Qiantang River Bridge
The first bridge on Qiantang River
The Qiantang River Bridge is the first two-level combined rail and general vehicle bridge to be designed and built exclusively by Chinese architects and craftsmen. Completed on September 26, 1937, located south of West Lake by the Six Harmonies Pagoda, the bridge connects Zhijiang Road with Wentao Road on the river’s far bank.
The Qiantang River Bridge was constructed under chief architect Mao Yisheng (1896 – 1989). With a total length of 1,453 meters, the bridge consists of fifteen supports and sixteen spans. The upper level serves general motor vehicle traffic and has a width of 6.1 meters. Pedestrian paths on each side of the motorway span 1.5 meters. The lower level accommodates rail transportation.
On December 23, 1937, Mr Mao Yisheng was compelled to use explosives to destroy the cross-river bridge to keep the invading Japanese troops from advance. In 1946, following the Anti-Japanese War, the bridge was restored, however civil war in 1949 saw another (unsuccessful) attempt to explode the bridge.
The bridge provides an opportune viewing platform for the Qiantang River tidal bore – a natural event where incoming tide from the sea forms powerful waves that travel up and along the river. A fascinating display of natures’ mystery and force, the bore is an awe-inspiring natural spectacle. The tides reach peak performance from just before the Mid-autumn Festival (between mid-September and mid-October).