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Congestion to get worse at the Bund

DRIVERS should expect increased congestion in the Bund area after next weekend because of road alternations due to the ongoing traffic reconfiguration project, managers said yesterday.

Major roads along the Huangpu River and in the north of the Bund, such as the Zhongshan Road E1, Sichuan Road, Changzhi Road and dozens of others, as well as bridges over Suzhou Creek, will be affected.

The refurbished Waibaidu Bridge reopens to traffic on the evening of April 10, next Friday, authorities announced yesterday.

The neighboring Wusong Road Watergate Bridge will be closed northbound from then. And it will shut completely to traffic from November.

Government officials said yesterday that they were still discussing whether the bridge should be dismantled but a decision wouldn't be made until after September. There was controversy when it was revealed that the government was planning to pull it down as it had only been built in the 1990s.

Traffic police are advising drivers to avoid the area if possible. They estimate there will be a 16 percent increase in the amount of time drivers will have to spend in rush-hour queues because of the altered traffic flows.

Meanwhile, pedestrians will be allowed to walk on the Waibaidu Bridge from April 8, two days before it opens to vehicles.

They'll find the structure bathed in a warm yellow light in the evenings, thanks to an energy-saving LED system. On holiday days the lighting will change to a celebratory combination of blue, silver-white and purple, officials said.

Pedestrians can walk on the bridge from April 8, next Wednesday.


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