Bloukrans Bridge

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Bloukrans Bridge
Nature's Valley, Western Cape, South Africa
708 feet high / 216 meters high
892 foot span / 272 meter span
1984

Image by Bob Cortright.


The Bloukrans arch bridge is the highest on the entire continent of Africa with a deck 708 feet (216 mtrs) above the bottom of the gorge. Located on the N2 Garden Route near the Pacific coast on the southern edge of South Africa, the 2 lane route also has several other spectacular and high concrete arch bridges including the Van Stadens, Storms river, Groot river and Bobbejaans river bridges. This is also the only highway in the world outside of China or Italy to have 3 bridges in excess of 500 feet (152 mtrs) in height. When it opened in 1984, the Bloukrans also held the record for being the world’s highest concrete arch bridge. Since then it has been surpassed by the Jiangjiehe bridge in China and the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman bridge that bypasses the Hoover Dam near Las Vegas, Nevada in the U.S. By 2014 the Beipanjiang High Speed Railway and Nanpanjiang High Speed Railway Bridges will also be higher among concrete arches.

The span was constructed using the stayed cantilever method whereby a tower is erected on either side of the gorge and cables temporarily radiate out from it to support individual sections of the arch until the two halves can be joined in the middle. The South African engineering firm of Liebenberg and Stander was responsible for the design.

The bridge made news in 1997 when the Face Adrenalin Bungee operation opened. As the highest commercial bungy jump operation in the world, it has turned the bridge into a major tourist attraction for South African visitors. You can also zip along under the arch on a cable slide called the Flying Fox or just go for a more sedate walking tour. The operators once owned a bungy jump at the Gouritz or Gourits river railroad bridge located west of Mossel Bay on the N2 Garden route before it was closed in 2009 from structural deterioration. It is one of 3 wonderful side by side bridges at the site including a traditional cantilever and a modern strut frame bridge. The two older bridges are approximately 215 feet (65 mtrs) high.



Bloukrans Bridge Elevation



Image by Fiona in Monbulk.


Image by Fiona in Monbulk.


Image by Fiona in Monbulk.


The Face Adrenalin bungee operation underneath the bridge. Image by Fiona in Monbulk.


Image by Fiona in Monbulk.


Image by Fiona in Monbulk.


Image by Fiona in Monbulk.


Image by Christer H. Ersland. http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Bloukrans&w=94881812%40N00


Image by Fiona in Monbulk.



Bloukrans Bridge satellite image.


Bloukrans Bridge construction drawing showing the temporary cable stays.



Bloukrans and Jiangjiehe Bridge size comparison



New River Gorge and Bloukrans Bridge size comparison

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