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Glass, Suspension Bridge, China

Glass and Steel in Bridge Form: Longest Glass Suspension Bridge in China

The canyons in the Huangchuan Three Gorges Scenic Area are already known as a must-see. Rivers meander among forested mountains before flowing into the Pearl River Delta. In order to promote local tourism, the world’s most recent longest glass suspension bridge has been built here. It supersedes its predecessor, also Chinese, which only a few years before had superseded yet another Chinese predecessor in its turn. A certain preference for these Chinese tourist attractions can be evinced. 

The two towers in vibrant red make the bridge an unmistakable landmark. The main cables are also in the same vivid colour. As typhoons are frequent in this area in the summer months, an additional cable system has been installed for lateral stability. It runs beneath the earth and is fixed to concrete anchors in the cliffside, a task made more difficult by the karstification of the stone and the high proportion of silt. The design features significant wind resistance thanks to wind-tunnel testing of 1:1 models during the design process.

Visitors to the attraction can now stroll a length of 526.14 m. They will enjoy not only an unobstructed view of the waterfalls beside the bridge, but also of the gorge beneath their feet. The deck consists of three layers of a particularly transparent glass. It has been coated and tempered to withstand the load of 500 people and yet ensure an optical transmission factor of 99.15 %. In four places, the bridge widens to 8.80 m, creating small platforms or niches where visitors can rest and take photos without disturbing the flow of traffic. The stainless-steel handrails and the suspension cables, onto which double-T profiles have been mounted to form the subconstruction of the bridge, are visually reticent. They have been optimized primarily for purposes of future maintenance so that the bridge may bask in its record-breaking glory a while longer.

Further information:

Team: Xie Xu, Sun Liangfeng, Wang Weilong, Dong Weiwei, Wu Pu

Current magazine
DETAIL 9/2021

Concept: Sports Facilities

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