The 2nd Ring Road makes a turn at Xizhimen Bridge; the northern 2nd Ring Road turns into the west 2nd Ring Road. The bridge complex also links to Xizhimen Inner Road, Xizhimen Outer Road and connections to Mingguang Bridge and the northern 3rd Ring Road.
Old Xizhimen Bridge
The old Xizhimen Bridge was built in the late 1970s and comprised of both the core Xizhimen Bridge and Xizhimen North Bridge. Once complete, a bridge with a roundabout suspended a frightening 5.5 metres in the air took shape -- the highest bridge in Beijing.
The aerial feat, unfortunately, proved to be disasterous -- by the 1990s, the bridge was the source of massive traffic jams.
The old bridge was slated for a 1999 demolition. Originally, an explosion was planned for, but demolition finally got underway in the form of progressive destruction instead of a one-off blow-up. This disappointed spectators, but saved the area's residents -- Xizhimen Bridge was already part of central Beijing!
New Xizhimen Bridge
The new Xizhimen Bridge replaced the original bridge with the roundabout on top of it. (The northern bridge remained untouched.) A new bridge began construction in April 1999 and was opened to traffic by September 1999, using only 194 days to build the new bridge.
(North 2nd Ring Road)
(Xizhimen Outer Street)
(Xizhimen Inner Street)
(West 2nd Ring Road)