Harbin Bridge Collapse: Poor Construction or Overloaded Trucks?

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge.

From NetEase:

Bridge opened less than one year collapses causing 3 deaths and 5 injured

August 24th around 5:30 in the morning, a collapse occurred along a stretch of the Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge, with four large cargo trucks falling with it, and has caused 3 fatalities and 5 injured at present. According to reports, Yangmingtan was a major construction project of the province and city, breaking ground on 2009 December 5th, and completed and opened to traffic on 20122 November 6th, with an estimated investment of 1.882 billion yuan and being Harbin city’s first suspension bridge.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

Harbin Yangmingtan Bridge collapse.

On Youku:

Harbin Yangmingtan Elevated Road Suddenly Collapses Killing 3 Injuring 6

This morning around 5:30, a collapse occurred along a stretch of the Harbin Yangmingtan Elevated Road and has caused 3 fatalities and 6 injured at present.

Comments from Youku:


Tofu drugs [poor construction quality]. To live in China, these strange things are no longer strange. For this kind of accident, I believe most people’s first reaction is to feel sorry for the dead, and all that’s left is numbness/indifference. Sad.


The reason why our country’s products ave such difficulty establishing themselves international, such a tragedy.


The Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge built in the 50s hasn’t collapsed, the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge also hasn’t collapsed, even the 1400-something-year-old Zhaozhou Bridge is still standing. The technology and funding used by these bridges cannot even begin to compare to the present day, so why is it that a bridge constructed with today’s high technology has collapsed in less than a year? In response to this, the relevant government departments have begun and investigation, with experts saying: The reason is because the trucks were overloaded. Also, the rhythm of the trucks were too similar, therefore the bridge experienced resonance. There are examples in history for this, so everyone shouldn’t create rumors everywhere, and trust that our quality can be guaranteed.


Three vehicles on one pillar of the bridge. The media’s first response: According to the current determination of the experts, the vehicles were severely overloaded. Haha, how many vehicles can this bridge support at one time? Just 6 and it collapses! What a sturdy bridge. Actually, it isn’t just Harbin that has this kind of recurring problem. It’s just that other places haven’t had three overloaded vehicles passing simultaneously at one time that’s all.


The bridge pillar wasn’t broken, the bridge deck wasn’t broken apart, so where is the problem with the bridge??? It’s clearly that the three vehicles driving on one side flipped/weighed down the bridge. If you don’t understand it, go home and play with some building blocks and then you’ll understand.

车灬冫迷: (responding to above)

So according to you, the vehicles need to be arranged to cross the bridge, to cater to the bridge’s design?


Fuck, what other reason is there. Experts, professors, all saying nothing/ It’s simply fucking tofu dregs construction!!!


For this, after China’s precedents, it will ultimately be determined that there was nothing wrong with the construction and that it was merely overloaded! 搞笑


I just so happen to work in civil engineering. Looking at the area where the bridge fractured in the video, you can see that the steel reinforcing bar and cement at where the bridge deck and the bridge pillars are extremely substandard! I can responsibly say this bridge definitely had construction quality problems!!! The construction cost of this bridge could not have exceeded 1 billion! It was subcontracted at least 4-5 times!


The cause of This accident is probably because of the cargo trucks traveling along only one side. Even if it is this kind of reason, it has nothing to do with the cargo trucks, because the bridge designer should’ve thought of this, and must think of this.


We must trust the quality in China, so this accident obviously was because the cargo trucks were overloaded.


I’m confused, the Administration of Safety Inspection has already indicated that there definitely must’ve been a problem, so how come there are still people saying the [construction] quality had passed/been deemed standard and that it was because of overloading? These people are unbelievable. How many cargo trucks aren’t overloaded throughout the country? How many collapsed bridges have you seen? Can you still say this [bridge’s construction] is normal? Reinforced concrete collapsing from bearing the vertical weight of just four trucks? Just four trucks and its overloaded? Each truck was just 40-50 tons, and even if the four trucks were overloaded it wouldn’t be over 200 tons but the bridge can’t handle even that?

Comments from NetEase:

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牛仔哥0 [网易陕西省延安市网友]:

This [the cause of this collapse] doesn’t even need to be investigated, the vehicles carrying the rocks were too heavy.

古乐龙乒乓 [网易北京市手机网友]: (responding to above)

Just three overloaded trucks can’t even pass? It’s obviously a [construction] quality problem. It was built just last year. Corruption, skimping on the work and materials.

网易浙江省台州市网友: (also responding to 牛仔哥0)

LD are thinking exactly the same thing you’re saying.

act62 [网易广东省潮州市网友]: (also responding to 牛仔哥0)

Severe overloading in China is completely not considered a crime by netizens, but in would definitely be a crime in the United States!

candtrae [网易加拿大网友]:

This Yangmingtan Bridge is a suspension bridge just like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco of the United States, but the Golden Gate Bridge has already stood for over 70 years without any problems whatsoever, whereas this Yangmingtan Bridge has collapsed in under a year. In this kind of country where someone walking on the street can be burned to death, drowned, or fall to their deaths in a deep hole, where cargo trucks driving on a bridge can suddenly vanish, it truly isn’t easy for the ordinary common people to survive.

一把手的面子 [网易河北省邢台市网友]:

Just like Nanchang, where the steel reinforcing bars in the concrete are exchanged with bamboo and called a technical innovation. In short, when you try to talk reason/principles with them, they pretend to be idiots.


I bet these four vehicles will be fined over 10 million [RMB]!

皮皮空 [网易浙江省杭州市网友]:

The one thing we can be certain of is: The cargo trucks were again overloaded.


Sitting here waiting for the experts to come out and explain.

西臣电工 [网易浙江省嘉兴市网友]:

For money, morality and ethics can be excluded.

种柳柳江边 [网易广西柳州市网友]:

This driver is truly mentally retarded. The weight of this one semi-trailer filled with rocks can exceed 100 tons, and the three vehicles all following so closely to travel the bridge, isn’t this simply asking for trouble? Perhaps the toll and the fuel costs are all very expensive, but the cargo truck driver isn’t just pursuing profit, what they’re after is trying to recoup the cost of the truck in two to three years, or even within one year. A lot of drivers can make enough money with one truck to buy several trucks, so that’s why they try to load as much as they can. Every time I see several of these trucks crossing a bridge together, I get scared and try to stay further away from them.

起个名字好听点的 [网易广东省中山市网友]:

Fuck, who knows how much taxpayer money has been wasted and how many lives have been lost with these tofu dregs construction projects [poorly-built construction projects].

chenjin1528 [网易四川省泸州市手机网友]:

Completely the fault of the cargo trucks! So say the experts.

偶尔的发嗲 [网易云南省昆明市手机网友]:

Carrying that much and all driving on the outside lane.

At time of translation, Chinese authorities said overladen trucks traveling closely on one side of the bridge were a factor but they were also still investigating if there were construction or design problems.

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Mik G

    Can the bridge support a sofa?

    • cooter

      Wow. We need a seconds indicator in the timestamp :P

      • Mik G

        Mine’s higher, I win! As long as 3 fatties don’t also sit here at the same time. Humpdy Dumpty no like.

        • passin’thru


          fcuk u!

          said the wall.


          • Horatio Caine

            Well it appears that the bridge……. fell short of standards.


    • Average Zhou

      haha, on this one u could also say “hope there was no homeless guy chilling on a SOFA under that bridge.” just sayin…for next time.

    • linette

      Can I join on this sofa? Any room for me? I promise I won’t overweight.

