Shanghai World Expo 2010>Video>Days and Nights in Shanghai
UPDATED: April 28, 2010 Web Exclusive
Days and Nights in Shanghai - Episode One


A good place to start any day of sightseeing in Shanghai is Waibaidu Bridge—a river overpass still in use today that has witnessed Shanghai's development from a small commerce hub into a modern financial center.

For much of Shanghai's history, people relied on boats to reach the north and south banks of the Suzhou River, which runs from west to east into the Huangpu River. In 1856, British businessman Charles Wills formed the Suzhou River Bridge Building Co. to construct a wooden bridge—named Wills' Bridge—over the river. To offset construction costs, a toll was required for the bridge's use, causing an uproar among local residents.

The Shanghai Municipal Council took action, building another wooden bridge to the east of Wills' Bridge. The council eventually purchased and removed the outdated Wills' Bridge, and replaced its wooden structure with a steel truss composite bridge in 1907. Since passersby no longer needed to pay a toll, the bridge was renamed Baidu Bridge, which means "free for passersby," and later acquired the name Waibaidu Bridge.

But more than just a river crossing, the bridge is a significant symbol of Shanghai. For 40 years after its construction, the bridge required very little maintenance—a testament to its ingenuity.

After the founding of New China in 1949, the bridge was structurally reinforced. In April 2008, Waibaidu Bridge was removed for renovation work. On the principle of "repairing the old as it used to be," the framework of the bridge was restored and the bridge's piers were rebuilt. A year later, after maintenance and reinforcing efforts were complete, Waibaidu Bridge once again graced the Suzhou River.

Today, Waibaidu Bridge still serves as a vital artery for traffic along the two sides of the Suzhou River and the Bund area.

More Video >>
Episode One: The Waibaidu Bridge
Episode Two: The Shiliupu Dock
Episode Three: The Bund
Episode Four: Chenghuang Temple & Yu Garden
Episode Five: Tianzifang
Episode Six: The Bust of Alexander Pushkin
Episode Seven: Shanghai World Financial Center
Episode Eight: Riverside Avenue
Episode Nine: Xintiandi
Episode Ten: Nanjing Road
Episode Eleven: Hengshan Road
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