|Two shots of the Yangpu bridge taken in 1994 or 1995. At that point the traffic on the bridge was relatively light. It was a pleasure to zip across to Pudong where there wasn't much traffic to speak of. There wasn't much to see, but you could get there easily.
There is so much traffic now on the Yangpu bridge that the bridge has some of the most sophisticated monitoring systems in the world. Up until 2000, the bridges collected tolls, but the traffic backup made that impossible so now the bridges are supported by a vehicle tax. Maintenance on any of the bridges runs about a half million US dollars per year.
A third bridge, the Xupu opened in 1996 and it carries about 70,000 vehicles a day. There are also three tunnels, one of which carries traffic in both directions, the other two are one way -- yes, in opposite directions. Combined, they carry about 120,000 vehicles per day. There is a subway link that since the year 2000 has carried commuters back and forth. All are overloaded.
Over the next 5 years, probably targeted to 2010, Shanghai will build three more tunnels, two new subways and another bridge. That should ease the congestion to some extent. The other development that could ease traffic is the addition of affordable housing to the Pudong area. Increasing numbers of the upper middle class are moving there to be closer to work as shopping areas, services, and schools are developed. But the primary work-force of the Pudong district is the office worker, the people who handle the data and forms that make a modern bank or business hum. There is still insufficient housing for the ordinary worker.
China Index >> Shanghai, Bund, and Pudong >> Shanghai Pudong
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Last update: February 2007
© Marilyn Shea 1996, 1999, 2002, 2007