Acrophobes beware, the highest bridge in the world is open for business. After three years and over $140 million, the Beipanjiang Bridge in southwest China just opened. At 1,854 feet, the suspension bridge is either maniacal, or an engineering marvel.
The recently-completed bridge stretches across the Beipanjiang Valley, connecting the Yunnan and Guizhou provinces. What once was a five hour journey between the two places has been slashed to a quick hour and a half trip thanks to the new bridge. The engineering feat is an astounding 4,400 feet long, and is about the height of a 200 story building. According to CNN, the bridge is the highest due to the enormous distance between the ground and the bridge’s deck.
Beipanjiang project director Zhou Ping told CCTV, “In October 2013, the Ministry of Transport approved the Beipanjiang Bridge and gave us 8.9 million yuan in scientific research funding. Our project provided match-funding of around 6.1 million yuan, bringing the research fund to around 15 million. Many institutes, including Jiaotong University, Guizhou Highway engineering group, and the Guizhou office of transportation joined together to conduct research and development. We developed a new kind of technology called cantilever erection by longitudinal launching, and this significantly shortened construction time.”
Wind affected construction, so builders had to be especially precise, assembling bridge sections on site. CCCC Highway Consultants deputy chief engineer Liu Bo said one of their main challenges was discerning where to place bridge piers, as the gorge beneath the bridge is around 1,640 feet deep. They were eventually able to work around these issues to build the bridge, which has overtaken the 1,627-foot-high Sidu River Bridge as the world’s highest. Guizhou province also boasts seven of China’s 10 highest bridges.
Images via screenshot