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Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge Travel Guide


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Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge is the first designed and constructed bridge by new China’s architects and engineers since China restarted a new look as a socialist power in the world. Without any external assistance, it was completely and successfully built. It is the symbolic project on the basis of the absolute planned economy mechanism. The bridge was completed and opened in 1968, when The People's Republic of China had developed for 20 years. Today, it is a historic landmark of the great achievements that new China got before 1978, when China was under the leadership of Chairman Mao. It was the third and the largest bridge over the Yangtze River after the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge and the Chongqing Baishatuo Yangtze River Bridge. It is also the first bridge across the Yangtze River in Nanjing.

At the time, the technology used was quite advanced in the world. The whole duration of the construction is just nine years. The date for beginning construction was January 18, 1960, and the opening date for railway traffic was September 30, 1968 (the official opening for the sake of the next day, the National Day, so this timely show is for a political celebration to justify the greatness of new China on the National Day), and on December 29, 1968, the highway was opened officially. It is really a speed miracle though takes nine years meanwhile keeps a great quality, due to the underdeveloped condition of China and the longtime negative influence of the Cultural Revolution. So Chairman Mao specially inscribed for its completion –"人民, 只有人民, 才是创造世界历史的动力" (People, only people, is the motive power to create the world’s history).

Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge has a double-decked and double-tracked style for both highway and railway transportations. It is located between Pukou and Xiaguan districts in Nanjing. The whole bridge project is comprised of two parts, the bridge approach and the bridge proper. The upper deck is a section of National Highway 104 with a spanning length of 4,589 meters (the bridge approach is 3012 meters long, and the bridge proper is 1577 meters long), and a width of 19.5 meters, and 4 autotrucks can have a parallel run. The lower deck is for railway transportation with a length of 6,772 meters, and a width of 14 meters, and two trains can run from the opposite directions at the same time. The steamships with a 10,000 tonnage could free go through the underbridge. Its right bridge consists of 9 piers, with the maximal span of 160 meters and the total length of 1576 meters. The bridge carries nearly 80,000 vehicles and 200 trains per day. Traditionally, the railway connection that Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge plays is a national lifeline for south-north integration, exactly the link between Shanghai-Nanjing Railway and Tianjin-Pukou Railway. Since then, the trains from Beijing could directly reach Shanghai, and it in use means the completion of Beijing-Shanghai Railway. On the two sides of the ground connection, there are 22 traditionally-designed bridge openings built. In 1960s, it was written into the Guinness World Records as the world’s longest road-rail bridge.

There are two bridge towers on both sides of the bridge. The tower has a height of 70 meters. There are three red flags on the towers, which symbolize three historically socialistic outcomes (Three Surrealistic Social Movements) - People's Commune(人民公社), Great Leap Forward(大跃进) and General Line(总路线). Also, there are five figure statues respectively representing the five basic components of Chinese walks of life at the time. And they were the workers, farmers, soldiers, students and businessmen(工农兵学商, and the businessman ranking the last just indicates the business was blocked and lowered at the time). They hold the five-starred red flag and Selected Works of Mao Zedong(毛泽东选集) and move forward bravely and confidently. They symbolize the spirit of struggle, solidarity and integration for revolution. On both sides of the bridge, there are 150 yulan-flower lights. At dark, the whole bridge gives passengers an impression of traveling in dreamland. It is one classic scenic spot of Nanjing 40 top Sceneries, and widely known as Tain Qian Fei Hong(天堑飞虹, The Flying Rainbow Over the Sky Chasm).

Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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