Jinshajiang Bridge Taku
Jinshajiang Bridge Taku
Lijiang, Yunnan, China
1,680 feet high / 512 meters high
3,904 foot span / 1,190 meter span
The upper reaches of China’s famous Yangtze River are known as the Jinshajiang and flow for more then 2,200 kilometers from their source high in the mountains of Qinghai and Tibet. As the third longest river in the world, the 6,300 long kilometer Yangtze has become the most important waterway in China economically and culturally with one third of the country’s population living within its drainage basin.
The 1957 opening of the great road and railway bridge in Wuhan marked the beginning of large-scale bridge construction across the Yangtze River. The growth of cities along the Yangtze really began to kick into high gear in the 1990s causing an infrastructure boom that necessitated the construction of dozens of long span bridges that have broken numerous records for span length in all the major bridge categories including beam, arch and cable stayed.
But if all of these great Yangtze crossings were celebrated for their ability to span long distances, few of these bridges were known for their height with only a few spans surpassing the 200 meter height barrier due to the deep waters along the lower end of the 3 Gorges reservoir.
In 2020 that will all change when the Jinshajiang Bridge Taku opens along the west end of the Huali expressway connecting Panzhihua to the tourist city of Lijiang. With a height of 512 meters this high level crossing will not only become the highest bridge to ever cross Asia’s largest river but will surpass the height of any other suspension bridge in the world and the first super-high bridge to cross a major river. With so many stretches of the Jinshajiang under deep reservoirs, we can also be thankful the location at Taku is under the fairly shallow north end of the Longkaikau Dam reservoir where there will still be a clear drop of 480 meters to the water surface when the lake is full and as high as 512 meters during periods of drawdown.
This unprecedented height will be accentuated by a breathtaking central span of 1190 meters that will rank as the second longest among all the world’s high level bridges and just 6 meters shy of number one ranking Longjiang Bridge, also located in Yunnan Province.
The basic design of Jinshajiang Taku is very similar to the previous jumbo-sized truss stiffened spans over the Qingshui and Baling Rivers in Guizhou with 200 meter towers supporting a deep, 28 meter wide steel truss. Taku’s truss will be divided into 110 segments of 10.8 meters with approach spans of 2x40 meters on the east side and 6x40 meters on the west side.
The Huali expressway will begin a long rise west out of the Jinsha River gorge from a bridge deck elevation of 1778 meters towards Lijiang’s elevation of 2400 meters, gaining elevation by crossing over itself on a rarely seen 270-degree tunnel loop. Lijiang is one of the most popular tourist cities in Yunnan Province as well as a gateway to both the Tiger Leaping Gorge and Shangri-La scenic spots.
China began this extraordinary output of spectacularly high, long span suspension bridges in 2009 with the opening of the Siduhe, Balinghe and Beipanjiang Hukun Bridges. That was followed by the Aizhai Bridge, Lishuihe Bridge, Longjiang Bridge, Puli Bridge, Dimuhe Bridge, Qingshuihe Bridge and Daduhe Luding Bridge. This trend will continue beyond 2020 with the possibility of spans even longer and higher then the great Jinshajiang Bridge at Taku.
Jinshajiang Bridge Taku Elevation
Map of the Huali Expressway showing the large 270 degree loop on the west side of the Jinshajiang River Bridge crossing at Taku. 华丽高速公路地图显示塔库金沙江大桥西岸巨大的270度螺旋展线。
Satellite map of the Huali expressway.
Approximate location of the towers on the steep slopes of the Jinsha River canyon. 陡峭金沙江峡谷中桥塔的大致方位
View of the Jinshajiang River several kilometers north of the giant Taku bridge crossing. 从几公里外北面看塔库金沙江大桥位置。
Jinshajiang Bridge Taku location map.