      • linette

        Without a doubt. Gov’t officials stealing money again from the taxpayers of China. Cutting corners and using less than standard materials. The whole China is like that. The China officials and the rich live above China law. Stealing money and getting away with murder and stealing. Suppressing the middle class and the poor by creating a system where no way they can get good education and advance in social status. The rich and the gov’t officials want to make sure the middle class and the poor are under controlled.

        This is China. Everything in China is controlled by these 10% thieves and murderers. The other 90% of them are all victims and most of them themselves are too ignorant and don’t even know it. And they hate Hk people when we tell them the truth online. Please…:(

        Just don’t buy their condos. They will completely collapse with the smallest earthquake. Like all the buildings in sichuan that didn’t meet standard because gov’t official stole money from the project while building them.


        • El Puma R.

          And it’s funny how they forget about it…

          last year here in Changchun a bridge collapsed and they (obviously) didn’t even report it. The road has been closed since then.. there’s a new bridge but I don’t see many people using it. But then again, it happens in every country… but for me, it’s more interesting to see it in china, I mean, come on… New bridges collapsing? I see how they build them in less than 3 months, putting them together with the ease you put Legos together.

          And if you do your research, you see it happens with everything. I’ll use my sense of logic: looks good – you need it – everyone else has it – you buy it – you use it a little – you stop using it for a month or so – you want to use it again and it doesn’t work – you dump it – buy a new one – problem solved.

          Tell me if the things you buy in your own countries last forever, like it used to be. No, they don’t.. and they all say “made in China” in the back.
          Governments are and will always be a mere reflection of society. Let’s stop blaming others for everything that happens because we are the ones buying shit in the first place.

          PS: Terrible loss of face, Haerbin!

  • thetruth

    I aint sitting on that poorly constructed sofa

  • cooter

    Poor construction or overloaded trucks? Both, most likely…

  • Misiooo

    Misiooo claims this (unstable) sofa!

  • Brett Hunan

    4 sofa claims in a minute. First time I’ve seen that.

    Trucks were overloaded?!!! I have seen much smaller bridges with much more weight on it.

    Bridges are supposed to be built to withstand much more weight than if there was bumper to bumper traffic filled with overloaded trucks. This is the result of shitty construction and shitty construction only. Bridges cost tens of millions of dollars (hundreds of millions of RMB)… how much material cost do you think went into this one?

    • simon

      under that thin veneer of concrete is probably inches of styrofoam

    • asdf

      Your comment is very insightful.

    • red scarf

      4 sofa claims in a minute!

      it will overload and cause the chinasmack sever to crash…

      Out of point of invest how do these people know these lorries where overloaded when all their cargo is scattered all over the place and that they not seen the transport slip (whatever its called).

      • Brett Hunan

        Its just an excuse. A poor one at that.

        • mr. wiener

          This is what happens when you give the contract out to the lowest bidder and then then subcontract out to someone even lower down the food chain, and so on and so forth. It’s sub-contracting with Chinese characteristics. Happens everywhere else too , but the difference is it’s only going to be the people at the bottom end whose heads will roll, not the people further up whose responsibility is to make sure the damn thing is made right.

          • Agreed.

            This problem might have gone unnoticed for a long while actually if not for those trucks actually showing the true limits of that section.

            Look at how cleanly the section cuts away from the rest of the road, how cleanly it seperates from the support columns. Then look at how.intact it is lying on the ground with minimal dmage.

            Even a retard could see that the part where the road joins with the columns is where the problem is. This clearly indicates that the construction there was sub-par and should have never passed any actual test.

            It was sub-contracted down and down and down until finally it was left to an un-educated peasant worker (not their fault) who slapped some plaster on amd figured that would hold it. That’s how things are constructed so quickly in china. Even then this bridge ended up costing twice as much as it’s actual cost so all the corrupt sons of bitches could get themselves a nice fat slice of easy taxpayer money because they guanxi with the right official. Fucking repulsive.

            Now imagine if there really was bumper to bumper traffic that finally tipped it over, how many lives lost then? Entire families dead in an instant AGAIN because of corruption and nepotism in china. AGAIN because of greed several orders of magnitude greater than concern for safety.

            Speaking of which, who will tell the families of the dead that they essentially killed themselves by driving overweight trucks so they could garner some meager salary and survive the next day? Takes a special kind of heartlessness. Welcome to china.

          • Snicker

            1) Regarding trucking in China, please see http://longhaulchina.com It is a fantastic blog about the trials and tribulations faced by truckers in China. And an addictive read, to boot. Really 5-star stuff.

            2) Does this look anything like a certain high-speed train accident? Geez, I can just imagine the bulldozers covering up these trucks in the same way they were covering up that damned train…

            3) Bridges may have been built right once in north america, but at the present time, there is a huge infrastructure deficit that is building as all those bridges age – to the tune of $1-2 trillion – that is simply unserviceable. Start watching for these stories in the New York Times.

            4) Anybody live near a nuclear power plant in China? Hope they haven’t stolen the steel reactor and replaced it with their old cigarette foil ball! w00t!

          • El Puma R.

            I have to agree with both Brett Hunan and mr. wiener, God I even voted for “poor construction”. Overloaded trucks… overloaded bridge… At least now they know their trucks can be overloaded, right? Haha.
            The only thing that bothers me about all this is seeing how people from every level of society act with the same ignorant negligence towards everything… never taking a single second to think. Jesus Truckdriver Christ, THINK !

            Mr. Wiener, I leave you with a question: wouldn’t you love to be alive early enough to see all those people’s heads roll? I think we might be …. =)

          • mr. wiener

            I’ll be alive to see it provided I don’t use one of these bridged with substandard reo rod, on live in an apartment with cooking oil cans in the wieght bearing beams….Come to think of it, I’ll just go and live in a cave up in the mountains….Could be the safest option.

    • Jahar

      I think bidding for contracts here works in reverse. Whichever contractor can do it for the highest price, with the highest bribe, gets the contract. Why make it cost 200mill of government money when it can cost 300 mill, and i get 50 mill of it?

      • Dr SUN

        Ain’t that the truth !

    • chris

      Good thing they had the bridge joints as a straight cut held together by two metal plates. Instead of having jagged cuts like we do in the US.

      Otherwise, the entire bridge would have collapsed with that section – like dominos. :/

      • jeffli

        Hey you know your stuff!
        You are no ordinary “BOB THE BUILDER” are you?

        ( > 0 )

        • jeffli

          Have a closer look at the concrete and conglomerate where it is exposed in the photos……..

    • 平凡人

      There should be a factor of safety of at least 100% during design. Engineers must learn to simulate the worst scenario, thus I don’t think overloading should not be the reason as it should have been catered for as you cannot stop overloading.

  • MrT

    I was leaning over on my sofa to pick up my beer bottle and it suddenly flipped over.
    Fat cnt me.
    Still it made the GF laugh.

  • patko

    Poor construction most definitly, there is absolutly no arguing it. You don’t build a bridge with a strength to hold 4 trucks with legal load weight. You build a bridge to support 10 trucks with possible overloading.

    Its like building a lift where it indicates that only 3 people should travel in it at one time. And then when a family of 4 takes in their little boy the whole thing comes crashing down. I mean to even be arguing about where the fault lies is rediculous.

  • Jeff

    Looks like some Chinese contractor’s gonna get a bullet in the head soon…

    • Brett Hunan

      As morbid as it sounds, I was thinking the same thing.

