A mile-long bridge in south-eastChina was destroyed in a controlled explosion today to make way for the construction of a taller, wider overpass. The busy Ji’an Ganjiang Bridge stretches over the Gan River in Jiangxi province and could no longer meet the traffic demands of the growing population.
Local authorities approved plans to bring down the 23-year-old bridge after recent years of repairs and improvements failed to improve the structure’s safety, according to reports. The multi-lane motorway was demolished at 10:18am local time as hundreds of residents watched on. Workers attached several tonnes of explosives on the bridge’s four main columns and 61 piers.
Video footage filmed by witnesses show the massive motorway spanning 1,577 metres (5,173 feet) across the river being reduced into a cloud of smoke and debris. Following a large bang, the structure disappeared in seconds into the waters of the Gan River. Construction for the Ji’an Ganjiang Bridge began in September 1993 and opened to traffic in December 1995.
However, an increasing number of overweight vehicles crossing the bridge, among other factors, has been causing permanent damage to the structure, according to People’s Daily. Years of repairs and improvement works failed to eliminate the damage to the bridge, which has been listed as ‘dangerous’ in a structural evaluation.
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