Reinventing China's olden arches

Updated: Nov 28, 2023 By XU FAN CHINA DAILY Print
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Zeng Jiakuai leads the construction of covered bridges. He is a provincial-level inheritor of "beam-weaving "techniques. CHINA DAILY

Better protection

Due to safety concerns, the practice of burning incense at the shrines has been prohibited. The bridges have been better preserved thanks to modern technology, and have had a more significant impact in promoting traditional culture and craftsmanship.

In late October, it was announced that the Three-Year Action Plan for the Protection of Covered Bridges (2023-25), which was issued in May, would be launched in Taishun. The aim of the plan is to create a comprehensive preservation system for covered bridges, and outlines 10 major tasks, including surveying them, gathering information about them, and setting up risk assessment mechanisms.

A digitally empowered platform has been implemented in Taishun to monitor risk factors, such as rainfall, river levels, abnormal bridge temperatures and smoke. It not only enables a prompt response to emergencies, but also aids in preventing and minimizing potential damage.

"We have also compiled a flood prevention manual that includes different emergency measures and guidelines for different types of covered bridges. For example, for bridges with strong load-bearing capacity, sandbags can be piled up to enhance its resistance and prevent collapse when the water level rises," says Lan.

Additionally, weather forecasts now focus on smaller areas within a 1-kilometer radius of the rainfall collection station near historical bridges, allowing for a more accurate and efficient response and better prevention, she adds.

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