    • As a matter of fact, it’s more likely to be a lethal injection nowadays.

      • moop

        oh, well thats ok then i guess

        • mr. wiener

          Hey moop, long time no post. Your acidic wit has been missed.

      • jeffli

        ++As a matter of fact, it’s more likely to be a lethal injection nowadays.++

        You know I got plastered in Dalian last weekend! Too much ErGuoTou! haha

        And off to be plasticised in a secret location between Dalian and Lushun [0oPs burp! I let it out of the bag.. ( 0 < ) hiccup .,-o0O`']

    • Jahar

      Bah. in the mountains of paperwork in the bureaucracy that is the government of the PRC, the name of the contract company will have disappeared. Probably easier to find a photocopy of my passport.

  • robin yates

    in the UK we have very similar elevated Motorways, the M5 interchange named locally as Spaghetti Junction comes to mind.This has been in heavy use for many,many years.It is in fact the busiest Motorway in Europe.Many big trucks use this road 24 hours a day and for anyone to suggest the Chinese collapse was caused by “overloading” is talking out of their anus.From the photos it appears the rebar/steel reinforcing is of a very small diameter, so to me this was caused by low level quality construction work

    • Brett Hunan

      Technically, the overloaded trucks did cause this. Problem is, apparently this bridge was only made to support pedestrians.

      • Cooljackal

        Yeah, Chinese pedestrians. Definitely not laowai.

        • linette

          ……..Yeah, Chinese pedestrians. Definitely not laowai………….

          hahaha..you are funny. What are you trying to say?

          • mr. wiener

            Laowai are fat bastards [I know, I have to look at one in the mirror every morning.]

          • Cooljackal

            I think four overloaded Chinese trucks are the equivalent of one line of people from a check stand at Walmart! Haha


          • linette

            ………. overloaded Chinese trucks are the equivalent of one line of people from a check stand at Walmart………….

            hhahhaahahhahahaha….lol You are so crazy!

        • Jahar

          I thought your name was “CockJackal” for a second… Sounds cool though. Both names.

          • Cooljackal

            You know, in over a decade-and-a-half of using my screenname this is the first time I have heard that variation. I can tell you this, if I ever enter the porn industry THAT will be my name.

  • kaka

    Ah, the old implausible yet possible non-denial denial… “The trucks were too heavy” – haha, genius – damage limitation is so much easier when no matter what you say, no one can really call you out on it…

    My favourite post:

    “The bridge pillar wasn’t broken, the bridge deck wasn’t broken apart, so where is the problem with the bridge??? It’s clearly that the three vehicles driving on one side flipped/weighed down the bridge. ”

    Well, I’m not an engineer by profession, but if I was to hazard a layman’s guess, i would say the problem with the bridge is that it is on it’s side, and therefore by definition is no longer “a bridge”, as it can not carry out its primary function of bridging things… The power of some to hold two completely contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accept both of them, never fails to amaze me…

    “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself…”

    Oh well… this will be Prolefeed for a week or two, before quietly being forgotten about… you have to hand it to ThinkPol, they’ve trained their subjects well….

  • Rod

    Your mom is so fat, when she drives a truck across a bridge in China it collapses.

    • Poltergeist

      Rod, that’s not an insult. The reason is the following part of your sentence “bridge in China”.

      “Your mom is so fat, when she drives a truck across a bridge in China it collapses.”

  • Neuchy

    Yo China, this is how you build a bridge:
    Strength and beauty.

    • kaka

      Ah yes, the Millau Viaduct… another fine example of the extraordinary capabilities of Lord Norman Foster.

      France has some excellent bridges, both modern and more classical – notably of Roman design and construction, with many set in some breathtaking scenery, such as around Antibes…

      One day a Frenchman might actually build a decent bridge in France, now that would be something…

  • Rick Gigahertz

    Doesn’t matter if the vehicles were over loaded. Operating over load is routine here. The drivers don’t care. Remember, despite the shiny buildings in LuJaZui, this is the 3rd world – and the thought process always is ‘ME, NOW!’.

  • Jay

    Another perfect example of the ignorant/delusional Dong Bei people. I lived there for 3 years, just outside of Harbin. These people are incredibly proud and ignorant beyond belief. They would never admit the fact that it was inferior construction and the corrupt use of substandard materials in order to get kickbacks. That would mean losing face and that’s just unacceptable to these backwoods hillbillies. Is it any wonder why China is “still developing” after oh, I don’t know, 5,000 years and the western countries have no confidence/trust in Chinese made products whatsoever? Look at the milk scandal, the lead paint on the children’s toys, do you need more examples? I’ve got shitloads. While the rest of the world has advanced a century ago, they still think they can’t rest on their laurels from 2,500 years ago when they were one of the most developed countries in the world. The glory days are long over boys, wake up and pull your inflated heads/egos out of your stupid asses and accept what is really going on here, for fuck sake….

    • Jahar

      Hey now, I live in Wuhan. Don’t think them DongBei’ers can out-ignorant the people here. Gutter oil champs! Central China ftl!

    • Alain

      These people are incredibly proud and ignorant beyond belief

      That I will agree with. Had an asshole neighbour downstairs in my apartment block in Guangdong, who acted and talked like he owned the whole building and the garden outside, his wife however was really nice in comparison. No wonder guangdong ren look down on the northerners….

    • Alain

      Well said, but don’t think it can be taken to heart.

      They probably still think that because fireworks was contributed by them, it means they are the worlds number 1 power.

  • Getrealson

    It was only a matter of time! This was the inevitable result of the rampant theft of peoples money by government parasites and their filthy friends from construction projects. No wonder they are cocky! Even this comical, farce of an accident won’t deter them or trigger a change of attitudes.

    “The trucks were overloaded!” What did you expect? These truck drivers/transport companies don’t respect consequence. It was up to the bridge builders to expect them not to comply with any rules whatsoever and plan accordingly.

    I feel sorry for the average Chinese person trying to lead a good life without worrying about their towns infrastructure falling on their heads at any minute of the day.

    A revolution is needed!

    • Average Zhou

      Anyone feel like sometimes maybe this site is another Hundred Flowers Campaign desined to target foreigner rabble rousers? We do give them plenty of material to work with.

      • Getrealson

        I’m sorry! I was remiss. Leave things the way they are. The people are happy, and the birds are singing!

        But you’re right! you got me. I was sent here by foreign powers to disrupt Chinese society and instigate a revolution. I thought the best way to do that was by making a comment on Chinasmack.

        Jog on you wu mao!

      • Glowndark

        to be exact, this site is a windows to look into chinese toilet. Now all you have to do as a chinese is to squat on that toilet and do your thing, spitting left and right, if any laowai shows up in the window, give him your bad teeth smile :))) and say: “Hey, Gringo!! tranquiloooo!!!” Chinese style!

    • linette

      ……A revolution is needed!…..


      Instead of spending so much energy on diaoyu island protesting, please spend more energy unite and protest in tiananmen square. Let millions of them unite and voice their anger. Do protest everyday. I mean everyday to tire out the china gov’t. Drive them out. Millions of them everyday. What can the China officials do? Bullets and tanks? They are completely outnumber compare to the number of middle class and the poor. Don’t underestimate the power of unity and majority rules.

      • Jay

        Chinese people don’t have the balls to do that. With protest and revolution comes sacrifice, loss of life and social chaos/instability. They’re just a bunch of armchair quarterback pussies who prefer to hide in the shadows complaining and waiting for someone else to do it for them.

