Kokonoe "Yume" Otsurihashi Bridge

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Kokonoe "Yume" Otsurihashi Bridge
Kokonoe, Oita, Japan
568 feet high / 173 meters high
1,280 foot span / 390 meter span

The Kokonoe "Yume" Otsurihashi suspension footbridge is the longest and highest of its type in the world. Opened in 2006, the main span of 1,280 feet (390 mtrs) surpassed the previous record holder, the Ryujin footbridge - also in Japan - which has a span of 1,230 feet (375 mtrs). Kokonoe was also Japan’s highest bridge at 568 ft. (173 mtrs) - a record it retained for 4 years until 2010 when the Hiroshima Airport arch bridge opened. Neither bridge however, is as long as the catenary suspension bridge at Sunway Lagoon Theme Park in Selangor, Malaysia with a span of 1,404 feet (428 mtrs). Switzerland’s Niouc is currently the highest footbridge in the world but is also a catenary suspension bridge with no towers. Many do not consider catenary bridges to be true suspension bridges since they have uneven, sloping decks that are often unstable.

Of course the Japanese are no strangers to high and long footbridges. Prior to Ryujin and Kokonoe, one of the country’s longest suspension footbridges was the 1984-built Teruha bridge in Aya with a tower to tower distance of 820 feet (250 mtrs). At the time Aya also held Japan’s bridge height record at 466 feet (142 mtrs). Other high footbridges in Japan include the Ueno Skybridge some 295 feet (90 mtrs) above a forested valley and the Tanise suspension bridge 177 feet (54 mtrs) high with a length of 974 feet (297 mtrs). Constructed in Totsukawa, Nara prefecture in 1954, Tanise is one of Japan’s oldest suspension footbridges and is unusual for having two separate sets of main support cables.

The name "Yume" means dreams - a representation of the people of Kokonoe and their desire to bring the people of the region together in one harmonious exchange of ideals and culture. Or something to that effect. A more simple reason to have built the bridge is for the outstanding views it offers of the Naruko-gawa gorge and its towering cliffs and waterfalls. Like any good footbridge of great height, Kokonoe has a narrow 5 foot (1.5 mtr) wide walkway that will induce many with a feeling of vertigo. Some will find this nerve racking while others will find it euphoric.

Although it no longer exists, the highest and longest tower supported suspension footbridge built at the time of its completion was upstream of the massive Glen Canyon Dam over the Colorado River in the U.S. State of Arizona from 1958 to 1964 to aid worker’s during the dam’s construction. It had a height of 640 feet (195 mtrs) and a span of 1,280 feet. An accurate conversion puts the 390 meter long Kokonoe bridge span at 1,279.5276 feet - about 6 inches short of the Arizona bridge!

Just recently discovered in China is a suspension footbridge constructed behind the Wanjiazhai Dam over the Yellow River with a span of 500 meters between towers or 467 meters as measured along the deck. This would make it the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge. The bridge was originally built in 1994 for workers to get across the Yellow River gorge during the construction of the Wanjiazhai hydroelectric dam. Originally scheduled for removal in 2000 once the dam was completed, the dam personnel decided to keep it and so the span was rehabilitated and strengthened for long term use. The huge span is open to the public for a nominal fee.

Kokonoe "Yume" Otsurihashi Bridge Elevation

九重“夢”大つり橋は歩行者専用の橋で、このタイプの橋の中では世界一長く高い橋です。2006年にオープンした長さ390mのこの橋は、それまで記録を保持していた長さ375mの竜神大吊橋(歩行者専用)を超えるものです。175mの高さを持つ九重“夢”大つり橋は、2010年に広島空港大橋がオープンするまで、四年間日本一高い橋として記録を保持していました。しかし、どちらの橋も、マレーシア、セランゴルのスンウェイラグーン・テーマパーク(Sunway Lagoon Theme Park in Selangor, Malaysia)にある全長428mのカテナリー型(垂れている)つり橋ほど長くはありません。スイスのニオク(Niouc)は現在世界で最も高い歩行者用つり橋 ですが、タワーのないカテナリー 型つり橋です。カテナリー 型つり橋には、しばしば平らでなく不安定に傾斜するデッキがあるため多くの人はこの橋を真のつり橋として認めていません。




Kokonoe Bridge area map.

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