Beijing: The world's longest cross-sea bridge-the 36.48-km eight-lane Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China-opened for traffic on Thursday.

The opening ceremony of the cross-sea bridge, spanning Jiaozhou bay of Qingdao city in Shandong province, was held on Thursday morning, a newspaper reported. 

The bridge, connecting the urban district of the city to its Huangdao district, cost 14.8 billion yuan (USD2.3 billion). Construction of the bridge began in May 2007.  

The bridge will reduce the distance between the two places by 30 km, cutting travel time down from over 40 minutes to around 20 minutes, said Han Shouxin, deputy director of the city's traffic management committee.  

Previously, the longest cross-sea bridge in the world was the 36-km Hangzhou Bay Cross-sea Bridge that connects the cities of Jiaxing and Ningbo in east China's Zhejiang province.