The section of the Great Wall in Beijing's Huairou district is undergoing repairs for two months starting Oct. 19. In recent years, many tourists have climbed the section, damaging cultural relics in the process. Some experts are therefore calling for the government to release a construction plan for the area.
The repair work is mainly targeting the sidewalls and watchtowers. Guo Dapeng, deputy director of the Huairou Culture Commission, explained that this section of the Great Wall hasn’t been repaired for many years, and many of its bricks are loose. Climbers are therefore at risk of dropping off the cliff.
Since the Great Wall is built across lofty mountains, repairs entail great costs and logistical difficulties. Materials are transported by mules halfway up the mountains. Then the workers must relay the materials to construction sites via riggings and slides.
One worker explained they start to work at 6 a.m., breaking only to have lunch on the mountain. They must also feed over 20 mules. Each mule makes six to seven trips per day, carrying around 300 kilograms each time.
Expert Dong Yaohui stated that protection of the Great Wall relies not only on repairs but also on regulations. Dong recommended that the government draft a formal plan for this section of the Great Wall, making it into a scenic spot and constructing a path for tourists, so as to discourage them from climbing on the wall itself.
So far 30 percent of the planned repairs have been completed.