Planet China

A bridge too far

China’s new infrastructure is famously constructed at China-speed i.e. about three times quicker than in the West. But putting stuff up so fast does not always equate with a high quality finish. That, at least, seems to be the consensus on Wuhan’s Number Three Yangtze River Bridge. Just over 10 years after its completion, the Rmb1.1 billion ($165 million) project has needed major repairs on no fewer than 24 occasions, reports the China Youth Daily. Yes, that’s an average of two or three times per year.

When Wuhan’s transport officials were quizzed on Number Three’s atrocious record, they simply claimed that the bridge was “overloaded”. However, the Guangzhou Daily feels there is more to it than this, quoting another Wuhan bureaucrat as going silent when asked about it, before saying “it is inconvenient to disclose anything”. Some netizens reckon corruption lies behind the bridge’s poor construction quality; others say it reflects a bureaucratic culture that races ahead with projects without proper long-term planning.


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