The bridge was designed by the Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute, Shanghai Urban Construction College, and Shanghai Urban Construction Design Institute, with assistance from Holger S. Svensson. It was built by the Shanghai Huangpujiang Bridge Engineering Construction company.
It is a double-tower and double-cable-stayed bridge, with the bridge proper (the part that spans the river) 1172 m long. Its 30.35 m width carries six lanes of traffic (three for each direction). Its two pylons reach 223 m in height. The highest ship clearance is 48 m, a necessity due to the heavy river traffic.
As of 2006, it carries more than 100,000 vehicles per day.
The two main abutments support high, upside-down Y-shaped towers (or pylons) from which the supporting cables are strung. There are two two-meter-wide sightseeing sidewalks on both sides of the river.
The bridge was originally unpainted; it was coated with red paint for the millennium. The name Yangpu Bridge (杨浦大桥) inscribed on each pylon was originally hand-written by Deng Xiaoping.