2012 High Bridge Trip Photo Album

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2012 China High Bridge Trip Photo Album
Sichuan and Chongqing Provinces


The following images were all taken during the "China 2012 Yangtze River Bridge Tour" that took place during the month of August in several Western China Provinces. Bridge fans Roger Perrin of Great Britain and Georges of France joined me on HighestBridges.com's second ever 3 week tour to experience almost 100 of the world's longest bridge spans that included visits to half of the world's 20 longest suspension and cable stayed bridges. The adventurous journey took us along 2,000 miles / 3,500 kilometers of roads and highways with bridge engineer Jiang Changiang and driver Mr. Chen.

The trek along the Yangtze took place in more urban environments making for some navigation challenges that we did not encounter in the more rural regions of the 2011 trip. We often found ourselves traveling along roads that were not yet on our GPS map tracker while at other times a clearly marked road had been blocked or was no longer in existence - wiped off the map due to some new mega high-rise development that did not exist just a year earlier. We also encountered a lot of overcast and haze that made for some less then best photo opportunities but when the sun did come out we captured all the drama and beauty of the world's greatest river crossings.

Our plan to visit all 80 known Yangtze bridge crossings was successful though in an unexpected way as we passed up 2 cable stayed spans due to time constraints and 2 others we had seen in 2011 but discovered 3 new previously unknown crossings including the under construction Huangyi, Qingcaobei and Fengdu 2 bridges. Only in China can someone stumble upon a suspension and 2 cable stayed bridges that will rank among the world's 50 longest of their type with main spans of 520, 788 and 680 meters!

We also ventured up one of the Yangtze's greatest tributaries in the form of the Jialing River where we encountered a varied collection of nearly a dozen new beam, arch and cable stayed bridges. In the 3 Gorges region the new G42 expressway continued to amaze with more then a dozen more giant spans that cross some of the Yangtze's biggest tributaries.

Look for an even more exciting Chinese in adventure in 2013 when we visit more than 75 of the world's highest spans including first ever construction site visits to the highest road and railway bridges on earth!


The special spans visited during the first week included Chaotianmen, Dongshuimen, Hejiang, Huangyi, Qiancao, Nanqi and the Jialing River Bridges as well as countless others across the Yangtze River.


Our journey began in Chongqing City - the "Pittsburgh" of China with an amazing collection of bridges including Chaotianmen Bridge, the largest arch in the world at 552 meters. From left to right are Georges, myself (with rabbit ears), engineer interpreter Jiang Changjiang and Roger Perrin. Image by Mr. Chen


Dafosi Bridge was one of the first cable stayed spans in the Chongqing City region opening in 2001 with a main span of 450 meters. Image by Georges.


Flooding was so extensive from rain several days prior that the level of the Yangtze was at 177 meters in Chongqing City or 2 meters above the full 3 Gorges reservoir level of 175 meters. This was surprising given the water level at the dam several hundred kilometers downstream was only at 157 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Some of the hundreds of Chongqing skyscrapers. Image by Georges.


The new Chongqing metro line crossing of the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers necessitated the construction of two separate cable stayed bridges known as Dongshuimen and Qianximen that are separated by a long curving tunnel. The towers were carefully designed by the Chongqing offices of T.Y. Lin International to have a curvilinear shape in all directions that give them a beautiful, signature look despite the extra cost. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The first two cable stayed pipes can be seen in the top center of the tower. There will only be 9 cables on each tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Qianximen crosses the Jialing River with just one central tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Part of this beautiful group of buildings in going to have to be demolished for the south end of the Qianximen bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The mouth of the Jialing River showing the water at full height some 177 meters above sea level. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


We decided to take a riverboat cruise that goes several kilometers up the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers. The foreground boat is the most lavish with air conditioning and a fancy lobby. Image by Jiang Changjiang


Image by Georges.


Our cruise boat had no fancy chandeliers but the outdoor view was perfect. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A view of the deluxe boat complete with neon dragons and an ICBC bank sign. ICBC became my ATM of choice for most of the trip. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A big breakfast before our first full day of bridging! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


We had all seen Shibanpo Bridge up close during the 2011 trip so we only did a quick photo stop in 2012. The main beam span of 330 meters is the longest of its type in the world. Image by Georges.


