Bridge to New Life

Gaobu Bridge was built through fundraising and includes a cross-bridge fee for paying back the funds, which set a precedent in Chinese history.

Back then, it was very difficult for locals to visit downtown even though it’s only a 7 km straight-line distance, because Gaobu town is a peninsula. People could only choose to take a ferry across the Dong River or detour for 30 km from the land. The inconvenient transportation also influenced the local economy. Consequently, the town government planned to build a bridge as the connection to “outside” for changing the situation in 1981. When 70% of the bridge funds were raised, an extra 400,000 RMB was still needed to go ahead. Therefore, the government encouraged locals to each contribute 10 RMB. Back then, a farmer needed to sell 83.5 kg of rice to earn 10 RMB. In perspective, the amount is similar to one-third of an office worker’s salary for a month. 260,000 RMB was gathered and the rest was accounted for with labor work—most locals worked for free.

The bridge was completed in 1984. In 1996, a brand new Gaobu Bridge in steel structure was constructed to replace the old one. In 2002, the old Gaobu Bridge was listed under cultural relic protection of Gaobu town and listed as the municipal cultural relic protection in 2004.

Category City Facts