Monday, September 21, 2009

Ryan Pyle Blog: Ba Ling Bridge


I recently had the opportunity to visit a region of China that has often been overlooked during China's sprint towards modernity, and that region is the province of Guizhou. Guizhou is landlocked and mountainous, meaning it has missed out on China's industrial expansion, export manufacturing and farming innovations. The province is one of China's poorest and has been considered a lost hinterland for centuries. With that being said, the central government is now sprinkling money throughout many of China's rural backwaters in an effort to increase transportation links and re-connect this massive country; as well as help out areas of depressed growth. The Ba Ling River Bridge is one of the most visually telling examples of Beijing's efforts to "bridge the gap" between China's wealthier and poorer regions. The bridge is set to connect the capital city of Guizhou province, Guiyang, with the capital of Yunnan province, Kunming; one of the most mountainous and transport defunct regions of China as deep river gorges and mountain ranges are scattered along the route. I recently visited the bridge and was granted unprecedented access, but for only about an hour as the construction boss was on a long lunch. I even had time to climb the 40+ story suspension tower, which was a treat in high wind. Please follow the link below to view the work:

LINK: Click Here for Gallery

The Ba Ling River Bridge, due to be completed in early 2010, is one of China's longest suspension bridges. Measuring 1.4 miles (2.25km) the project is a marvel of Chinese engineering that looks wholly out of place among rural Guizhou provinces farms and rice fields. The Ba Ling River Bridge, soaring a quarter of a mile (400m) above the Ba Ling River, is an example of large-scale infrastructure projects that are being built throughout China in an effort to modernize China's vast western hinterland.

Ryan Pyle

1 comment:

  1. I've followed your blog for some time as I used to live in China. This post is especially interesting because I lived in Guizhou. I passed by this bridge construction regularly on my bus trips to Guiyang. Good post. It's nice to see how it's progressing. Guizhou is definitely an isolated province.



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