NANJING, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's first self-designed modern bridge over the longest Chinese river of the Yangtze in the eastern city of Nanjing will reopen to road traffic by the end of December after a 27-month renovation.
Built half a century ago, the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge is China's first double-decked road-rail truss bridge. During the renovation, the highway traffic on the upper deck of the bridge was suspended while the railway on the lower deck was not disturbed.
This renovation, with an investment of 1.14 billion yuan (165 million U.S. dollars), started in 2016, repairs the highway bridge deck, which is connected with No. 104 and No. 312 national highways.
"The bridge was too high and full of overhead power lines over the railway. To ensure the safety of trains, we build a shelter shed," said Guo Jian, deputy director of the Center of Public Project Construction in Nanjing.
The 5,165-meter-long bridge first opened to traffic in 1968, marking the start of China's independent bridge design and building.
The renovation installs a new steel bridge deck, supports and adds pedestrian guardrails, lighting system and drainage system to make the bridge more updated and reinforced, said Guo.
"With the renovation, the bridge is expected to work safely for another 50 years, as long as the traffic flow is properly controlled," Guo said.
The bridge once served as a north-south artery for highway traffic in China. Due to rising demand for the cross-river road transport as well as high-speed railway lines, the city of Nanjing has built another four bridges over the river with the sixth bridge under construction.