|Located near the Liuhe Pagoda, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, the bridge spans over Qiantang River, and is responsible for Shanghai-Hangzhou railroad and Zhejiang-Jiangxi railroad. The construction of the bridge began on 8/8/1934 and completed on 9/26/1937. Famous architect Mao Yisheng was in charge of this first double deck railroad highway 2-in-1 bridge in China. The bridge has 15 piers, 16 arches. The lower deck is 1322.1 meter long, single rail lane; The upper highway deck is 1453 meter long, 6.1 meter wide. The bridge spans over Qiantang River, as if it is a magnificent rainbow.|
On 11/11/1934, the construction began. Mao Yisheng, aged 39, was appointed the lead designer and chief engineer of this project. The bridge is the first modern bridge designed and built by Chinese. However, the bridge only lasted 89 days.
On 7/7/1937, the Lugou Bridge Incident broke out. Mao has a uncomfortable feeling that he wouldn't wish to face. He ordered to keep a rectangular hole on the South-2 pier. He did not explain why to anyone.
On 8/13/1937, the Battle if Shanghai began. On 9/26, the lower deck opened to traffic first. Because of the war, the construction yard was covered under a dark atmosphere.
During September and October, the Battle of Shanghai worsened. Mao wished Shanghai were able to stop the Japanese army. However, the battle ended with Shanghai being taken. Hangzhou was in danger. Mao received order from the central government in Nanjing that if Hangzhou cannot be secured, then destroy the bridge.
The rectangular hole he left was meant for this moment. That night, Mao pointed out all the weakest point of Qiantang River Bridge with accuracy. After the entire night, more than 100 fuses were prepared and linked to a house on the southern shore. Mao supervised until the last fuse was done.
It was the longest day of his life. He later told his family, it is like killing his own children in the bassinet.
At the dawn of 11/17, as all the explosives were berried, Mao received an order from Zhejiang provincial government that a large wave of regugees are coming to Hangzhou and the ships were far from sufficient. Qiantang River bridge had be completely opened. At this time, the Zhejiang government did not even know about the bomb, for it was kept top secret. 11/17 was the day Mao had expected but dared not to expect. When the first car went through the bridge, hundreds of thousands of people on the two sides were joyfully applauding. Mao later said, all the 100,000 passengers who went over the bridge that day were going above the bomb, so were the trains, so would be the passengers on that day forth. On the first day opening, the bridge was full of explosives, which make it unique in the history of bridges.
At 1 PM 12/23/1937, Mao finally got his order. At 5 PM, the Japanese army gradually became visible. As the fuses were ignited, the bridge, which was 1453 meter long, built for 925 days, and cost 1.6 million USD, was blown up into pieces at the 89th day of opening. A Japanese soldier Tomonaga took the picture of the destroyed bridge after the smokes were gone. After decades, Tomonaga went to Beijing and gave the picture to Mao.
On the following night, Mao wrote the following on this desk: "We must triumph, the bridge must be restore". His wish came true in 1953.
Mao walked again on Qiantang River Bridge in 1982.
Qiantang River Bridge appears on the following banknote(s):