Ryujin Bridge

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Ryujin Bridge
竜神大吊橋
Nishitari, Ibaraki, Japan
385 feet high / 117 meters high
1,230 foot span / 375 meter span
1994


At the time of its opening in 1994, the Ryujin footbridge was the second longest span conventional suspension pedestrian bridge in the world at 1,230 feet (375 mtrs). Also opened in 1994 is the Wanjiazhai Dam suspension footbridge that was constructed over the Yellow River with a span of 1,640 feet (500 mtrs) between towers or 1,532 feet (467 mtrs) as measured along the deck. The bridge was originally built for workers to get across the Yellow River gorge during the construction of the Wanjiazhai hydroelectric dam and was not rehabilitated for public use until 2000.

Among Japanese footbridges, Ryujin was finally surpassed in 2006 by the Kokonoe "Yume" Otsurihashi suspension footbridge with a main span of 1,280 feet (390 mtrs). 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).

None of these Japanese footbridges, 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). Many do not consider catenary bridges to be true suspension bridges since they do not have towers and the sloping decks are often uneven and unstable.

With thick, muscular towers, a deep stiffening truss and a wide deck, Ryujin could almost be mistaken for a road bridge. The overbuilt design has made a walk across the bridge less fearful for those who are afraid of heights. Located just upstream from a dam, The Ryujin bridge is 300 feet (91 mtrs) high to the full reservoir level or 385 feet (117 mtrs) to the old river level. Love em’ or hate em’, the unusual steel fins protruding from the the towers give the bridge a one-of-a-kind look like no other. Pierre Cardin would approve!


1994年のオープンの際、375mスパンの竜神大吊橋は世界一の一般的な歩行者専用吊橋でした。しかし、2006年に主要スパンが390mという別の巨大な日本の橋“九重夢大つり橋”に越されてしまいました。竜神大吊橋と九重夢大つり橋以前には、日本一の人道吊橋は1984年に架設された綾町の照葉大吊橋(支間250m)でした。また、この時、照葉大吊橋の高さ142mによって、綾町は日本一高い橋の記録を獲得しました。

しかし、どの橋も、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のカテナリー型つり橋ほど長くはありません。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。

厚く力強いタワー、深く堅いトラス、そして幅広いデッキによって、竜神大吊橋は車道橋梁と見間違えるほどです。その上、細かい設計がこの吊橋には生かされていて、高いところが苦手な人もあまり恐れることなく歩行者用通路を渡ることができます。この橋は、竜神ダムの上流に架設されており、デッキから古い川の水面まで少なくても100mあります。貯水池はデッキより約85m下にあります。好きか嫌いかに関わらず、タワーより突き出ているめずらしい鋼鉄のヒレが、この橋を他にはないここだけの唯一の橋にしています。きっと、ピエール・カルダンも絶賛してくれることでしょうね!





Pierre Cardin designed dress.


Ryujin Bridge satellite image.

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