2016 High Bridge Trip Photo Album

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2016 High Bridge Trip Photo Album
Hunan Province


The 2-week 2016 High Bridge trip took place later then usual in October of 2016 when the weather was cooler and more comfortable. Our journey through the mountains of Western China was concentrated in Hunan and Guizhou Provinces with visits to over 20 of the World's Highest Road and Railway Bridges including walkway tours inside several of the suspension bridge trusses.

Unlike past trips, 2016 was intimate and small with just Ben and Marie Usagani from Indonesia joining my longtime friend John and his wife Rachel. Chinese bridge expert Zhu Fan was the official interpreter with driver Chen on board for the 6th year in a row.


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The special spans visited during the first week included Zhangjiajie, Aizhai, Mengdonghe, Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass, Qingshuihe, Yachihe and Xixihe Railway and Wujiang expressway bridges.


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Our Shanghai Airlines flight arrives in Zhangjiajie City. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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No other footbridge in modern history made as big a splash as the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass bridge in Hunan Province. Finally opened in 2016, this is the largest and highest footbridge span ever constructed with 99 panels of glass to walk on. The central span of 430 meters can support as many as 800 people at the same time. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Visitors enter Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Bridge through a huge visitors center designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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John Brignoli enjoys a moment with Jason Chen who runs the entire Zhangjiajie Park with his dad and mom. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Ben Usagani runs a jetty construction business in Indonesia and is also an expert in bridge foundation construction. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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John Brignoli stands on section of glass 260 meters/853 feet above the river. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Each panel is 3 x 4.5 meters. Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Dinner with the Chen's. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Our hotel in Zhangjiajie City, Hunan. Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Tianmenshan Mountain is one of the most famous and spectacular National Parks in China with more then a kilometer of cliffwalks and Glasswalks, China’s longest and highest gondola, the world’s highest and longest escalator and the famous 150 meter high cave hole are just some of the attractions that await visitors. Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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The famous 99 Turns bus road next to the Tianmenshan gondola. Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Tianmen Mountain has the highest cliffwalks in the world with vertical drops between 250 and 355 meters. Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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The highest point along the cliffwalk with a vertical drop of 355 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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The 5th annual Red Bull Wingsuit BASE jump challenge took place a few days after our visit. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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The official BASE jump platform near the top of Tianmen Mountain. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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A view looking down an access ladder approximately 300 meters/1,000 feet high. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Driver Chen points to the backside of the famous Tianmen Cave opening that is approximately 150 meters/500 feet high. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Love Locks are common at tourist sites all over China. Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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There are more then 400 steps leading up to the cave opening. Image by John Brignoli.


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The world's highest escalator. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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The small tourist city of Wulingyuan is filled with dozens of riverfront shops and restaurants. Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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A view from our Wulingyuan City hotel. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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The entrance to Zhangjiajie National Park. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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The Zhangjiajei Park Footbridge is one of the highest of its type in the world with a drop of 143 meters. The narrow deck was widened in recent years from 2 meters to 5 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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The Bridge of the World is the largest of the natural bridges within Zhangjiajie Park. Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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You can experience the view from a remote drone at this overlook. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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A DJI Inspire 1 drone. Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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The towering rock formations was the inspiration for the film Avatar. Image by John Brignoli.


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The spectacular Zhangjiajie Park Bailong elevator is the world's tallest outdoor lift with a rise of 326 meters/1,070 feet. Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Ben walks inside the giant Lishuihe suspension bridge catwalk with a truss span of 856 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Ben Usagani.


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The central rib of the Mengdonghe Yongji Bridge is 268 meters. The 8 central steel tubes are lowered into place and then once closed at the crown the hollow tubes are pumped with concrete. This style of construction is used in China for most of their mountain gorge arch spans.Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Odd to see this unusual looking plant on the slope above the Mengdonghe Yongji Bridge. Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Mengdonghe Bridge engineer.


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A new beam bridge along the Yongshun expressway. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Another beam bridge along the Yongshun expressway that parallels the single track train line between Jishou and Zhangjiajie. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Beam bridge closure on a Yongshun expressway bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Tall piers support the 145 meter high Morong Bridge on the Yongshun expressway. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Few high bridges in China are as famous as the 336 meter high Aizhai Bridge in Western Hunan Province. Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Driver Chen.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Zhu Fan.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Phoenix City is one of the most popular ancient tourist cities in Hunan Province with several unique footbridges across the river. Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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A view looking down the 145 meter piers of the Doushanba Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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One of the highest beam bridges in Guizhou is the Kaixiahe Bridge with a drop of 195 meters to the surface of a reservoir and 220 meters to the original river level. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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A view from the 132 meter high Malupo #1 Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Zunyi is the second largest city in Guizhou Province with some of Western China's tallest skyscrapers. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Our hotel in Zunyi City. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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The closure of the giant Yelanghe Railway Bridge with a central arch span of 370 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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The massive Wujiang Bridge crosses high above the small city of Wujiang. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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The Wenquan Bridge is another giant beam bridge viaduct in central Guizhou. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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The massive main span of the Yangshuihe Bridge is one of the 5 highest beam bridges in the world at 252 meters. Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Xianghuoyan Bridge is another one of China's popular CFST arch spans where concrete filled tubes are pumped into the ribs after the steel sections are lowered into place. Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by John Brignoli.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Ben Usagani.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


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Image by Eric Sakowski.


Click on Page 2 for Week Two with views of the Guizhou Province Bridges and More!

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