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March 2, 2010

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Bund gets date for reopening: March 28

THE city is getting its front door back.

The Bund area, the famous riverfront face of Shanghai that's been under reconstruction for two years, will open to the public on March 28, city officials announced yesterday.

Visitors and locals will then be able to walk on the highly anticipated brand-new riverside promenade while vehicles, no longer snarling the street, take to the new underground passageway.

City government plans to make the promenade, more than 2,000 meters long, appear "as charming and friendly to tourists as the Avenue des Champs d'Elysees in Paris."

As one of the major projects for the coming World Expo, the reconstruction of the Bund, together with the Hongqiao Integrated Transport Hub and cross-river tunnels, should be right on schedule, said Huang Rong, director of city's construction and traffic commission.

All pavilion construction and major city projects should be finished by April 15.

The Hongqiao hub will be opened on March 16. Longyao Road Tunnel, a passage south to the Expo site, will open to traffic by April 15, Huang said.

The renovation in the Bund area, one of the ambitious face-lifts in history for the cultural and financial center, has entailed the removal of a part of an elevated road, the building of the underground tunnel as well as of the renovation of the 150-year-old Waibaidu Bridge.

The ground level of the Bund area will feature four theme squares connected by walkways, the promenade and large areas of greenery.

The Bund area can accommodate 300,000 people a day, according to past crowd volume.

If the numbers reach the peak of 800,000, measures to limit visitors will be taken, including closing the waterfront platform, according to the authorities.


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