Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Changsha Zinc Factory

As Chinese cities expand and build endless flats and shopping and entertainment centres, its older buildings are usually demolished without ceremony.

Occasional relics of industrial heritage remain though, including this fantastic factory which I spotted out cycling recently.

Someone helped translate these internal entrance signs - it's Changsha Zinc Company.

China is the world's biggest producer of the stuff, and the smelting process creates significant heavy metal pollution.

Not knowing much Chinese, it's been pretty hard to gain any specific history on the place. The original signs are in traditional Chinese script - mainland China moved to simplified Chinese after 1952 so it must have been built before then. From the state of decay and rust it probably closed well over 20 years ago.

What was found was a whole quarter of abandoned heavy industry - furnaces, tanks, pipes, shafts, silos, stores - all rusting away.

Near the entry point, an old bus next to some workshop/store buildings

En route to the main factory area

This room was beaut.

Raw materials must have come up this shaft into the above room.

Room at the end of the shaft - looks like this is where the material originated.

Approaching the core factory workings

Note the ionizing radioactivity hazard signs - cause for some consternation

Unknown device

Pushed a door which clicked open - this room felt as if it'd not been entered in decades.

Looking back from the far side - water works in the foreground.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Bridges of interest

There are 7 bridges that cross the main Xiang river in the central area of Changsha, and having bought a bicycle, I was keen to investigate a few. These are the ones of most potential:

Fuyuan Road bridge

This was completed in 2012 and features "X-type" arches which lift the structure. Total length is 3.5km and span 2.3km. It's 31.5 metres wide and perhaps around the same from arch apex to road. The builders have kindly put steps and rails on the arches within reaching distance for later inspection and maintenance.

Liked this stark view across to the flats beyond.

Update - November 2014

Managed to get hold of some snaps and YouTube video from the top:

YouTube video upload:

Sanchaji Bridge (2nd Ring Road (North) bridge)

Suspension type. The cables come to a dead end at the top.

Access to the towers is gained at road level. At the top there are rungs leading up the top 'turrets'.

 Heishipu Bridge (Changsha Ring Expressway (South))

Another red rounded-arch style bridge, this one is south of central Changsha and carries motorway traffic.

The pedestrian bit doesn't seem to be in use - the steps leading to it are hidden away in some wasteland at the entrance to a cement works. At time of visit military planes were doing manoeuvres overhead.

Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Abandoned factories and residential blocks near Fuyuan Road bridge

While cycling to look at some bridges of interest, I spotted deserted buildings next to a building site close to the Xiang River.

Inside their enclosure I discovered several empty blocks of flats plus a couple of factory units. No idea what it would have produced - some tiled chambers suggest maybe a liquid.

Heard some voices coming from a room on one residential floor, so didn't stay too long there, then later after I left the second factory an old man strolling seemed surprised to see me and muttered something - would've liked to chat and been able to ask questions.

Residential area

Factory 1

Breeze blocks had been put in to block the area behind which could have been of interest.

Overlooking the adjacent building site - a likely reason for the dereliction of the area

Factory 2

Overall, not the best exploratory, but it's a start - thanks for reading.