Every day in the early morning, Liu Shaofen, who's in her 60s in Nianzibang Village, Baimi County in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, gets up and catches the earliest ferry to Hejiang Town carrying cape jasmine flowers.
At the wharf, villagers are seen carrying flowers, domestic fowls and vegetables, waiting for the ferry.
It takes Liu 20 minutes to arrive at the opposite bank of the river. Before noon, her flowers are all sold out, earning her about 200 yuan ($31.46).
Baimi, home to various agricultural products, and Hejiang are separated by the river. The Baimi villagers can only travel to Hejiang by ferry. Due to inconvenient transport conditions, only a small number of flowers, fruits and vegetables can be carried to the opposite of the river through the ferry. In the flooding season and rainy and foggy days, villagers can only rent vehicles to make a detour through the highway to reach Hejiang, which usually takes an hour.
In 2015, CCCC Second Highway Engineering Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC), decided to build the Hejiang Yangtze River Bridge.
After a five-year construction, the bridge opened in the summer of 2021. It completely changed 400,000 local people's way of travel.
The bridge features separate motor and bicycle lanes and it takes villagers only 10 minutes to travel between Baimi and Hejiang.
Thanks to the bridge, many shops would drive trucks to Baimi to purchase fruits.
In addition, projects like port industrial parks, health care facilities and schools are also undergoing improvements, which are expected to drive economic development in the area.
(Executive editor: Wang Ruoting)