China: Around The Nation

Sleep well! 86 excavators demolish Chinese city overpass overnight

Half-kilometre section of elevated road that once handled 100,000 vehicles a day reduced to rubble by dawn on Sunday

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 August, 2016, 4:19pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 August, 2016, 7:58pm

Close to a hundred excavators tore down a highway overpass in eastern China overnight to pave way for the construction of a subway line, state media reported.

At about 10:30pm on Saturday, 86 excavators lined up on both sides of the 500 metre elevated road in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi province, and began pounding away with their wrecking hammers.

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The Yonghe Gate overpass was built above a main road connecting the city’s southern and northern suburbs, and by the early Sunday morning, the 24-year-old structure had been reduced to piles of rubble.

The bridge, named after the city’s ancient former Yonghe Gate, was built in the 1990s at the height of a traffic infrastructure construction boom in the city. The overpass has helped ease traffic congestion on nearby roads nearby since its inception, but its closed design also prevents it from diverting vehicles to other routes once it becomes congested itself, according to the report carried on, a state-run news website based in Shanghai.

The Nanchang government said bridge had to be demolished to make way for the city’s Subway Line Two, which is under construction.

On normal days, at least 86,000 vehicles used the Yonghe Gate overpass, and more than 100,000 on busy public holidays.

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On its last day of service, the bridge saw fewer vehicles during the evening rush hour. Many residents went to take photos and pose for selfies at the bridge until it was closed for demolition at 9:30pm.

“The demolition scene was spectacular, but I had mixed feelings seeing it pulled down,” a policeman among the crowds said.

The report made no mention of how well residents nearby slept on Saturday night.