        • linette

          They did it back in 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. The China students did it. Now with more internet connection between Taiwan , HK, China, and the outside Chinese community in western world. They will get more support. They need more people and more support financially to organize. A group of chinese people who is knowledgeable with laws and politics to start. Do peaceful protest everyday. Millions of them. Peace. Never say never. It has to start somewhere.

          • Linette, I completely support you on this and many other points you have made. After living in Hong Kong, I saw that it was possible for an empowered chinese population to really stand up andnprotest and fight to make things better. From all accounts, Taiwan is similar or the same (never been except on a stop over flight).

            However, I disagreed with your assumption that the Internet will make people revolt faster. Truth is that the Internet is an opiate and allows people to feel connected and social and powerful while actually doing the opposite. So what if I click ‘Like’ on your status? Does that really make me a friend? So what if I sign up for a pro/anti whatever newsletter? Does that make me an activist? So what if I sign my username that’s totally anonymous to a list protesting whatever? Does it really make me involved?

            Even if the stuff on the Internet isn’t all an illusion, the stuff that might be real is carefully controlled and guided by the party. They have hundreds of thousands whose job it is is to spread disinformation, censor legitimate news, infiltrate and report on subversive sites and block any actual passing of real information.

            If people will revolt in china, it will be because of economic woes. The party’s sole claim to legitimacy is in being able to provide that 9% growth on a yearly basis (whether it’s accurate or not). Unfortunately, certain economic realities are impossible to avoid and/or hide. Eventually the people will become irate enough to do something more than kowtow everytime. Not sure when though, kowtowing has been really beaten into their heads over several generations. Might be five years, might be ten or fifteen. Wait and see.

          • Jay

            Ok, and how long did that uprising back in ’89 last? 2 months, max? And what did it really accomplish at the end of the day? I’m not sure if you’re Chinese or a foreigner from reading your post but either way, students in China are incredibly childish for their age and totally naive in many ways. Do you think they actually have the skills, knowledge and connections to start something like that? In my experience, and I actually teach at a University here, 75% of the students are completely obsessed with computer/video games, iPhones and QQ. They just live in an online cyber fantasy world. And the ones who are actually worth a lick are being aggressively recruited by the party. It’s quite pathetic really but regardless of that fact, the majority of them just don’t have the maturity, courage or ambition to get involved in something of this magnitude. In my opinion, the internet is actually the biggest contributing factor in the impending demise of the education system and decay of society here. The Chinese used to be innovative, creative and world technology leaders many years ago, but what have they done in recent history? Copy everything under the sun that comes out of the more developed countries like Japan, America, Germany, etc.? Plus the fact that no student ever fails in China further compounds the problem, no matter how lazy, useless or incompetent they may be, they still graduate with a “Degree”. The only ones who could actually organize something on that scale are the rich and elite families and they would never even consider that because they’re only concerned with maintaining their position, social status and wealth. The biggest chance they might have would be pressure from the global community, in the form of economic sanctions, trade embargoes, and world wide press bringing attention to the issues. It still amazes me that they were actually allowed to join the WTO. Either way, look at what happened to Russia after the fall of communism. Unemployment and inflation skyrocketed and now they’re just a society of suicidal alcoholics with serious gambling problems and ultra high levels of depression. Could you imagine that in a country with 1.6 billion people? Not a pretty picture….

          • Alain

            a society of suicidal alcoholics with serious gambling problems and ultra high levels of depression. Could you imagine that in a country with 1.6 billion people? Not a pretty picture….

            Actually Jay you are pretty much on the money there. China has the highest female suicide rate in the world at the moment, and I think the male suicide rate is also high, esp because of the face phenomenon i.e. lose your job, unable to support your family, shame kind of thing.

            Depression you say? I reckon there must be plenty of it out there, it is just not admitted to, or swept under the carpet as per usual.

            Gambling? And Chinese people, not even going to go there. Macau makes vegas seem like a one horse town. Nuff said.

            Alcoholics? Yep those are in China too, baijiu for lunch is never a good idea…

            If it does truly fall, god help them all, truly.

          • linette


            The problem is the most qualify and knowledgeable people who can actually start revolution in China are the same people who are already running the gov’t system. They understand the problem with the system but they don’t want any change. They know the system is not fair but they want it that way because it benefit them.
            I am no expert in writing the constitution nor am I a lawyer or politician. When the people in a nation are angry enough to unite and do peaceful protest. A change will have to come somehow. Improvement takes a very long time.
            Protesting don’t necessarily mean you get what you want. But it’s a way to show the world you disagreed and willing to stand up to fight for your right as a human being.

      • Alain

        After living in Hong Kong, I saw that it was possible for an empowered chinese population to really stand up andnprotest and fight to make things better. From all accounts, Taiwan is similar or the same (never been except on a stop over flight).

        I wouldn’t say HK and Taiwan people are that different. Confucianism emphasizes following the herd, not questioning, not being a “tall poppy” lest you get cut down, and generally swimming downstream, and not trying to swim upstream.

        How many HK guys become accountants/bankers/work for their dads businesses? Loads, how many go against the grain and rebel and do something different….a very small minority. There is a pocket of rebellion, but not much. Conditioning is well at work in HK and Taiwan, just as it is in China, as a result of confucianism being the belief system of choice.

        • Jay

          Comparing Taiwan and Hong Kong to mainland China is like comparing apples, oranges and bananas. They’re nothing alike at all. Taiwan is democratic and Hong Kong is very developed due to the fact that they were a British colony. People from Taiwan don’t even consider themselves Chinese and if you say they are, they will have a few choice words for you, believe me. People from HK call themselves Hong Kong Chinese, they always make that distinction. And both places are full of entrepreneurs, not just working in the family business. Try telling them that they think the same as mainland Chinese and see what kind of response you get.

          • Alain

            People from Taiwan don’t even consider themselves Chinese and if you say they are, they will have a few choice words for you, believe me. People from HK call themselves Hong Kong Chinese, they always make that distinction. And both places are full of entrepreneurs, not just working in the family business. Try telling them that they think the same as mainland Chinese and see what kind of response you get.

            Not disputing what you say, just that Confucianism is the glue that sticks them together. If and it is a big IF, China had not undergone the cultural revolution, they would be just as traditionally Chinese as HK Chinese are. I won’t include Taiwanese this time, as I do tend to agree they don’t consider themselves Chinese.

          • Kukuku

            Regardless of distinctions, they will be part of China eventually when the grace period is over and they will lose what made them better and different, sadly.

      • jeffli

        some of the old Tiananmen protesters will tell you that what happened at the end wasn’t pretty.

        one story told to me was a tank rolling over a tent and he heard muffled screams then blood and guts shot out from under the tank and flattened tent material.
        could tell how many people were in the tent even by counting the shoes.

        Had those “protesters” in 1989 been successful, there may have been a bigger mess than we have today!

        Forget this revolution stuff, change needs to come from within.

        • linette

          ……change needs to come from within…….

          That won’t happen. The people “within” the system are the one who don’t want any changes. The current system works well for them and benefit them financially. They are happy with the system and will use their power to keep it from changing.

          • Kukuku

            linette, he meant from “within” people, not within the system.

  • Jack

    Apparently, they forgot to put up a sign that over-loaded trucks must keep a safe distance of at least 200 meter apart. At least 50% of the budget must have gone into the master’s pocket

    • Jay

      Yeah, no doubt the Lao Ban has already disappeared with about a billion yuan and he’s sitting on a some beach in the Philippines with 5 chicks on his arm, sipping on a martini and giggling his ass off.

