The completion of China’s latest glass bridge, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge designed by Haim Dotan Architects, has been delayed, but thrill-seekers won’t mind the wait. Vice General Manager Joe Chen of the Zhangjiajie Canyon Tourism Management Co. confirmed to Inhabitat the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Bridge will include not one swing, but three. He also hinted when the bridge could open.
Chen told Inhabitat, “It’s true that we will have a swing on the bridge and it’s not a swing but three swings, including one giant swing which has a total length of about 150 meters to 170 meters.”
The giant swing will be the longest in Asia, if not the world. New Zealand’s Nevis Swing, which markets itself as the biggest in the world, has a rope length of 120 meters, and is 160 meters higher than the canyon floor.
So when will the marvel open? That’s the big question Chen said he tries to answer “hundreds of times every day.” He said initially they were confident they could open the bridge in May, but excessive spring rain slowed opening. The government also got involved after all the media coverage, according to Chen, and is currently conducting an inspection to make sure nothing goes wrong. The inspection has also delayed the grand opening.
Chen told reporters, “I can’t really give you a very accurate date for the opening. I can tell you the bridge is 99 percent complete.” Another incident that delayed the bridge opening was that the company had to replace “10 pieces of small glass.” According to Chen, they were “slightly damaged accidentally.” Further, the company wants to ensure the surrounding facilities and landscaping are also complete and decorated to “give a very good impression to the world at first sight.”
Chen speculated that the bridge could open the end of June or early July, and that he expects to hear soon from the government concerning a firmer opening date. A formal ceremony likely won’t take place until early 2017. Chen said, “We would like to have a grand opening ceremony in January 2017 because the whole project will be completed by then and we can celebrate. But the bridge will be open to the public earlier than that because the tourists couldn’t wait any longer.”
The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Bridge will be the highest glass bridge in the world at “300 meters vertical height,” which is about 984 feet; and the longest at 430 meters long, or a little over 1,410 feet. According to the Zhangjiajie Canyon Tourism Management Co., the bridge “holds 10 world records.”
Images via Haim Dotan Architects and courtesy of Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Tourism Management Co., Ltd.