Part of the Changqing Road Overpass in China's Wuhan city was rotated to form a motorway

Chinese workers rotate 8,800-tonne bridge section

China World
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As British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday touched down in Wuhan to start her three-day visit in China, the city’s workers had just completed an engineering task that would be unimaginable to the West.

They managed to build a massive motorway in the middle of the city and above China’s busiest railway line – without interrupting any traffic.

Part of the Changqing Road Overpass, in downtown Wuhan, was rotated for nearly 90 degrees during the wee hours to connect with the other parts of the flyover located at either side of the railway.

Part of the Changqing Road Overpass in China's Wuhan city was rotated to form a motorway

Part of the Changqing Road Overpass in China's Wuhan city was rotated to form a motorway

Part of the Changqing Road Overpass in China’s Wuhan city was rotated to form a motorway

The section, weighing 8,800 tonnes, was rotated for 81 degrees early morning yesterday

The section, weighing 8,800 tonnes, was rotated for 81 degrees early morning yesterday

The section, weighing 8,800 tonnes, was rotated for 81 degrees early morning yesterday

The overpass is located near the Wuhan Hankou Train Station and runs above China's busiest railway line, the Jingguang railway. Pictured, bullet trains prepare to set out from Wuhan

The overpass is located near the Wuhan Hankou Train Station and runs above China's busiest railway line, the Jingguang railway. Pictured, bullet trains prepare to set out from Wuhan

The overpass is located near the Wuhan Hankou Train Station and runs above China’s busiest railway line, the Jingguang railway. Pictured, bullet trains prepare to set out from Wuhan

Workers first built the section of the flyover parallel to the railway lines and then rotate the structure which weighs a whopping 8,800 tonnes.

The Changqing Road Overpass spans over the Jingguang railway which connects Beijing and Guangzhou, two major Chinese cities.

A spectacular time-lapse video has been released, showing how workers turned the enormous section for 81 degrees clockwise while the railway stayed open during the wee hours of January 31. 

The footage was produced by the Chinese Railway Construction Corporation, which is building the motorway. It has been featured on multiple Chinese media outlets, including QQ.com, People’s Daily TV and China Central Television Station.

Workers first built the section of the flyover parallel to the railway lines before turning it

Workers first built the section of the flyover parallel to the railway lines before turning it

Workers first built the section of the flyover parallel to the railway lines before turning it

The busy railway tracks underneath were not closed during the construction and rotation

The busy railway tracks underneath were not closed during the construction and rotation

The busy railway tracks underneath were not closed during the construction and rotation

The overpass is situated near Hankou Train Station in downtown Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei Province with around 10 million people. 

It runs above nine railway tracks, on which some 600 trains run daily.

The Hankou Train Station is a major rail hub in east-central China and a big station along the Jingguang railway. 

Running between the Chinese capital city and the provincial capital of Guangdong Province, the 2,284-kilometre-long (1,419-mile-long) Jingguang railway carried 150 million passengers in 2013.

The section of the flyover measures 135.2 metres (444 feet) long and 51 metres (167 feet) wide. 

The impressive engineering task was carried out by workers in bustling Wuhan city (pictured)

The impressive engineering task was carried out by workers in bustling Wuhan city (pictured)

The impressive engineering task was carried out by workers in bustling Wuhan city (pictured)

Wuhan is the first stop of Theresa May's three-day visit in China, which began yesterday

Wuhan is the first stop of Theresa May's three-day visit in China, which began yesterday

Wuhan is the first stop of Theresa May’s three-day visit in China, which began yesterday

Apart from the section’s heavy weight, the challenge of the rotation was the fact that its supporting column is not in the middle, which means the section is off balance.

As stated by the engineers, the supporting column is about one-third way into the section. The longer arm is about 3,600 tonnes heavier than the shorter arm.

The workers built a second point of support during the rotation to ensure it would run smoothly. They also used a series of toothed gears.  

As stated by China Central Television Station, the rotation began at 3:04am so it would not interrupt rail traffic. 

The section was docked into the flyover 103 minutes later.  

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