Most Influential Projects 2021

44 Wufengshan Yangtze River Bridge

Wufengshan Yangtze River Bridge

For combining high-speed rail and road transportation

The Wufengshan Yangtze River Bridge in China’s Jiangsu Province offers a peek into what might be the future of ultra-fast, ultra-efficient transport. The world’s first high-speed railway suspension bridge, it slashes travel between Shanghai and Lianyungang from 11 hours to three.

It also ranks as China’s first suspension bridge that combines a railway and highway. The 1,092-meter (3,583-foot) bridge links the cities of Yangzhou and Zhenjiang with an eight-lane upper-deck expressway and a lower four-lane railway designed to run at 250 kilometers (155 miles) per hour.

And while the vision for a double-decker bridge at the site reportedly stretches back 60 years, technical limitations shelved early project plans. Advancements—from massive foundation-pit excavation techniques to land-caisson construction—allowed the project to move forward, with construction starting in 2015 and wrapping in December.

Designed by China Railway Major Bridge Reconnaissance & Design Institute and built by China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group and China Communications Second Aviation Bureau, the new structure is the highest-loading, largest-spanning and fastest-running bridge of its kind.