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100 Excavators Demolish Chinese Overpass in One Evening

Jack White | @Jack5326

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NOW THIS is not something that you see every day. China is known for its innovation in the technology sphere, but the same could be said for construction too, and we’ve found some sound evidence in this video by CCTV+.

Earlier this year in the country’s Jiangxi province, an overpass was demolished in one night in the city of Nanchang; a budding metropolis home to over five million residents. All of those people means a lot of vehicles on the roads, but thanks to some serious precision – and over one hundred (!) excavators – diverted traffic ran like clockwork and the dismantling took just hours to complete.

The keyword from members of the public was “efficient”, and they certainly hit the nail on the head. The project took 56 hours in total, but the bulk of the work was completed in a single night. Demolition began on a Friday evening (26 August 2016) and with rubble cleared from the site, the area was re-opened on the following Monday morning. These guys didn’t mess about.

"The project took 56 hours in total, but the bulk of the work was completed in a single night"

So just why was the Yonghemen overpass being demolished in the first place? Nanchang has big plans to expand its transport options and a five line metro system is in the works. Once completed, the city will be the 24th in China to have its own metro network.

Above: Excavators lined both sides of the overpass on the night of 26 August 2016 (image courtesy of CCTV+).

Bulldozing began on the 1,640 foot flyover (the length of about four and a half football pitches) to make way for a second metro line, the first having already been completed elsewhere in the city.

The new route was opened up rather quickly with excavators lined up on both sides of the structure.

The Yonghemen overpass was originally developed in the 1990s to ease traffic from nearby routes, diverting travellers onto its highway to help prevent that dreaded word – congestion. However, standstills on the overpass could create problems themselves, with cars unable exit and dilute the pile-up. With the road no longer fit-for-purpose, the decision was made to take it down. Thankfully, residents’ sleep will have only been interrupted for one night.

Above: The excavators were positioned in close proximity to one another (image courtesy of CCTV+).

After such an impressive display, the future looks bright for the next project that will sit along the very same stretch of land. The construction of Line 2 of the city’s new infrastructure system is part of the Nanchang Metro’s first stage of development and began in 2013. 5 lines are planned in all. You may have guessed that Line 2 is the second to be completed; Line 1’s 50mph shuttles started scurrying in December 2015.

Plans for a second-phase of Line 2 will see it extended in southern and easterly directions covering some 23.3KM and creating 21 stations. Those works are expected to complete in 2020 but after watching this demolition video, we think that some time will easily be shaved off that estimate. The third phase of work will boost the 21 stops to 32, with Line 2 expanding by seven underground stations in the east and a further four in the south.

Above: Nanchang's Metro is a key part of the city's transportation infrastructure (image courtesy of Baycrest).

Let’s hope the formation of the city’s new metro line can be completed just as efficiently as the predecessor that served the people before it for a quarter of a century. We have a feeling it will be.

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