Suspension bridge that vibrated 'is safe'

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Humen Bridge, a major artery linking the eastern and western parts of the prosperous Pearl River Delta in Guangdong province, is safe despite unusual vibrations noted earlier this month, according to an assessment report by a team of experts that was released on Tuesday.

The physical condition and load-bearing capacity of the suspension bridge are stable, and key components were not damaged the report said. It listed the bridge's steel box girder, sling, main cable saddle, splay saddle, bridge bearings, expansion joints and other components as being in good condition.

The experts attributed the vibrations mainly to barricades that had been placed on the bridge's surface by maintenance workers during repairs.

The assessment was published after nine experts in testing, inspection, design, scientific research and construction completed a thorough assessment of the bridge, which runs across the mouth of the Pearl River.

The inspection was organized by the Guangdong Department of Transportation.

"The Humen Bridge is still safe," the report said.

It called for measures to prevent and control vibrations in the future to improve the experience for drivers crossing the bridge. It also called for more long-term monitoring and regular evaluations.

Traffic was halted on the two-way, six-lane bridge after the vibration report. When the normally busy bridge will be open for vehicles again is under discussion by the experts.

Unusual vibrations were first reported at about 2:30 pm on May 5, with more small vibrations reported later that night. The vibrations have now ceased.

The bridge links the city clusters of Shenzhen, Dongguan and Huizhou in the eastern Pearl River Delta to Guangzhou's Nansha district and the cities of Foshan, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing on the west.

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