China’s Daring Glass & Steel Suspension Bridge
The longest all-glass suspension bridge in the world has now opened in China’s Shiniuzhai National Park in the Hunan Province.
The ‘Brave Man’s Bridge,’ as it is aptly named, spans approximately 300 m (984 ft) across China’s Grand Canyon Zhangjiajie and is suspended 180 m (590 ft) above the canyon’s floor. It was originally a wooden bridge, but after several small sections were replaced with glass, it was decided to change the entire bridge deck to glass.
According to the China News, the bridge deck is built with doubled-up panes of steel reinforced glass that are 25 times stronger than standard window glass – yet with a total thickness of only 24 mm (0.94 inches). To complete the transformation, engineers reinforced the bridge with additional steel cables and added a metal railing.
Crossing this engineering marvel is definitely not for the faint of heart, but one worker explains via China News that there is no need to worry. “The bridge we built will stand firm even if tourists are jumping on it. The steel frame used to support and encase the bridge is also very strong and densely built, so even if the glass is broken, travellers won’t fall through.”
Heart-stopping glass bridges are becoming something of a trend. An even longer glass bridge is currently being built in the same area of China. According to CNN, this new bridge will be 430 m (1,4 10 ft) long and hover be 300m (984 ft) above the canyon’s bottom.
And if crossing this bridge isn’t enough of a thrill, there are plans to add the world’s highest bungee jump to the location as well!