By Xinyi Li, EDITOR
Chongqing is embraced by surrounding mountains and nourished by interweaving waters. Thus, people here have built many bridges to connect regions separated by valleys and rivers. Today, the number of bridges has exceeded over 10,000, leading to Chongqing’s popular nickname as the City of Bridges. The title was officially determined by experts in the 2009 Mao Yisheng Forum held in Chongqing.
Jialingjiang Bridge is one of the earliest large-span steel-structured ones designed and constructed independently by China, after Qiantangjiang Bridge. The span is 88 meters, and it opened to traffic in 1966. The bridge was designed and built by the Design Department, Bridge Engineering Bureau of Wuhan.
After the double-track bridge of Shibanpo Yangtze River Bridge was completed, the general span increased from 174 meters to 330 meters. Similar to the double-track railway, the double track bridge involves running one track in each direction, compared to a single-track bridge where vehicles in both directions share the same track. This double-track bridge adopts the composite structure of steel and concrete, which proves to be an ideal solution for the technique and economic issues. It opened in 2006 and is still the one with the world’s largest span.
Crossing the Jialing River, Shimen Bridge, a concrete-structured complex, was put into use in 1988. Being 25.5 meters wide with the main span of 230 meters, making it the first large-scale cable-stayed bridge in China.
The 200-meter-span Fuling Wujiang Bridge is a through arch bridge with a concrete structure. It opened in 1989 and was regarded as a world-level innovation with the application of the swivel construction, which was very advanced at that time.
The Yangtze River Bridge rested in Wanzhou is another concrete-structured through arch bridge with the world’s largest span of 420 meters. This 23-meter-wide complex was put into use in 1997, and the approach combined steel skeleton and concrete was high tech then.
The through arch bridge with the largest span on our planet is the Chaotianmen Bridge. With the main span of 552 meters, it has two layers: The upper is a dual six-lane road; the lower is a dual light rail, with two lanes for cars on both sides.
In addition to Shibanpo Bridge and its double-track bridge introduced above, Jialing River Bridge, Huanghuayuan Bridge, Jiahua Bridge, Chongqing-Macao Bridge are very famous beam bridges.
Besides, as through arch bridges, the Fuling Wujiang Bridge and Wanxian Yangtze River Bridge, Wushan Yangtze River Bridge (19 meters wide with the span of 492 meters), Caiyuanba Bridge (main span: 420 meters), and the Chaotianmen Bridge enjoy a world-class reputation.
In terms of the suspension type, in addition to Shimen Bridge, Lijiatuo Yangtze River Bridge, with the main span of 444 meters, also celebrates the largest span when it was put into service in 1998.
Dongshuimen Yangtze River Bridge (main span: 445 meters), Qiansimen Jialing River Bridge (main span: 312 meters), and Jiayue Jialing River Bridge (main span: 250 meters) are cable-stayed and auxiliary beam one based on the concept of cable-supported girder bridge, despite the regular appearances of a cable-stayed bridge.
Suspension bridges are rare to be seen in Chongqing for most of its rivers are not very wide. However, Egongyan Bridge (main span: 600 meters) and several others with smaller spans are all of this type. Specifically, the double-track bridge, under construction, of Egongyan Bridge is a self-anchored suspension structure. After completion, it will become the world’s largest span, 600 meters, of this type across the world, for the existing record is only 420 meters.
On another point of view, the status of Chongqing’s bridges in China is remarkable. The Yangtze River flows through seven provinces and municipalities and stretches across China from the west to east. There are 81 completed Yangtze-River-spanning bridges in service today, and 36 of them situated in Chongqing, accounting for 44% of the total. It is an impressive record for Chongqing.
Furthermore, each of the above-listed four types has set the world records of the largest spans. Chongqing is honorably to be the record breaker for two items with the double-track bridge of Shibanpo Yangtze River Bridge in girder type (main span: 330 meters) and Chaotianmen Bridge (main span: 552 meters). Isn’t it amazing for this city to hold half of the world records in this type at the same time?
Source: Official Account on CQCB