Yanjinhe Arch Bridge

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Yanjinhe Arch Bridge
盐津河拱桥
Renhuai, Guizhou, China
620 feet high / 189 meters high
571 foot span / 174 meter span
1995

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Completed in 1995, the Yanjinhe concrete arch bridge is similar in design to the larger and more famous Jiangjiehe arch - also in Guizhou province, China. Several years after it opened, the 571 foot (174 mtr) arch span was found to be damaged and was subsequently closed. A second Yanjinhe prestressed concrete beam bridge bypassed it in 2007. Comprised of a 623 foot (200 meter) main span, the newer beam bridge is located just a half mile (one kilometer) upstream from the old arch bridge which is now open to pedestrians only. A third, even higher crossing of the Yanjinhe opened in 2009 as a part of a new 4-lane highway. Then in 2015 a fourth crossing called Xiaohekou and the highest Yanjinhe Bridge of all was built at the end of the river where the Yanjinhe joins the famous Chishui River.

Sometime after the 1995 arch was completed, a dam was built just downstream from the bridge and reduced the height of the 3 upstream Yanjinhe bridges by more than 100 feet (30 mtrs). Upon its closure to traffic, the concrete truss-arch became one of the highest pedestrian-only bridges in the world before walls were built on both ends around 2013 that blocked all traffic from any kind from crossing the span.



Yanjinhe River 1995 Bridge Elevation


1995年通车的盐津河混凝土拱桥在设计,与同在中国贵州的更大更著名的江界河拱桥相似。开通之后没有几年时间,这座174米跨径的拱桥就被发现损坏严重而随之被迫关闭。然后,第二座盐津河上的预应力混凝土梁桥在2007年替代了它的作用。主跨达200米,这座新桥就在目前仅仅有行人可以通行的旧桥上游半英里(一公里)处。然后,第三座,2009年建成通车更高的大桥跨越在盐津河之上,位于一条4车道公路之上。1995年建成盐津河拱桥之后不久,其下游就建起了一座大坝,使得这三座盐津河大桥距离水面的高度至少减少了30米。随着它的关闭通车,这座混凝土桁架拱桥就成为了距离水库满水位水面的高度位列世界第8的人行桥了。


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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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The renowned Guizhou Maotai alcohol factory is located in Renhuai. The famous drink is the most consumed liquor in China with alcohol content that ranges from the standard 53 percent down to 35 percent. The drink has a soy-sauce like fragrance that is distilled from fermented sorghum. An observation tower shaped like a giant can sits high up over the Yanjinhe River gorge.


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The fancy west end bridge gateway. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This wall was built sometime after 2011 to completely block any motorbike or pedestrian traffic from crossing the damaged bridge. A new beam bridge was built in 2007 to bypass the arch. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A 2008 view of the Yanjinhe Dam that created the reservoir now under all 3 bridges. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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In 2011 the reservoir was much lower due to a regional drought. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A rare view showing the full height of the arch before the reservoir filled up behind the dam.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The reservoir in 2008. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A 2011 view showing a much lower reservoir. Dead trees can be seen sticking out from the walls. The cold reservoir water will likely preserve them for decades to come. 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 2008 view of the concrete barrier that was placed at both ends of the bridge to prevent vehicles from crossing. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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During my 2011 visit a notch had been cut into the barrier so motorbikes could more easily traverse over it. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The arch supports looking north. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The arch supports looking south. Note the uneven cross member. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A family lives under the north bridge approach as well as serving food and drinks. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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In the foreground is the Yanjinhe 2007 beam bridge that bypassed the damaged arch from which this photo was taken. In the far background is the new 2009 Yanjinhe highway 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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Yanjinhe Arch Bridge satellite image.


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Satellite image showing the location of the 3 Yanjinhe River Bridge crossings near Renhuai City. The 1995 arch is on the left, the 2007 beam bridge is the middle crossing and part of the 2009 Maotai highway bridge is the one furthest to the right.


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Yanjinhe Arch Bridge location map.

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