If you travel by car in Shanghai, the by far nicest view you can have is when you drive down from Yan’an elevated road to the Bund. In the lefthand curve you have a magnificent view of both the Bund, the Huangpu river and the Pudong skyline. Most first-time visitors to the city are stunned when they see this, and even I am still impressed each time I drive that stretch of road.
But by the end of this month the nice view will be gone. Actually, the view will still be there, but the curved road will be dismantled. This is part of a bigger plan, where a 3.3. km long tunnel will be built below the Bund from Yan’an Lu to Hongkou. With typical Chinese speed the tunnel will be ready in exactly two years (just in time for the WorldExpo 2010 in Shanghai, surely no coincidence). During that time, however, the whole area is likely to become one big traffic jam. Not good for all the restaurants and stores on the Bund, I suppose.
What will also disappear, although just temporarily, is the 100-year old Waibaidu bridge at the end of the Bund over the Suzhou creek. The bridge will be completely dismantled and then transported to a shipyard. After maintenance the bridge will be put back into place in about one year. Quite an operation for an old bridge, but at least it’s better than demolishing it and building a new bridge. The Waibaidu bridge is part of the Bund for me, so I am glad they do it this way.
Photo Waibaidu bridge (creative commons): Kramchang