The Waibaidu Bridge recently underwent 4 months of repairs before being returned to its original home on the Suzhou Creek. Called the Garden Bridge in English, is the first all-steel bridge, and the only surviving example of a camelback truss bridge, in China.
The fourth Western-designed bridge built at its location since 1856, in the downstream of the estuary of the Suzhou Creek, near its confluence with the Huangpu River, adjacent to the Bund in central Shanghai, connecting the Huangpu and Hongkou districts, the present bridge was first opened on 20 January 1908.
The history of the bridge can be traced to the mid 1850s when the city had just opened to the outside world. At that time, ferry boats remained the only means of transport connecting the city’s south and the north across Suzhou Creek.
The bridge underwent similar repairs back in 2008 as part of an urban renewal project for the Bund, when it was cut into two sections, detached from its piers, and moved by boat in to a shipyard in Pudong for extensive repairs and restoration that required 205 tons of steel.
On 15 February 1994 the Shanghai Municipal Government declared the bridge an example of Heritage Architecture, and one of the outstanding structures in Shanghai. In an ever-changing metropolis, the Waibaidu Bridge still remains a popular attraction, and one of the few constants in the city skyline.