With a main span of 420 meters Caiyuanba is one of the world's 20 longest arch spans. Image by Georges.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


With a span of 600 meters, E'gongyan is most notable for the tower tops with their signature suspension bridge "logo". In 2016 a parallel metro line self-anchored suspension bridge will open next to it. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


One of the earliest bridges in Chongqing, the Lijiatuo Bridge opened in 1995 with a main span of 444 meters. Image by Georges.


The underside of the deck is beginning to show its age. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Some locals live in makeshift buildings along the river banks below the Lijiatuo Bridge. They don't have much but welcomed us in their homes. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Masangxi Bridge was just over 10 years old for our visit and has a main concrete deck span of 360 meters. Image by Georges.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Jiang Visits The River of His Family Name

With a Chinese name like Jiang Changjiang, you have to wonder what the odds are that such a person would be touring the bridges that cross a river with the same name. Jiang's last name of "Changjiang" is the actual Chinese word for the Yangtze River! Such a coincidence made me attempt to photograph Jiang in front of all 80 Yangtze bridge crossings. We did not quite succeed given Jiang had to leave the trip after the second full week but he still managed to stand in front of more then 50 Yangtze crossings. Who knows, maybe someday Jiang will design a bridge that crosses the river that bears his family's name! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Yudong Bridge might look ordinary but this bridge demands respect as it is the longest double span beam bridge on earth with two back to back concrete behemoths of 260 meters. This is even more impressive when you consider a double track monorail metro line will be traveling down the center in 2013 to join the 8 highway lanes that opened in 2008. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by www.huashphoto.com


The monorail metro approaches under construction just north of the Yudong Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Baishatuo Railway Bridge is one of the oldest crossings of the Yangtze having opened in 1960. The 2-track line is 825 meters long with 4 main truss spans of 80 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Completed in 2004, the narrow Diwei cable stayed bridge is unusual in that it was built for a local mining operation and is not open for the public to use. The main span is 345 meters. Image by Georges.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Two unmarked lanes carry nothing but truck traffic. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


One of the newest bridges across the Yangtze, the Guanyinyan is a wide, steel deck cable stayed bridge with a main span of 436 meters. Image by Georges.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Yangtze water level was unusually high from flooding in the days prior to our visit. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Jiang Changjiang.


Image by Jiang Changjiang.


One of the world's longer span road and metro rail cable stayed bridges, the Dingshan Bridge will be completed in 2013 with a main span of 464 meters or about the same length as the Alex Fraser and Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridges in North America. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The construction staging area below the Dingshan Bridge had been flooded out just prior to our visit. Large bridge sections were tossed around like toys and damaged. Some pieces will probably be repaired while others might have to be completely re-manufactured. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Dingshan Bridge as it will look when completed. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Jiangjin Bridge's main span of 240 meters is not unusual in China but ranks longer then almost any beam span outside of the country. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Many of the newest Yangtze Bridges are part of the G93 expressway which will go from Chongqing City to Yibin before drivers can continue further west to Chengdu and beyond. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Another "Top 10er", the Bosideng arch leaps over the Yangtze with a humungous concrete filled steel tubular span of 500 meters. This is just 10% less then the world's longest arches in Chongqing and Shanghai. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The temporary highline towers are also impressive, rising as tall as a 50-story skyscraper. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


Image by Georges.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Also near Hejiang, this new G93 expressway crossing is impressive for its leap from a high bluff before crossing the Yangtze River on a 410 meter main span. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Georges.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Jiang struts his stuff in front of the Tai'an Bridge, a rare single tower cable stayed crossing of the Yangtze with a span of 270 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The harp of cable stays are very closely spaced on the back span of Tai'an Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The local fishermen were more prepared to walk in the mud then we were. Image by Georges.


Image by Jiang Changjiang.


No shortage of ducks in China! Image by Georges.


Nearly complete during our visit, the Huangyi Yangtze Bridge was so new the bridge already had construction trucks going across the deck. The huge, 6-lane main span of 520 meters is larger then most cable stayed bridges in North America. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The uneven tower design has resulted in the south tower measuring a lofty 210 meters tall or about 86.5 meters taller then the 123.5 meter north side tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The curvilinear shape of the piers really adds to the beauty of this all concrete colossus. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Brown ducks anyone? Image by Georges.


