Photo: Dr. Claude Comtois, 1992.
Access Ramp to the Nanpu Bridge, Shanghai
The Nanpu bridge, which was completed in 1991, is one of the two major bridges crossing the Huangpu River in Shanghai. It represented a radical change in the urban road infrastructure of the city. Because of the strategic importance of the river as a navigation axis (Shanghai is the world's largest port in terms of tonnage) the bridge was set at a significant height, which required extensive access ramps. To minimize the spatial imprint of the ramp, it was built as a spiral on the Shanghai side of the bridge. On the above photo taken just a few months after the bridge was completed, its impacts on the local land use and the urban spatial structure were not yet in place.