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Aging bridge closed to traffic

By Dong Zhen (Shanghai Daily)

09:04, February 10, 2012

Traffic crosses the Caoyang Road Bridge spanning Suzhou Creek yesterday. (Shanghai Daily Photo)

THE Caoyang Road Bridge spanning Suzhou Creek downtown will be closed for a renovation late this year due to subsidence and aging problems.

Government-authorized engineering experts found during a recent exam that the bridge facilitating busy daily traffic over the creek was suffering a worsening degree of "uneven subsidence," harming its structural safety.

While the bridge now is under 24-hour monitoring to ensure safe service, the watchdog is planning for repairs. The engineers said construction of Metro Line 11 and pit digging for new buildings near the bridge are blamed for causing the subsidence.

Metro Line 4's downtown Hailun Road Station was recently closed for one week for an emergency reinforcement for the same type of subsidence, capturing wide public attention.

Geological experts told Shanghai Daily that when subsidence takes place unevenly, building structures are more likely to suffer cracks and distortion.

The city construction watchdog said it planned to start the renovation around the end of this year after completing the ongoing Jiangning Road Bridge project. Officials said that renovating both bridges at once would cause too much impact on daily traffic in the area.

The Jiangning Road Bridge, which also spans the creek, is not far from the Caoyang Road Bridge. The Jiangning bridge has been demolished for a reconstruction because it was found to be structurally dangerous. The project will be completed in December, after which, renovation of the Caoyang Road Bridge can start. The Caoyang Road Bridge was built in 1977.

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