The Luzhou Bridge is a rare type of bridge with the center third being a drop-in span. The 3 central spans of 170 meters opened in 1982. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A local Luzhou girl with a British flag handbag is surprised to see some foreigners, especially one from the U.K.! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Extradosed bridges are rare outside of Japan. Completed in 2011, the Qiancao is one of the largest of its type with a main span of 248 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The flood currents on the Yangtze were so strong below the Qiancao Bridge that several handrail barriers were knocked over. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The northern end of Luzhou City is a newer zone of upscale malls, skyscrapers and wide boulevards that are now typical of most Chinese cities where a huge migration is underway from the rural farming towns to the giant urban centers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Luzhou Railway Bridge was completed in 2002 with 3 bulky prestressed beam spans of 144 meters. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Completed in 2000 with a main span of 252 meters, the Second Luzhou Bridge had the longest beam span across the Yangtze river at that time. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Not to be outdone, the nearby city of Jiang'an made their 2008 Yangtze beam crossing with a span of 253 meters - 1 meter longer then Luzhou's! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


With a suspension span of 820 meters, the Nanqi Bridge is the longest crossing of the Yangtze among the 45 bridges located upstream of the 3 Gorges Dam. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


This steel arch in Yibin marks the first non-Yangtze river crossing where the remaining upstream portion of the Yangtze is officially called the Jinsha Jiang. The Yangtze continues for well over a 1,000 more miles within mountainous provinces where bridge spans are generally under 100 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


This concrete arch was the very first bridge to cross the Jinsha Jiang in the city of Yibin. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Min and Jinsha rivers meet in front of this flooded plaza which marks the official beginning of the "Changjiang" River known to foreigners at the Yangtze. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


This large railway bridge and a nearby single tower cable stayed bridge mark the two most upstream crossings in the city of Yibin. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Jiang Changjiang.


A Yibin local takes a bath at the base of this flooded riverfront tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Completed in 2008, the Yibin cable stayed bridge is similar to Tai'an Bridge with very closely spaced stays. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Never before visited by foreigners, the Yibin Pipeline Bridge is one of only two such spans to cross the Yangtze (the other is a cable stayed pipeline bridge near Fuling). The bridge carries 3 different sized pipes across a main span of 516 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


This truck measured an incredible 100 feet / 30 meters from end to end! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The driver enjoys a rest in a hammock near the back end. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Jialing River Bridges

The Shimen Bridge was one of China's larger single tower cable stayed bridges when it was completed across the Jialing River in 1988 with two spans of 230 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


One of several giant beam bridges over the Jialing within Chongqing City, this 240 meter span monster carries the G75 expressway. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Shuangbei is the newest Jialing River road bridge with uneven towers supporting a main span of 330 meters. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


Georges washes his shoes after stepping into the muddy riverbank. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Minutes later I did the same thing with my left shoe! Image by Georges.


On the northern outskirts of Chongqing City the new Caijiajialing Bridge is now the highest metro line bridge in the world carrying line 6 some 100 meters above the Jialing River. The narrow span measures 250 meters. Image by Georges.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The egg-shaped tunnels were required to accommodate the extra height of the elevated "mono" rail. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Jiayue was the second big extradosed bridge of the trip with a main span of 250 meters. The elegant Y-shaped towers and slender deck are the handiwork of the famous engineering firm of T.Y. Lin International. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A pedestrian walkway under the road deck made for a nice stroll 80 meters above the river. Image by Georges.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


This new road viaduct near the Jiayue Bridge paralleled yet another metro line going north out of Chongqing City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Jialing River gorge has an impressive lineup of road and rail bridges near the city of Beibei. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Jiang Changjiang.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The older Jialing River Railway Bridge was undergoing a major rehab during our visit. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Jiang Changjiang.


The newest railway bridge probably carries a high speed railway line. The main span of approximately 176 meters is likely among the top 20 longest concrete railway beam spans on earth. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


This obsolete suspension bridge with 4 main offset cables was recently bypassed by an arch bridge. The central span is approximately 190 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The practice of using a stylish front door on an outdoor wall is not uncommon in China! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Can you count all 6 Jialing Bridge crossings? Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Jialing River G5001 Ring Highway Bridge has a central span of 240 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Click on Page 2 for Week Two with views of the 3 Gorges Area Bridges and More!

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