    • sptme

      After all the bai jiu dinner parties and KTV they didn’t have enough money in the budget to buy one of these: http://www.picturenation.co.uk/view/info/17082/traffic-sign-three

    • Cooljackal

      If they did, then it would require filling out 5 separate notification forms in triplicate, all with original handwriting translated in Chinese, with the proper government chops and a 7 day waiting period, before it gets approved and posted.

      • Brett Hunan

        If this occurs in China, why would it need to be “translated” into Chinese?

        • Cooljackal

          Sorry, slipped my mind! I’m just used to having English translated into Chinese for government documents here for everything! You are right, the signs would be in Chinese so no translation needed.

          • Brett Hunan

            Its alright, I got your point. :)

      • Jay

        Don’t forget the half dozen red stamps and fingerprinting that goes along with it.

  • As I’ve posted elsewhere:
    Contractor: I can save 3 yuan per kilogram by mixing chalk dust and sawdust into the concrete.

    Government Inspector: Great, cut me in!

    Contractor: How’s 50 50 sound?

    Government Inspector: Great! We’re going to be rich, and no one will ever find out!

    • mr. wiener

      You know the price of chalk these days?

    • linette

      ……Contractor: I can save 3 yuan per kilogram by mixing chalk dust and sawdust into the concrete.
      Government Inspector: Great, cut me in!
      Contractor: How’s 50 50 sound?……….

      hahaha…that’s exactly how they build structures in China. hahaha….

      • James

        Contractor: how’s 50/50 sound…
        Government Inspector: 50/50?! No! let’s do 5% cement 95% sawdust / chalk!

  • Zebadee

    It’s a well known fact that 60~70% of all construction budgets in China is money that will be paid to local officials. 40~30% of the budget is used to actually build something.
    What happened here is obvious and not for the first, or the last, time.
    I like to think those officials are pondering the consequences of accepting pay-offs that put other peoples’ lives in danger, but sadly, I know they’re not.

    • Jahar

      It’s a well known fact that 60~70% of all statistics are completely made up.

  • nereis

    And yet again we see the consequences of a local government that isn’t accountable to its people.

    No elected official dares to do this in a society where being taken on a cruise by a wealthy businessman friend from high school could ruin their career.

  • MrT

    New San Francisco bridge built in China……

    • Cooljackal

      Yeah that’s a bit concerning. The A380 and dreamliner also have distributed component allocation and manufacturing. I would hope that the critical parts of these things are made with under strict supervision.

      That’s what we have to do here. You can have a super intelligent Chinese machinist working on a part after you have given specific instructions but as soon as you step away he/she will start deviating from the specs for no apparent reason.

      • Jahar

        the difference is they are built under western specs, to western standards. They sell the stuff that falls apart to the CCP, because they don’t care.

        • Cooljackal

          True. Just remember though, even if it is under western specs it doesn’t mean the actual product is that. A large percentage of the worlds fab/manufacturing occurs here so the production issues and cheating will slip through regardless. And when you have a huge project that has subcontractors for the smallest things like nuts/bolts/spacers/microchips it becomes nearly impossible to guarantee the quality of every single component without testing the complete assembly. One top of that, even testing might not show problems when it involves things like long term durability of the materials used for construction.

          One recent example was how electrolytic plating in China is done. When anyone in the world says microns (used to define thickness of the required plating) you assuming micrometers. BUT if you go to any factory here, they will use microinches (even when you say microns), which results in a much thinner coating. Now if you product depends on a certain coating for optimal operation (i.e telecommuncations etc) then you will be wondering why you are seeing such errors in your final product. This has happened even after phone confirmation of micron meaning micrometers. The resulting excuse after product delivery (and testing by us), “oh, our engineer didn’t communicate it properly to the worker”. Then we spend about 1 month trying to get our money back and/or the correct coating for the product.

          This is the sad part. This is the business as usual here. It doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t! Anecdotal information from other foreign companies here also suggests that it was NOT like this more than 4 years ago. It just started accelerating within the last few years for whatever reason.

          So, I agree with you about the western specs but living and working here in the manufacturing area, I know now that this quality problem has already made its way into other countries. We just don’t know to what extent. And you are absolutely right about the selling cheap stuff internally. One just needs to look at plastic molded products in the local shops or even in some cases the supermarket.

          • Dr SUN

            If you read A. H Smith’s ” Chinese Characteristics” He describes exactly the same problem in regard to Chinese following “specs” or instructions, that was over 100 years ago, so no its not something new.

          • Cooljackal

            True, not new but working around it was easier a few years ago. Factories were more willing to work with you even with minimal supervision. Component quality was still acceptable if you kept a check on it. Now it is a lot worse than a few years ago, even though it is not new.

  • S. Barret Dolph

    Maybe the bridge was a temporary worker….

    • Jahar

      It was suffering from mental problems

    • Stu

      It was certainly very temporary.

    • mr. wiener

      It had a poor education and was easily corrupted by western values.

  • sitting here wondering what would happen to all the roads they built in Africa in 10years.

    • kaka

      I don’t think the one or two vehicles that pass up and down the Chinese constructed highways in Africa will be enough to cause any major structural issues…

      The problems will come when Phase 2 of Operation Peaceful Rise starts, and they start shipping over their population overflow…

      It would then be interesting to see how the infrastructure of Kinshasha, or New Beijing as it will be re-named, holds up…

  • Just imagine what they might be building in African countries. Nothing but shit,and at the end of the day ,the communist propaganda mouthpiece (xinhua),will brainwash their subjects” we are investing in infrastructure in Africa “not to loose face.shit construction .they are investing in prostitution and illegal mining in African countries.the case of angola is a clear example. Help the beggars/homeless in china first before thinking of going to Africa .

  • Shin

    What does SOFA mean?

    • Jay

      Its something you sit on at home, genius

    • mr. wiener

      Silly Old Foreign Arseholes I think…..
      No just kidding, it is a Chinese Netizen meme, meaning they got hear first and have the most comfortable seat and the best view sitting on the sofa.

  • Robko Byalov

    There’s no way that’s from overloading. 3 trucks -spaced out at different parts of the section? Any bridge such as that must be able to take that strain – it can only be sub-standard construction, I’m afraid.

    It begs the unpleasant question of how good was the construction for all of the other sections of that bridge?

    • Cooljackal

      Probably inconsistently bad throughout. That’s the big problem with manufacturing here is inconsistency. It’s like looking at a Rob Liefeld “drawing”. Each section of the bridge could have different faults. Maybe thinner rebars, improperly mixed concrete, incorrect bolt sizing, incorrect fittings. For all we know, this bridge will be perfectly fine for a few years…or a few months if the right set of circumstances hits one of the other faults.

    • Getrealson

      very good point! I overlooked that whilst spewing my diatribe. Will the whole bridge have to be replaced?

      • Kukuku

        Ahahaha… of course not. :(

  • Peye

    Counted eight pieces of what looks like 20mil or 25mil steel rebar on the broken off section. For such a massive member in this position looks a bit scimpy. Besides four heavy loaded truck on the same beam at the same time was most likely pushing it over the limits of the design.

    • Jay

      what “design”? it was slapped together and destined to fail. I’m surprised it even lasted a year. Maybe it held up this long because it was frozen during the winter, added some strength. lolololl

      • linette

        …slapped together….

        Sounds like legos. hahaha….

        • Jahar

          except lego highways will get more support than that. at least, they do when i build them(not to brag). i put i thin strip on the top AND bottom when joining 2 big pieces together.

