An Iconic Pedestrian Bridge in Keelung

Walking along a pedestrian overpass in the darkest of Taiwanese cities.

It’s grim up north. But that same darkness keeps me coming back to Keelung 基隆, Taiwan’s most important northern port, to explore its dense, multi-layered urban core. Pictured here is a long pedestrian overpass that snakes around and over the railway station for about 200 meters. It is visible on Google’s satellite view, running the length of Keelung’s Zhongshan Bridge 基隆中山陸橋 (also known as the Keelung Train Station Bridge 基隆火車站陸橋). After posting this photo on Flickr a visitor pointed out that this is the same pedestrian bridge featured in Millennium Mambo 千禧曼波 (watch the introduction on YouTube and you’ll see it). I was going to post it anyway but this adds another layer of meaning to this obscure work of urban psychogeography.

As with almost any other place in Taiwan all you have to do is look up the formal name in Chinese and you’ll find a wealth of information, this being one of the most wired and media-saturated of all nations. Apart from being featured in the aforementioned film I also discovered that the bridge was built in 1976 and dramatically collapsed in 2013. Even the repair efforts were newsworthy as distinctive syringes were used to inject epoxy into the substructure. Even the most prosaic of photographs in Taiwan can stimulate dozens of new connections should you go looking for them.

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