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September 25, 2009

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Building bridges, joining hands

Eight bridges - landmarks and marvels of engineering - span the Huangpu River, linking Pudong New Area with the rest of the city. Han Jin reports on five of them. Once Pudong New Area seemed far away across the Huangpu River from Puxi and getting there from downtown was a hassle. People used to line up for hours to take a cross-river ferry.

That was before the 1990s when construction began on bridges that were essential for Pudong's development. Today Pudong is no longer a river away and the Huangpu River is more like a link than a divide.

Today there are eight bridges, with another three under construction, and nine tunnels that have opened up opportunities in Pudong, making it a magnet for investors and residents. Today it glitters with skyscrapers.

Here we take a look at five of the cross-river bridges.

Yangpu Bridge

The monumental cable-stayed bridge, completed in 1993, spans 7,658 meters and features two 208-meter-high, inverted-Y-shaped towers.

Completion of the bridge marked the beginning of soaring economic growth in Pudong. The project cost 330 million yuan (US$48 million).

The six-lane bridge connects the Inner Ring Road in Yangpu District with Pudong and is 11 kilometers below the Nanpu Bridge.

The bridge has a harp-like array of 256 suspension cables, in 32 pairs. It has a pedestrian lane on each side. Traffic can move at a maximum 60kph. Fengpu Bridge

Completed in 1995, the bridge from Minhang District spans 2,202 meters to connect the city's north and south trunk expressways. It is a dual four-lane road permitting speeds of up to 100kph.

Investment totaled 446 million yuan, overwhelmingly from domestic financing. Nanpu Bridge

The bridge, completed in 1991, was the first to span the river, fulfilling a long-held dream and becoming a model for construction of the Yangpu, Xupu and Fengpu bridges.

The 8,346-meter span connects Lujiabang area in downtown Puxi with the south pier in the Pudong New Area.

The cable-secured bridge has two 154-meter-high, H-shaped towers.

Construction of the China-designed bridge took three years and set several national records at the time, including working 110 meters above the ground when installing suspension cables. Lupu Bridge

The landmark steel-arch bridge once held the world's record for longest steel-arch bridge - 550 meters. It was overtaken this year, however? by Chaotianmen Bridge (552 meters) across the Yangtze River in Chongqing.

Lupu Bridge opened in 2003, connecting downtown with Pudong. It connects the Outer Ring Road with the Inner Ring Road, extending the North-South Elevated Road to Pudong.

Construction cost 2.5 billion yuan and took under three years to complete.

The 8.7-kilometer-long bridge is the first to be constructed entirely of steel. The earlier Nanpu, Yangpu and Xupu bridges are all cable-stayed.

A sightseeing platform on the bridge offers the most spectacular view of World Expo 2010 sites on both sides of the river. Admission is 80 yuan per person. Xupu Bridge

Opened in 1997, the cable-stayed bridge links the southern downtown to Pudong and is an easy route between Hongqiao Airport and Pudong International Airport.

It extends 1,072 meters with dual eight-lane road and two 217-meter-high A-shaped towers. It also has bicycle lanes.


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