Photo by Shanghai Daily
It’s finally here! On October 31, the bridge and tunnel linking Chongming Island to Shanghai will open. For all the 700,000 residents of Chongming and those of us mainland folks who venture there, we’ll no longer have to rely on the iffy ferry service. Instead, one can get to Chongming from Pudong in just 30 minutes.
Convenience comes at a price though, setting motorists back by 50 yuan (20 for the tunnel, 30 for the bridge). Not surprising, seeing as the bridge cost a whopping 12.6 billion yuan to build. Fortunately, for those of us sans cars or feeling environmental, public buses will run the route and waive the cost.
Many residents of Chongming are excited about the bridge as it will bring increased economic opportunities. And for us mainlanders, we now have an easy escape from the city. But as Zou Chunjing, a professor in the Life Science Department at East China Normal University who monitors the Chongming Island natural habitat notes: “”All human behavior causes a negative impact on the environment.” That seems like a pretty pessimistic statement, but we’re sure the influx of cars and people on Chongming will put a strain on the environment.
At least Zhao Qi, Chongming County’s director, has pledged to implement various environmental initiatives and has said the environmental effects of the bridge and tunnel will be “endurable”. Let’s hope he sticks to his promise because Chongming has a host of interesting sights including forests, eco-tourism lodges, and bird-migrations sanctuaries that we wouldn’t want ruined by extra emissions. And of course, we don’t want to feel guilty once we head over to check out Michael Jackson’s replica Neverland ranch.