Asia's largest bascule bridge launched in N China port city

08:58, November 23, 2009      

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Asia's largest bascule bridge was launched Sunday across Haihe River in Tianjin, a port city in north China.

The bridge, 868.8 meters long and with a span of 76 meters, is the largest of its kind in Asia, said Liu Yunping, chief engineer with the 3rd Engineering Co., Ltd. of China Railway Shisiju Group that built the bridge.

A bascule bridge is a moveable bridge with a counterweight that continuously balances the span, or "leaf", throughout the entire upward swing in providing clearance for boat traffic. Bascule is a French term for seesaw and balance, and bascule bridges operate along the same principle.

Bascule bridges may be single or double-leaf. The double-leaf bascule bridge in Tianjin can open in 315 seconds and close in 265 seconds.

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