          • This, my friends, is where we come to learn.

            If you can’t build with legos, then you can’t build at all.

    • Dr SUN

      they were in the designated “Truck lane” were they not ?

      Surely a part of the structural design ?

  • Dutchman

    what will happen when there is a traffic jam ????

    its made from Tofu i assume ?

  • Foreign Devil

    It was a clean break at the expansion joints and the section just slipped off sideways, the columns underneath intact except for the weak part that holds the sides of the section on. . which was sheared off. So with this poor engineering and a few heavy trucks all travelling in the right lane the thing just flipped up and slid right off the side!

    Poor engineering and overloaded trucks. . both the result of greedy disregard for regulations (if they have any regulation) in order to maximize profit.

    In Canada the government requires everything built nowadays has to be “over-engineered”. That means it has to be able to withstand extreme circumstances that would likely never happen. The cost of doing this is considerable.

    The central government of China is weak and over-extended because it can not regulate these things.

    BTW. . there was recent news about a tour bus from northern China that rear ended a truck carrying fuel. . at least 36 people died.

  • Anyone remember that Hunan bridge that collapsed as soon as the scaffolding was removed in 2007? The cause, shoddy construction and unskilled workers, has still never been determined. The investigation is still officially “on-going”.

    Hunan Bridge Collapse:

    Page devoted to Chinese Bridge Collapses:

    The collapse of the Inner Mongolia Baotou Viaduct looks eerily similar to this most recent one. Can’t locate a direct link but it is pictured in the one above.

    • Cooljackal

      Man, I was in Baotou earlier in the year. Has anyone been there? The whole place looks like a collapsed bridge!

      • Alain

        I have been in Baotou, and feel that is a tad harsh. Granted it is not the most beautiful of cities, but there is a lot of grassland nearby, and I like the wide russian style roads left behind from the russian engineers. Also quite a few parks around. The yang rou hotpot, and mongolian hotplate lamb to die for….good local brew beer as well, if it wasn’t for the exceedingly icy winters, it’s a place worth hanging around imho.

        • Cooljackal

          The last sentence was meant as a joke, but I don’t think it’s harsh at all. The grasslands aren’t really in the city and can be accessed from any other city in that region. The yang rou hotpot and other ethnic foods are also available even outside the city limits (or in neighboring cities). I haven’t tried the local beer so I will take your word for it, I probably should have tried it. Everyone can find beauty in its own form in different China cities, that is true. Baotou is no exception. Compared to the rest of the cities around the general area (like Hohhot for example), Baotou was basically an old Soviet style city that didn’t seem like it received money from the government to maintain and upgrade their infrastructure.

          The way the buses operate there remind me of eastern Ukraine. Each of the districts are spread out so far apart that you would need some time to go to each one. Inner Mongolia and Shaanxi province has some of the cleanest cities I have ever seen in China (i.e less trash, general cleanliness) but Baotou wasn’t like that. Aside from natural beauty or architecture etc, Baotou doesn’t really have many tourist things to see or do. Even the Lama temple requires a bus that takes you east. I am not trying to be negative just about this city but if someone were to ask me about places to visit in inner mongolia, I would tell them that they should avoid Baotou if their trip is short because you will see more stuff in other places. Unless of course Baotou stuff is your thing!

          Again, I have nothing against Baotou, but for an “average” tourist it’s not a place one would go.

        • Demofox

          Baotou is interesting because it seemingly is a ghost town but is a pretty large city, and not many foreigners.

    • Brett Hunan

      I remember the Hunan incident. Hunan people just laughed about it. BTW Fenghuang is fun everyday EXCEPT national day… But I guess thats true with anything in China.

    • oval

      what a waist of chalk.

  • White Guy from USA

    As an American, its pretty obvious it was poor construction. The whole section snapped off like a candy stick. Also the section was not clogged with traffic which should not cause a failure anyway. The bridge should be able to hold traffic that is bumper to bumper. But, it collapsed with one truck which doesn’t even come close to the weight of 18 wheeler trucks that travel on American roads.

    • Dat Ankle

      How does being American makes it obvious?

      • linette

        American are special. You listen when they talk okay. hahaha….sorry. I just have to be bad. :)

      • Dr SUN

        Dan if you have to ask it isn’t obvious.

      • kaka

        it’s what happens when people from powerful countries wrongly associate the success of their country with some inherent superiority of their country’s people, rather than the acts of a very small number of exceptional men and women, geopolitical advantages, and luck.

        when the British ruled most things, over 80% of the British population were uncouth febrile semi-literate plebs. it’s the same with the American’s, and it will be the same with the Chinese.

        That’s why when one walks down any street in China, most foreigners will think to themselves there’s no way China can be a world power with so such a high percentage of stupid ignorant ill-mannered myopic and selfish people wandering around – but that is merely to make the mistake of thinking they are relevant to China’s rise… other than to act out whatever role they are given by those who actually direct the fortunes of the country.

  • Jahar

    Aren’t we all supposed to be distracted and hating Japan right now?

    • Cooljackal


    • Jay

      hahaha, too funny. They love to hate the Japanese huh? The 70+ year vendetta is still alive and thriving up there. I even had a 12 year old student who studied Karate(of all things) and he punched a man in Xi’An while he was on vacation with his family just because he was Japanese. And his father praised him for it! There’s definitely something wrong with their heads in Dong Bei man, big time.

      • Jay

        I’ve been in Shanghai for a few years now and about 2 years ago there was a story in the paper about a lady from Harbin who was here on holidays. She was shopping in a local mall and wanted to buy some kind of Jade ornament and of course tried to haggle with the store clerk over the price. The clerk explained to her that she was just an employee and the shops in the mall were mainly franchise operations so she had no power to drop the price. The lady insisted and the clerk just told her she was sorry but there was nothing she could do. The woman took out her key chain and slashed the clerk across the face and cut her wide open. The clerk had to get something like 10 or 12 stitches and is now permanently scarred. The woman’s punishment? A 5,000 yuan fine…

        • linette

          Jay, those people you described are just trashy people. There are trashy people everywhere not just China.

          A 5,000 yuan fine is too little. She needs to be put in jail like for few years and compensate the whole cost of medical treatment and plastic surgery if needed for the store clerk. You can’t just walk around and cut people face open you know.

          How hard did the kid punched the Jap guy. If hard the Jap guy should call the police and have it recorded for assault.

          Of course none of the above will happen. This is China gov’t system you are talking about. Nothing the China gov’t do make sense.

          • Jay

            I don’t think it really matters how hard he punched the Japanese guy. That’s irrelevant and it was still an assault, no matter how you look at it. My point was the fact that the kid’s dad actually praised him for what he did and that’s the shocking and disturbing thing. Parents and many teachers all over Dong Bei are still preaching this kind of hatred and resentment toward Japan every day, and all it’s doing is promoting continued violence and hatred for something that happened 3/4 of a century ago. You can’t just go around assaulting people based on history and where they come from, that’s utter insanity. Do you see Jewish people walking the streets and attacking Germans because of what Hitler did? Or Japanese attacking Americans because of Hiroshima? War is a sad fact of life and history can’t be changed. Imagine what would happen if it was the other way around and a Japanese guy assaulted some random Chinese person on holidays in Japan. There would be public outrage and a media frenzy, guaranteed. What you think the Chinese cops would have done anyway if the Japanese man reported the assault? Take the side of a Japanese against a Chinese national? Not in this lifetime sister.

