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"Grandma's Bridge" in Shanghai reinstated after shipyard repairs
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17:32, February 26, 2009

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Shanghai's landmark bridge, Waibaidu, known as "Grandma's Bridge", was reinstated on Thursday after nearly a year of repair in a shipyard.

Waibaidu, erected in 1907, was China's first steel bridge. Spanning the Suzhou Creek, it is the only surviving example of a camelback truss bridge in the country.

The bridge with a total span of 104 meters was replaced, pulled onto a barge and sent for overhaul on April 7, last year.

According to shipyard engineers, more than 60,000 rivets, or 40 percent of the total on the bridge, were changed, rust removed, and aging structures strengthened during the repair, which can help prolong the use for another 50 years.

Many tourists posed for photos as workers fixed the bridge on Thursday.

The bridge designed by Briton Howarth Erskine was a popular setting for Chinese movies depicting the dashing industrial boom in old Shanghai.

Huang Rong, head of the Shanghai municipal committee of urban and rural construction and transport, said the bridge is a memory of the city's culture. The bridge's repair plan is a part of efforts to restore the city's famed waterfront under the Bund Refurbishment Project.

The host city of the 2010 World Expo has budgeted 28.6 billion yuan (3.7 billion U.S. dollars) for the face lifting.

Huang did not say how much did the bridge repair project cost.


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