Spanning the Pearl River in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, the Haixin Bridge is the largest pedestrian bridge in the world. [Provided to China Daily]
A new cross-river pedestrian bridge was officially opened last month in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.
The Haixin Bridge, a curved-girder, cable-stayed bridge, spans 198 meters of water, with a total length of 488 meters and a width of 15 meters.
The structure has become a new attraction, drawing many residents and tourists since it opened.
He Jingtang, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the Haixin is the first pedestrian bridge to run across the Pearl River in Guangzhou. It integrates elements of Lingnan (South China) regional culture.
"The Cantonese-style design fully embodies the depth of Lingnan culture and the image of Guangzhou as a modern international metropolis," said He, who led the design team.
The bridge's completion is emblematic of the rapid, high-quality construction seen in Guangzhou in recent years. Its construction kicked off in May last year, and the southern and northern sections were successfully joined in February.
Running from Ersha Island to the southern bank of the Pearl River in the city's central business district, the footbridge is the largest of its kind in the world.
Xie Weizhen, a white-collar worker in Guangzhou, said the Haixin is spectacular and will become a unique tourist attraction in the provincial capital – an open, innovative and inclusive city.
"The bridge provides a special corridor for residents living on the southern bank of the Pearl River to walk to Ersha Island, a destination for recreation and leisure for local residents," she said.
Covering 1.26 million square meters, Ersha, part of Guangzhou's Yuexiu district, is home to the Guangdong Museum of Art, the Guangdong Overseas Chinese Museum, the Xinghai Concert Hall, the Guangdong Gymnasium and a number of parks, soccer fields and basketball and tennis courts.
Pedestrians can also walk from Canton Tower, commonly known as Xiaomanyao, to Huacheng Square, the Haixinsha Asian Games theme park, the Guangdong Museum and other landmarks in Zhujiang New Town in the Tianhe district.
The east side of the bridge deck is designed for leisure, allowing pedestrians to sit and enjoy the scenery on both sides of the river. It can also accommodate small-scale art performances.
The west side is the main thoroughfare, and is shaded to enable walking with bicycles, exercising or just enjoying the sunset.
In addition, the bridge – which links Yuexiu and Tianhe districts in the northern part of the Pearl River to Haizhu district in the south – is an ideal destination for people who want to watch the city's annual dragon boat race and enjoy fireworks shows during festivals and special celebrations, including National Day and the Spring Festival.
The bridge is expected to become an evermore popular destination and play a big role in economic development, culture, business, sightseeing and leisure on both sides of the river.