          • linette

            Jay, if a little kid comes over to me and kick me softly. I wouldn’t be so angry. I will just tell the kid off. I wouldn’t call the police. If the parents laugh and make racial slurs I will go up and have a few words exchange with them. I won’t be calling the police.

          • linette

            Also I agreed that it’s wrong for Japan, China, and Korea to keep teaching the younger generation nationalism and antichinese/antikorean/antijapnese sentiments. They need to teach history objectively without bias.

          • linette

            ……..Imagine what would happen if it was the other way around and a Japanese guy assaulted some random Chinese person on holidays in Japan………

            What??? Jay, apparently you’ve never lived in Japan. Go there before you make this statement. Japan treats Chinese like the way China treat Japanese.

          • jeffli

            ++those people you described are just trashy people. ++

            those trashy people have money to travel and immigrate and are making a mess in my homeland!

            My homelands trashy people stay where they are in my home land. My homelands thugs are not coming to china to slash peoples faces!

          • Dr SUN

            Sadly Jeffi, the trashy Chinese emigrating ( well running off with billions) will set up business , become community leaders, set up exclusive clubs and business practices in your country.

            They will bring their corruption with them , set up their “China towns” that your police wont dare to enter.

          • linette

            …….those trashy people have money to travel and immigrate and are making a mess in my homeland!………

            Send them back to China. Send them back. Don’t let them come no more! Only the trashy China rich-peasants and officials can leave China and travel to other countries. They are walking around slashing people face killing people and get away with murder inside China. The poor China rural people can’t do that.

            So tell your gov’t to stop letting them in. Stop letting them in by investment. Hahaha..Which country are you from?

        • Scott

          Quite a few months ago in Shanghai the local news reported and showed the video recording of a mature, 50-ish woman, attacking the female subway attendant because she was prevented from going under the turnstiles. This mature woman mouthed off for several long minutes, walked away, then turned back and continued cursing, then as usually happens when no one around restrains, she started hitting the girl. By this time the girl is in tears, totally used up.

          This is so common in China, small incidents quickly escalate to violence. Anyone living here has seen it happen time after time, but what’s really unusual is the perps are usually middle-aged.

          • TAKE5

            Anyone living here has seen it happen time after time, but what’s really unusual is the perps are usually middle-aged.

            “No fool like an old fool”
            I heard that when i was kid…it’s still is true today. I remember that video, what an embarrassment that grandmother was.

      • kaka

        It’s not a vendetta…

        it is an over-compensation, for the fact that many from Manchuria (Dongbei) happily collaborated with the Japanese during the Sino-Japan Wars of the 20th Century – including almost 1 million of them who joined the Japanese armed forces.

        as they, and more importantly the CCP, know their ancestors were traitor scum, they now feel the need to be the most nationalistic and patriotic of all to prove their loyalty…

        It’s always fun to ask any particularly annoying person i meet from If Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, or even Shanxi (uber-collaborators -see Manchukuo) – i simply ask them what their grandparents did in the war…

  • Alwin

    Photo #13 gives the answer: this is VERY poor construction work, steel reinforcement should NEVER be just centimeters under the surface that’s a joke. This is very clearly the result of very poor design in combination with poor quality concrete. This constructor should immediately have licenses revoked. Bridges like this normally can hold a trafficjam of heavy loaded trucks, it’s ridiculous and amateurish to suggest that heavy trucks may caused this!

    • 平凡人

      Photo #13 shows that there is very little cover for the re-bar, which means there is insufficient corrosion and fire resistance for the re-bars in the reinforced concrete. Picture #12 is worse, it shows the re-bars used between the pier and the pier cap; the size of the re-bars, and the anchorage (how much the re-bars extend into the pier and pier cap) looks insufficient. Thus the pier cap just snaps off the pier.

  • Ray

    Hmm, does that mean that they would need to close off the entire bridge and examine it part by part to make sure that there are no more vulnerabilities?

    Seems like that will be too much work and money. (So just put up a sign saying no overloaded vehicles can cross this bridge!)

  • Kukuku

    Why do I have this strange feeling that both right and left lanes will be blocked forever so that the bridge won’t slide to either side in the future?

  • Dat Ankle

    Thats some scary ass shit.

  • Bo Xilai For Emperor

    It was my corrupt family’s fault, we took too much of the taxpayers’ money so we can have a better life in UK or US, sorry common folks, we have to live like the royalties first before you can safely drive across the bridge or walking under one, so you’re all out of luck, better luck next life.

    Your Greatest Leader FOREVER,


    Bo Xilai

    • linette

      haahaha….that’s a good one. Also..

      It was my corrupt family’s fault, we took too much of the taxpayers’ money so we can have a better life in UK or US or HK.

      YOu should see all those rich mainlanders coming to HK. Buying up millions dollar properties with corrupted money they stole from China taxpayers. And they walk around in HK so proud. hahaha…we make fun of them. We call them rich peasants or corrupted officials stealing money again. hahaha…HOw much money did you or your family steal again this time?

      • Bo Xilai For Emperor

        I, the great Emperor of all Chinese, Bo Xilai, will not answer any more questions about the amount of taxpayers’ money we as a dirty family have embezzled during my tenure as a member of the CCP’s Politiburo and the party secretary of Chongqing, any more question about it will land you and your family in re-education camp for 20 years. On the other note, do go ahead and read my son’s proud achievement as one of the greatest oversea Chinese student who was able to get into the best universities in the world purely on scholarship, take that you lowly peasants. You peasant work hard for your three meals, while I work hard at taking your retirement funds and public funding for bridges and forcing hot Chinese actresses to sleep with me. That’s life

    • Dr SUN



      Maybe it will change in 1000 years or so.

      • Cooljackal

        If China hasn’t ripped itself apart by then.

  • White Guy from America

    The best test is if you cant drive a column of modern battle tanks over it then it does not past inspection. What if China had to drive tanks threw the area and they past over it. LOL. Then they cant massacre their own people like last time or prevent American forces from liberating China from the Communist Government. Then again if American forces drove over that bridge it would make a excellent tank trap. American tanks will have to navigate carefully around China so as to not cross over sink holes and dangerous bridges.

  • 平凡人

    Based on the picture, the failure occur between the pier cap and the pier of the viaduct. The pier cap basically snaps off the pier due to moment induced by the weight of the heavy truck travelling at the right edge of the viaduct. Basically there is too much tension induced in the concrete and there is insufficient steel to pull it back. The pier and pier cap is cast in-situ, the failure could be
    1. A design issue whereby the engineer fail to simulate failure due to moement when all heavy vehicles travel on the edge of the road. Thus did not cater for the moment induced in the R.C. design; putting in the necessary steel to cater for the tension induced in the concrete.
    2. The contractor fail to placed the steel bars as per design during construction as per the design.

    • Kukuku

      Well, duh.

      • Dr SUN

        Yeah , you’d think this was the first bridge ever built. I think the learning curve on bridge structural design was done/ ended a long time ago.

        But maybe the architects and chief engineers had never heard of “truck lanes “

    • LoLo

      I think you hit the nail on the head except that the bridge seems to have tilted off of the bearings and loaded part of the pier cap that was not designed to take the full weight of the deck. It could be that the designers did not properly account for the case of heavy loading on one side only. You can see this in the photo with the two bearing pedestals intact and the fractured cap just beyond them. An egregious design error. The trucks may have been overloaded but no way is that an excuse for collapse. My heart goes out to the chinese people.

