Nanpu Bridge is the first bridge to cross the Huangpu River from central Shanghai, linking it with the Pudong district across the river. The bridge and its spiral approaches are a major connection across the river and between Zhongshan South Road and Lu Jiabing Road.
Nanpu Bridge is a major contributor to the ongoing and rapid development of the Pudong District. The bridge’s special design and location also make it an attraction for locals and travelers, even more spectacular by night.
Huangpu River is regarded as the mother river by Shanghai people who consider it the cradle of Shanghai growth and civilization. However, as long as this great river separated the backward Pudong District from the thriving Puxi District, a big bridge linking them was a dream for many generations in Shanghai.
The idea of building a bridge has been popular since the 1920s. In 1975 Songpu Bridge was built, and although it reduced pressure temporarily it did not solve the problem of busy traffic on the Huangpu River because it was too far from the central city area.
The idea of building another bridge over the Huangpu River again became the focus and in August 1986 the state council approved the application for the Nanpu Bridge project. In July 1988 the Shanghai government set up the Nanpu Bridge head office, and construction began some months later. In 1990, when the Chinese government decided to make Pudong District a major development area, the building of Nanpu Bridge became an even more important project.
Construction on the Nanpu Bridge project began on December 15 1988 and actual construction was finished by June 20 199l. Deng Xiaoping personally inscribed the name of the bridge on a main girder. The opening ceremony was held on November 19 1991 and open to traffic on December 1 1991, becoming the first bridge over the Huangpu River in central Shanghai, and the fourth biggest cable-stayed bridge in the world.
Mainly financed by the Asian Development Bank, the total cost for this project was CNY 820 million. Shanghai Jiushi Corporation was responsible for raising capital and financial management for the whole project.
Nanpu Bridge was co-designed by the Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute, and the Tongji Architectural Design and Research Institute. The Shanghai Municipal Engineering Institute and Shanghai Institute of Building Research supervised 18 corporations involved in this project.
The successful completion of Nanpu Bridge stimulated the economic development of Shanghai and also laid a good foundation for the subsequent construction of Yangpu Bridge and Xupu Bridge.
The overall length of Nanpu Bridge is 8,346 m (9,127 yards). The main bridge is 846 m (925 yards) and the total length of the elevated circular approaches is 7500 m (8,202 yards) with 423 m (462 yards) for the span. With a bridge height of 46 m (50 yards) over the water, ships of up to 55 thousand tons are able to successfully navigate below the bridge.
The main bridge is a cable-stayed bridge with two main towers and double cable planes. The towers stand on each bank and are built of reinforced concrete, 150 m (492 feet) high, and resembling the letter ‘H’. Each side of the bridge has 22 pairs of steel cable linking the girder cable plane, which look like 2 fans from a distance.
The main bridge is a composite structure of steel and concrete. The lower layer of the bridge deck is made of a large 'beam' frame while the upper layer is reinforced with concrete. The steel deck and the bridge surfacewere welded with electronic welding, and concrete poured into the junction. This composite beam structure was first developed in Chinese bridge construction.