It is the world's second longest steel arch bridge, after the Chaotianmen Bridge in Chongqing. The bridge was envisioned to ease congestion between the quickly developing areas in southern Puxi, as well as to help cope with the traffic expected for Expo 2010.
When the bridge was completed, it became the world's longest arch bridge, surpassing the earlier title holder, the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia. An inauguration ceremony was held on June 27, 2003, featuring a group of runners, including Yao Ming, who were the first to cross the bridge. The bridge opened to vehicular traffic the next day.
The Lupu Arch Bridge, Shanghai, China, received the 2008 IABSE Outstanding Structure Award for being "A soaring box-arch bridge with a record span, clean impressive lines and innovative use of the side spans of the arch and the deck to resist the thrust of the main arch."