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Lupu Bridge: Map

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The Lupu Bridge ( ), in Shanghai, Chinamarker, is the world's longest arch bridge. The 2.5 billion yuan (US$302 million), bridge was opened on June 28, 2003. Its main span of over the Huangpu Rivermarker is longer than the previous recordholder, the New River Gorge Bridgemarker in the Fayetteville, West Virginiamarker, United Statesmarker.

Name

The name of the bridge, Lupu, is an abbreviation of the two districts of Shanghai which it links - Luwan Districtmarker on the north bank, and Pudongmarker New District on the south bank. This follows the naming convention of the three earlier bridges on the Huangpu Rivermarker - Nanpu (Nanshi-Pudongmarker), Yangpumarker (Yangpumarker-Pudongmarker), and Xupu (Xuhuimarker-Pudongmarker).

Controversy

During the hearings and evaluations of the construction of the bridge, scholars and experts agreed with the local government in that a bridge was indeed needed for further development, but that was where the similarity ended. The experts have continuously advocated the local government on alternative designs that cost much less and produce the same result, but the local government, under the reign of disgraced mayor Chen Liangyu, decided against the advice to select the current arch bridge design. The reason was simply because for the cheaper alternative bridge designs, there were already such bridges in Shanghai, and the arch bridge design not only provided a first for the city of this design, but also enabled the city to claim a world record for being the longest. Critics point out that such showpiece project is the proof of the city officials' superficiality, and ignored the real need of the city, causing the city and its residents to pay much more and much longer in the long run to recover the investment cost.

Trivia

Yao Ming, the Chinese-born NBA basketball player, ran among the first group to cross the bridge during the opening ceremony.

The top of the west tower is open for visitors, with access from ground level by elevator then along and up the north east arch to the viewing platform at the top. Most of the time a guide will accompany you. (And maybe a security guard as well.) From the top you can see the development underway for the expo site on both sides of the river.

"Lupu" means "The Wolf" in Romanian and similarly in Latin. This is a coincidence as the name was not chosen for its latin conotations.

Shanghai Expo site

The bridge is located amidst the Shanghai Expo site (2010)

External links

  • Shanghai Lupu Chinese bridge site showing suspended deck arch construction and completion
  • Shanghai Climb gives access to the top of the western tower.



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