Extravagant “Flyover” In Shenzhen Incites Criticism
August 30, 2012
Photo: China Foto Press / Barcroft Media
If you’ve lived in or visited any Chinese city, you’ve surely encountered or are even intimately familiar with the “flyover”, that peculiar, patently Asian urban device which lifts denizens up into the air and over bustling car traffic below, only to deposit them on the street opposite. The flyover, usually concrete and cast in some dubiously symbolic, yet daring form, resembles an utopian artifact from a time when ambitious urbanism schemes were still produced by the profession. The futuristic city may be a dream of the past, yet the bespoke object-flyover is just coming into its own. But not without it’s own share of problems. Continue.
Located at the junction between Nanshan and Shennan boulevards in Shenzhen, the 14-meter-wide Chunhua Footbridge hovers over the intersection like a halo, touching the ground at four points. The structure, whose form was designed to look like an abstract flower, was hastily completed last year for the Shenzhen Universiade at a cost of 50 million yuan ($7.6 million), and has been bitterly criticized ever since for its high construction and maintenance costs.
Photos: Zha Liangqian / Oriental IC
The four escalators and two elevators began experiencing several problems soon after the conclusion of the Universiade, with some stopping operation entirely. Nearly all of the 1,000 LED bulbs fixed to the the steel members are no longer working either, while lack of proper maintenance has left the the walkways filled with rainwater. According to Shenzhen Daily News, the Nanshan urban administration laid blame for the extravagant fees and faulty systems with the complex design–which features intricate lattice walls that recall the slanted, interwoven steel mesh of the Bird’s Nest in Beijing–but failed to list any plans to rehabilitate the structure.
The Chunhua flyover is just one of several others, including the 130-meter-long Chuangye Road flyover, an ornate serpentine overpass whose electrical systems frequently break down.