that required a close collaboration with our customer and partners, and the full force of our global experience and expertise.
Rising above the Pearl River Delta, the bridge is a triumph of engineering. Fifty-five kilometres long and gracefully sweeping from the west side of Hong Kong, to Macau, to the city of Zhuhai in Guangdong province, its marine location posed a particular challenge for constructors.
A bespoke solution
Shell Bitumen and the bridge engineers carried out extensive testing in our research centre to develop the best customised solutions for each of the three main sections of the bridge. Each section required a specially tailored surface according to its own unique environment and design.
The challenge: High temperatures, a high salt environment and the long span means complex stress conditions and a bridge predisposed to vibrations and deformation.
The solution: Shell Bitumen proposed a composite solution comprising of Shell Cariphalte® made with high performance polymers and other components to ensure that if large deformation did occur the deck would have excellent cracking resistance.
The challenge: High humidity caused by the relatively sealed marine environment and special construction conditions.
The solution: An optimised product formula for improved high temperature performance for rutting resistance and an extended life of the tunnel section.
The challenge: To provide a smooth and stable pavement section that would resist swelling.
The solution: Shell Bitumen’s Flintkote® Bridgecoat was used as a waterproof solution that would prevent the ingress of salt and water vapour and the subsequent deformation/ swelling/ blistering of the asphalt above it.
Press the marked areas to learn more about each
The project required vast amounts of bitumen. Shell also provided a specialist on-site production tank to meet the fast-paced demands of the latter stages of the build. This enabled us to guarantee a consistent, high-quality product and moved our relationship beyond that of a supplier to a trusted and integral engineering partner.
The bridge opened in 2018 and stands as one of the most technically complicated structures in China’s bridge-building history.
Zhang Xinsheng, Chairman of Shell China Group, said: “The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is a super-scale infrastructure project that is an historic milestone in China's development. Shell is very proud to have provided bitumen solutions and technical expertise for this complex project and world’s longest man-made sea crossing.”
This landmark bridge was built to bring an economic boon to the area by significantly reducing the travel times between the three regions, and we’re proud to have been part of a project that ultimately helps to bring people closer together.
We are extremely proud of being a partner in this project as it was really about achieving something that at one time would have been impossible.
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