Overhaul of Yangshupu Road to begin by end of this month

The vehicle and pedestrian lanes of the five-kilometer road in the downtown area's northeast will be widened, and former industrial sites along the road will be preserved.
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Sanyili neighborhood on Yangshupu Road will be converted into a public park.

A comprehensive overhaul of the 150-year-old Yangshupu Road — which Shanghai's earliest water, gas and energy plants were located along — will commence by the end of the month, said the Planning, Land and Resources Administration, the city’s top planning body.   

The vehicle and pedestrian lanes of the five-kilometer road in the downtown area's northeast will be widened, and former industrial sites along the road will be preserved. 

Yangshupu Road was once dubbed the “No. 1 Road in East Shanghai” because many of China’s earliest industries were located along the Huangpu River in the southern part of the road, and because of the pipelines for water, gas, electricity and sewage that ran under the road. 

A cluster of historic residential buildings, which had housed plant workers, still stand in the northern part of the road. About a century ago, large numbers of these workers walked each morning to work in the plants in the southern part of the road.

Since the closure or relocation of the plants, Yangshupu Road has fallen into disrepair, with bumpy, uneven road surfaces. It, however, remains a major thoroughfare in the northern Yangpu District, with many container trucks passing through every day.

According to road's renovation blueprint, the current four lanes for vehicles traveling in both directions will be broadened to eight lanes. 

Historic buildings such as the former plants on the south side of Yangshupu Road and former workers' accommodations on road's north side will be preserved, making Yangshupu Road an “open-door museum”, according to the district government.

The pedestrian lanes on the road will be widened, and small plazas will be built for residents to view the historic structures and enjoy the historic appearance of the area, said an official with the district’s traffic authority, which is responsible for the renovation project.

The official said the 32-meter-wide road was meant to be divided into 12 lanes for its renovation, but urban planners changed that to eight lanes instead to create more space for pedestrian lanes and the historic buildings. 

The project will preserve and overhaul 100 historic buildings on both sides of the road. These buildings are mainly located between Qiqihar Road and Longchang Road.

A section of an underground pipeline for water put into use in 1890 was recently found. It will be preserved for use as an exhibit.

Other major historic sites include the Yangshupugang Bridge, built in 1913, and two buildings that were respectively a fire station and a police station. Sanyili, a neighboring alley neighborhood will be made over into a public park. 

A major challenge of the renovation project is the many infrastructure pipelines  and Metro train lines beneath the road built in the past century. The underground projects, either already built or still under construction, include the water and gas pipelines connecting the former plants, the Dadinghai drainage system, a major facility in north Shanghai to prevent floods, and the Metro Line 18 and Jiangpu Road Cross River Tunnel.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Yangshupu Water Plant, which was opened in 1883, is along the Huangpu River. The riverside area was once home to some of China’s earliest industries.

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