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Qiantang River Bridge, first 2-layer bridge designed and built by Chinese engineers

Updated: November 2, 2020 L M S


This 2-layer bridge in the southern part of the city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province is China’s first to be designed and built entirely by Chinese engineers. It is 1,453 meters in length, 9.1 meters wide, 7.1 meters high, and has 15 piers. The upper tier is for a road, 6.1 meters wide, with a 1.5-meter-wide pedestrian walk on both sides, the bottom for a railway.

It crosses the Qiantang River and forms a junction for the Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo and Zhejiang-Jiangxi railways. Work on it began in 1934 and it went into operation on Sept 26, 1937. 

The designer was Mao Yisheng, a prominent bridge engineer. The design destroyed the notion that no large bridge could be built in this location.

The bridge was blown up in the fight against the Japanese army during their invasion, on Dec 23, 1937. After the war, the bridge was restored in 1948.

So, this bridge was a glorious milestone in Chinese railway history and has greatly facilitated traffic movement one the two sides of the river. It is also one of the most attractive scenic spots on the southern West Lake area, along with the Liuhe Pagoda, and it was added to the list of key national cultural relics in 2006.