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Suzhou Creek bridge opens fully to traffic

The Henan Road Bridge across Suzhou Creek opens to traffic yesterday after more than one year of reconstruction. The bridge has been widened to six lanes.Photograph byZhang Suoqing

A bridge across Suzhou Creek reopened fully to traffic yesterday after a year-long renovation.


The Henan Road Bridge, built in 1875, stands to the west of the Sichuan Road Bridge. Both are important traffic links for the Bund area.


The bridge was lengthened to 108 meters and has two more arches than the original three-arched bridge.


"Making the bridge longer than before and building extra arches will help manage traffic," said Hu Bingsheng, an official with the company in charge of the project.


The new bridge is part of an ongoing project to widen the north-south Henan Road.


The new bridge is 10 meters wider than the original and has six lanes rather than four. It also allows pedestrians to cross on both sides.


Traffic capacity will be much higher than before. The old bridge was able to take 3,000 vehicles an hour. During the renovations that was down to 1,200 vehicles an hour.


"All the construction facilities were removed to open the bridge for six-lane full traffic around 5:30 this morning," Hu said yesterday.


The project began in 2007 with the dismantling of the 100 pillars that held up the original bridge.


"A major concern was that the bridge's century-old pillars were too deep under the ground and would affect digging for Metro Line 10," Hu said.


The new bridge retains the original architectural style as the former historical bridge - even the color of the concrete used is the same.


(Shanghai Daily January 20,2009)