  • Gontraf

    Look at the way that bridge collapsed ! It’s like it was… like cut off… like right at the critical structural weak points… It was obviously some sort of controlled demolition.

    To what purpose you may ask… Why it’s very simple.
    In order to fight the economic slowdown, the Chinese government has decided to bomb the infrastructure it’s been building for the last 10 years, just so it can be rebuilt.

  • slimboyinhk

    This is the result of corruption and greed at all costs. There is a reason why the income gap has grown so dramatically in the last decade and that’s because greed from the top down has sacrificed quality and safety for $$$$, giving contracts to the most incompetent.

    • Jay

      I totally agree. There was a case in Daqing where 3 brand new high rise apartment buildings were constructed in the downtown area. Each one was about 25 floors. 6 months after completion, the buildings were condemned due to sagging/leaning and all the residents had to move out of their brand new homes. Apparently they’re still looking for the contractor(s) and that was about 5 years ago…

      • Gontraf

        These people obviously overloaded their flats.

        • Bo Xilai For Emperor

          well, they sure as hell didn’t follow the one-child policy, they had way too many kids, that’s for sure

  • john

    Bridges are designed for incredible overloads, 4 – 5 times the design load would maybe collapse the bridge. Obviously not the case. Leaves design errors or sloppy work. The deck and pillars didn’t collapse, the cantilevers did. I don’t really think it could be a design error, these parts are standard and very well understood.
    Leaves few options: people working on this construction that didn’t have the qualification, quality of the concrete / steel is bad, sloppy work done too fast. In any of these three cases it was about SAVING MONEY, CHEAPLY IS BETTER the Chinese national sport. I am sure several guys cant get a good sleep these days, rightfully so. Their actions killed people, why should they be spared?

    • 平凡人

      The prefabricated pre-stressed beams are standard, not the piers and pier caps, they are also cast in-situ.

  • Poltergeist

    Ah, I don’t know what to say. I will need to check with my insurance company again, if it also covers my life while being in China. Should I tell them that my office is in the 40th floor and that I have to use the metro every day? That I am crossing bridges 4-5 times a week? Will that increase the insurance premium? Or even better: will the insurance actually accept that?

    I am not an engineer but if a bridge collapses because 4 trucks crossed it at the same time, something is wrong. And it doesn’t matter if they were overloaded or not. If I buy a scale and it shows the weight of 0-150 kg, but I am standing there with my wife, together being 160kg, does that mean the scale will break? Do I need to assume it to break? What about a warranty?

    Anyways, I wouldn’t be surprised if the company that constructed the bridge offers a free fixing of the bridge, bring in a couple of cranes, putting the platform on top again and using some glue and tesa stripes to fix the leak…

  • Poltergeist

    linette, you are very encouraging. A great motivation to all those unhappy Chinese who would like to get rid of corruption, their government and change the country for the better.
    Maybe you should move here and go to Tiananmen Square and start the revolution by yourself? It takes brave people like you to start a revolution, you know? I am however very pessimistic that you will gather enough people to make a change because the people here have learned in ’89 how the government deals with protests.

    On the other hand, I am confident that your brave words are not just words and that you are tough enough to play the leading role. If not, please don’t give us this bullshit. If I understand correctly, you are living in the US now. Enough to do there as well considering human rights. Plus, you are actually allowed by law through freedom of speech to address your concerns. How come I have the feeling that you are just talking as 99% of the online-revolutioners do?

    And by no means do I want to give the impression that I am brave enough to do sth. Not in China, because it’s not my homecountry and not back in my homecountry because, well, I am lazy and not pissed off enough just yet. At least honest enough to state so.

  • The ONe

    And I am doing Civil Engineering….Hope such accidents dont happen

    • jeffli

      It’s OK ,…..really, just stick to digging holes and playing with the big yellow earthmoving equipment and you’ll be alright.

      From the movie The castle:-
      “Hey Dad! I dug another hole!”

      • Getrealson

        “Hey Dad! A guy in the paper is selling a chinese made bridge.”

        “How much does he want?”

        “10 bucks!”

        “Tell ‘im he’s dream’n!”

  • Xiongmao

    Even if there were 3 overloaded trucks (hardly surprising and should have been thought of beforehand by the engineers) the ramp should be able to take it. Those idiots talking about resonance has the wrong kind of bridge in mind. No, this is shoddy construction and/or sub-par materials used, and who’s really surprised?

    • fenqing basher

      A few years down the road, when salaries went further up, way up and a few hard winters later when freezing water and corrosion did its share to all those crappy built bridges and buildings streets and rail lines, tunnels and whatever, then i want to see how china is going to restore or better keeps all that going.

      I can already see rustwater seeping out and concrete spots popping off that brand new elevated G-train track from shanghai to Beijing. Good luck maintaining that.

      • It is surprising how difficult it is to remake a fucked tunnel, as you infer. Usually you need to start again. But quite awayaway from where your disaster is; because the course will be weak.

    • Ryo

      Why do you think China has been pushing so much construction work? Why are there so many “ghost cities?” Someone (or a group) benefited from the “savings” they made on those projects. From the contractors to the authorities that give out permits, millions are “lost” in the material and labor.

      I’ve inside scoop that during one incident, 0.30 yuen was quoted and charged for each bolt. But the actual cost of the bolts were 0.03 each. Now multiply that by 1,000,000 bolts, that’s a nice paycheck for the person buying the bolts.

      • Dr SUN

        I wonder if the word concrete somehow got translated as cement in China ?

      • jeffli

        The 8 civil engineering treasures of China (八宝差)
        1.there is a shortage of cement in China
        2. Loess fine sand with low bonding coefficients
        3. poor mix of conglomerate sometimes the wrong materials.
        4. practising economics on Rebar.
        5. poor materials for bolts.
        6. under engineering
        7. quality of design, safeguards, redundancy checks
        8. Maintenance? whose heard of that here? Once opened and hand over is completed….Don’t touch it until it is F’d, then blame the Americans and English.

  • Ryo

    For those of you who say the bridge looks “cut off”, stationary bridges have these “cuto-offs” to give room for expansion when it is hot. It also does other things too. This is done on purpose.


    Hey look! Many of you learned something today! You’re welcome.

  • Dr SUN

    This is the first thread I’ve seen on Chinasmake where pretty much everyones agrees.

    Rampant Corruption, bad design, shoddy building / construction practices and even worse excuses from the Govt running dogs.


    • Dr SUN


  • Kukuku

    Maybe the answer is obvious to everyone here but myself, but I have to ask : I see students here study for so many hours everyday and memorize so many things all the time. You would think that minds trained to study almost every single waking hour would be sharp enough to build or at least design very basic structures like these.

    I understand there is cheating to get through tests, but why is there such a broad, blatant level of general incompetence everywhere here? They study so much you would think that although they are not well-rounded individuals they could at least do their job properly.

    • Poltergeist


      it’s all about the environment that the elites have created. It’s not about the smart, hard-working people. It’s also not about the poor, low educated people from the villages. It’s also not about the uneducated from the countryside.

      It’s about the well educated elites that figured out about beneficial shortcuts all the time. Without the fear of really getting prosecuted for cheating. Heck, all the elites are cheating. If they get caught, no harm done. Fix it. Which way? Anyway works as long as they keep the rubble calm.

  • James

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

  • Looking closely, that bridge was held together by the “white line man’s” lines. I see no evidence of concrete apart from powdery substances which 600 people will have equally commented on already.

    Then daft Chinese corrupt engineers thought the steel would bind together the powdery papier mache / plaster of Paris (delete where applicable).