Indeed, this manhole cover may look like a safety risk, but a city representative counters that it’s absolutely “no problem to pedestrian safety”, reports Caijing. When interviewed by a reporter, the representative went on to say that the manhole cover is lined with steel bars.
Besides being completely broken and non-functional, the reporter also discovered the metal reinforcement bars are actually only the width of a chopstick. The whole cover is only 7mm thick at its thinnest point.
The representative reasoned with the reporter that since the manhole cover is in a greenspace area, only pedestrians would be walking here. Therefore the manhole cover is thick enough, because it should only need to support the weight of a pedestrian. In explaining why the manhole cover is broken, the representative had another answer ready: he said a motorist probably parked on it, and the cover wasn’t designed to support the weight of a car.
The representative said the city has long known about the problem and have been meaning to fix it (honest!)—it’s just that they haven’t gotten around to it yet.
And then, just 90 minutes after being contacted by the reporter, the supervising department replaced the manhole cover with a sparkly new one.