Infrastructure unraveling: section of bridge in China collapses, killing 3

A collapsed section of the Yangmingtan Bridge’s ramp, in the city of Harbin, dropped 100 feet to the ground on Friday, killing three people and injuring five.   
August 25, 2012 CHINA - One of the longest bridges in northern China collapsed on Friday, just nine months after it opened, setting off a storm of criticism from Chinese Internet users and underscoring questions about the quality of construction in the country’s rapid expansion of its infrastructure.  A nearly 330-foot-long section of a ramp of the eight-lane Yangmingtan Bridge in the city of Harbin dropped 100 feet to the ground. Four trucks plummeted with it, resulting in three deaths and five injuries. The 9.6-mile bridge is one of three built over the Songhua River in that area in the past four years. China’s economic stimulus program in 2009 and 2010 helped the country avoid most of the effects of the global economic downturn, but involved incurring heavy debt to pay for the rapid construction of new bridges, highways and high-speed rail lines all over the country. Questions about the materials used during the construction and whether the projects were properly engineered have been the subject of national debate ever since a high-speed train plowed into the back of a stopped train on the same track on July 23 last year in the eastern city of Wenzhou. The crash killed 40 people and injured 191; a subsequent investigation blamed in particular flaws in the design of the signaling equipment. Photographs on Chinese Web sites on Friday appeared to show that the collapsed section of the Yangmingtan Bridge’s ramp had fallen on land, not in the river. According to the official Xinhua news agency, the Yangmingtan Bridge was the sixth major bridge in China to collapse since July 2011. Chinese officials have tended to blame overloaded trucks for the collapses, and did so again on Friday. Many in China have attributed the recent spate of bridge collapses to corruption, and online reaction to the latest collapse was scathing. “Corrupt officials who do not die just continue to cause disaster after disaster,” said one post on Friday on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service similar to Twitter. –NY Times
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21 Responses to Infrastructure unraveling: section of bridge in China collapses, killing 3

  1. Richard says:

    They must have used parts that were made in China

  2. Collapsed only 9 months after it opened? I don’t blame the Chinese people for being mad. It’s bad enough when an older bridge gives out, but this is clearly a case of someone not doing their job. If they can’t build bridges that can handle heavy truck traffic then they need to re-route the trucks. And to have six major bridges collapse in a little over a year is a farce. Methinks that perhaps the PRC needs to slow down a bit in its modernization program, hire some new contractors and some new construction inspectors. At least the casualty count was low…

  3. Montana Jim says:

    It is happening everywhere!

    • sunflower says:

      You are correct Montana Jim, this is happening everywhere. Falling bridges, sink holes, ect. I think most readers are missing the point focusing on who made what. People still so divided by national borders can not see this is happening to earth. It has nothing to do with if you are american or an engineer from china!

  4. Irene C says:

    Knowing the quality of the stuff they export to the U.S., I would imagine they used inferior products. They are new to the “capitalist” game so they are in a hurry to play catch-up. They don’t have the safety groups, OSHA, or unions to monitor what is going on. They want to be part of the “power game” and they want it now. I pray for their people who are just pawns in this power struggle.

    • Our system may get complicated and cumbersome, but at least it takes the time to do the job right. With all of the construction workers in need of jobs over here I don’t think we should be outsourcing (something I take a dim view of anyway) major construction projects, especialy not to China with its lousy track record in major construction; if we had to contract the job to an Asian company, we’d be better off giving it to the Japanese. Either way, when you have to go with the lowest bidder you get what you pay for.

    • Dennis E. says:

      Don’t forget the dry wall controversy in Florida I believe……

  5. Skip says:

    Made in China!

  6. Bill says:

    Pretty much like the good ol USA

  7. Marybell says:

    I read where contracts were given to the Chinese companies for building some of OUR bridges, Wasn’t that right? Whose gonna oversee this?

  8. Artoro says:

    I’m not surprised at all. Too much, too fast. Hey, ins’t that were they built the Three Gorges Dam? OMG, it is.

  9. Bill K says:

    Didn’t Obama give billion dollar bridge contracts to china to build bridges in the US? If so, shouldn’t we be outraged in the first place? And in the second place maybe take a look at their construction techniques?

  10. Victoria says:

    Many of the ghost cities that China has erected in the last 20 years, are also in a terrible state of repair.

  11. quietbear says:

    And the same thing will happen to the bridges & such that the Chinese are building here, as well… Take the Bay Bridge between S.F. & Oakland… How long will it stand?
    You tell me how a construction company can be the low bidder when you’re coming from a nation on the other side of the Pacific…
    China is rebuilding our infrastructure whilst building their own infrastructure…
    Hmmm…
    We’ve been hoodwinked by a bunch of damn fools…

  12. tellthetruth1 says:

    That makes me wonder about Japan, as they were so quick in trying to get roads restored after the tsunami. Hope they built theirs better. This is awful. Just about to watch the film…

  13. Bob Collins says:

    Headline caption: Bridged dropped 100’??? Come on look at the light pole on the right! We don’t need exaggerated headlines to know JUNK made in China falls apart!

  14. jcf186 says:

    After reading the title and seeing the picture all i could think of is this http://www.npr.org/2011/09/16/140515737/california-turns-to-china-for-new-bay-bridge

    • Very interesting article. One thing that it reveals is the fact that by paying its workers a pittance compared to Western workers, China is able to gain an inequitable advantage over American companies. Yet, our current administration keeps encouraging bigger and “better” deals with the communist Chinese government. Globalization at its best!

    • That was a great article that again shows the reason for the tear down of our economy and national security by going global. Buy American and Do it in America. Other wise we will just be servicing our funerals.

  15. Joseph t. Repas says:

    Maybe our politicians in the USA are under hard times also and so are taking on part time positions in China. Like the blogger in China stated… Corrupt officials that do not die continue to cause disaster after disdaster….I feel their pain.

  16. Wes says:

    We should be outraged that another country is doing any type of work in our country, That’s whats wrong we make nothing, how can a country support itself when all the things we use are need is made some where else? It does not take a smart person to figure this out but again we are talking about the government.

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