Xinlongmens Bridge

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Xinlongmens Bridge
新龙门大
Wushan, Chongqing, China
394 feet high / 120 meters high
797 foot span / 243 meter span
2010

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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. Referred to as the Longmens Bridge (Dragon Gate 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.


建成于1987年,现在可能已经毁坏了的龙门大桥105米高,在其20余年的使用期内,是在中国最上镜的大桥之一。一座人造的“龙门”高高耸立在大宁河的河口之上,这座两车道公路桥,正好是乘船沿着长江干流中最著名的这条河流溯游而上的起点。素以“小三峡”闻名的这条河流的峡谷,也因三峡大坝水库建成后水位上升而永久性被淹没。

离开巫山县城,沿着大宁河溯流而上,首先进入龙门峡,从中国最长的古栈道开始前行,逐渐的将揭开更多的美景胜境。然后是巴雾峡,怪石林立,奇峰峥嵘,“猴子捞月”、“仙桃峰”等等。继而则是进入最后的滴翠峡,小船就会经过一些著名景点诸如“赤壁摩天”、“飞云洞”等等。

就在为看到122米跨度的龙门大桥的拆除而痛心时,2009年建成的新的大宁河公路桥就在龙门大桥上游数英里处,提醒着人们,中国是一个这样的国度——新的很快就会变成旧的,变化会时时刻刻、处处地地的发生。


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The east abutment of the original Longmens concrete arch bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The west approach of the Longmens bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view of the 3 Gorges reservoir at an elevation of 159 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com



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DragonsOld.jpg

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.


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Dragon Gate under a full reservoir in 2008. Image by www.cqwb.com.cn.


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The end finally came on November 22nd, 2008. It would be more than a year before its replacement opened in 2010.


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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.


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A 2006 view with the reservoir half full. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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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


DragonGateAerial.jpg

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.

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