• City launches drive to remove overhead cables

    THE extensive task of removing the overhead hanging cables and burying them has already begun in the city, with officials saying some key areas in Hongkou, Xuhui and Huangpu districts will clear them out by the month-end.

    At the same time, a new type of street lamp is being introduced in which the cables will run through the poles. The multifunctional street lamps exceed 8 meters tall.

    At the top of the pole will be the lamp, with the traffic signals just below it, followed by the pedestrian walking lights.

    Combining different functions into the street lamps will not only save resources and space, but will also make them pleasing to the eye, officials from the Shanghai Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said.

    Overhead cables supply electricity and facilitate telecommunication. Some of them also connect the pantograph of the electric buses to provide power. But with the rapid pace of development, these cables have always posed dangers. They have weathered through time and bad weather, besides looking ugly.

    While working to bury the cables underground, the authorities will also upgrade the roadway functions. For example, the transformer substation at the north of Wukang Apartments, previously known as Normandie Apartments, will now provide electricity to buildings and roads on Huaihai Road M. and Wukang Road.

    Shanghai first started to remove the cables in the 1990s. But due to the complicated ownership of the space and limited underground area, only about 600 kilometers of cables could be removed in the past two decades. About 231km are inside the Inner Ring Road alone.

    The project was basically shelved after 2011.

    Outside Guofumen Apartments, known as Kauflman Apartment in the old times, at the junction of Wukang and Hunan roads in Xuhui District, cables entwine with each other, coiling a black circle at the street lamp pole.

    A visitor, Cheng Ruihan, was on Wukang Road yesterday to take photos of the historical buildings, but was struggling to avoid the cables. “I faced the same problem at Gao’an and Fuxing roads,” said Cheng. “The buildings are beautiful but the cables blur the photos.”

    An elderly man said he and his neighbors have been hanging clothes on the cable coils for a long time.

    This year, 100km of overhead cables mostly within the Inner Ring Road areas will be removed.

    Wukang Road will be one of the first ones to clear out the overhead cables. Every month Xuhui will finish removing the cables in the designated areas.

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