An aerial solution for traffic jams
Authorities are hoping that the construction of a 343-meter pedestrian bridge will help alleviate traffic congestion at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, dubbed the world’s largest single -block building and exhibition complex.
The steel bridge will connect the western sector of the NECC to the Hongqiao business district, allowing visitors to park their vehicles in the latter before walking to the exhibition zone.
The clover-shaped NECC occupies an area of 1.47 million square meters and can accommodate 400,000 visitors. During exhibition periods, the massive influx of visitors often causes severe traffic jams. In May 2015, when a medical equipment fair was held at the complex, the traffic came to a standstill during peak hours and in turn caused hotel rates to spike across the city, according to thepaper.com.
In order to address the problem, authorities in August 2015 started construction on the pedestrian walkway, which is 8 meters above ground. According to Xie Wenxuan, an assistant to the project manager from Shanghai Mechanized Construction Group Co Ltd, the aerial passage will have an average width of 21 meters, much wider than traditional aerial walkways. It will be available for use in June.
A slew of other aerial corridors are also being planned or constructed in Shanghai’s major commercial areas to tackle similar traffic problems. According to Xie, a new bridge connecting the Hongqiao Railway Station and Hongqiao business district will link all the nine major areas of the business district upon completion, making it more convenient for people to access major commercial facilities.
“We are trying to make the corridor a comprehensive project for shopping, leisure and cultural activities. It’ll be a landmark project in the area,” said Liu Enfang, the head of the Institute of Shanghai Architectural Design and Research Co Ltd, which is the designer of the project.