Dragon Gate Bridge
Dragon Gate Bridge
Wushan, Chongqing, China
361 feet high / 110 meters high
400 foot span / 122 meter span
The new Dragon Gate steel arch bridge is a replacement for the famous Dragon Gate concrete arch bridge that spanned the mouth of the Daning River from 1987 to 2008 before the rising waters of the 3 Gorges reservoir forced its removal. Sometimes referred to as the Longmens Bridge, the concrete arch gateway marked the starting point for millions of tourists on their boating adventure up the most spectacular tributary of the entire Yangtze River 3 Gorges region - the Daninghe. Known as the Lesser Three Gorges to differentiate it from the Yangtze River, a trek up the Daninghe reveals more than just one of China’s largest arch bridges. The initial Dragon Gate gorge has many wonders beginning with the longest plank walkway in China. Further along is Misty Gorge with beautifully sculptured stalactites tagged with colorful names like Monkey Fishing in the Air and Fairy Peach Peak. Continuing into the final Emerald Gorge, boats pass such landmarks as the Sky-Scraping Red Wall and Flying Clouds Cave.
The original Dragon Gate bridge on a crowded day with tour boats waiting to take visitors up the Daninghe River, also known as the Lesser Three Gorges to differentiate it from the 3 Gorges of the Yangtze River.
Dragon Gate under a full reservoir in 2008. Image by www.cqwb.com.cn.
The end finally came on November 22nd, 2008. It would be more than a year before its replacement opened in 2010.
Image by cnsphoto.
Dragon Gate was the first bridge in China to be built by the rotation method where the two halves of the arch are constructed just above the ground on either hillside and then rotated out over the canyon in one careful maneuver and then closed at the crown. In this early photo you can see part of the temporary arch support foundations next to the bridge on both sides of the hill slope.
A 2006 view with the reservoir half full. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com
Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com
Image by www.sfwhw.com.
The Daninghe River gorge as it looked in 2006 with the 3 Gorges reservoir still 130 feet (40 meters) below full pool. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com
Satellite image of the original Dragon Gate bridge. The span is located about two thirds up from the bottom of this view, 2 miles north of the junction between the Daninghe and Yangtze Rivers.