Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge

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Opened in 2016 as the highest and largest footbridge ever constructed, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge is also home to the highest public bungy platform in the world with a drop of 250 meters.  The central suspension span is spectacular not only for having glass panels along its entire length but also for the tapered deck that is 15 meters wide at the ends of the bridge before narrowing to a width of only 6 meters in the center.  Bridge architect Haim Dotan and engineer Zhi Dong Cheng pulled off this rare feat of engineering by curving the two main support cables inward, allowing the web of wire support stringers to soar outward in a V-shaped pattern that opens the bridge up to the sky like a giant butterfly.  The cable support towers are 45 meters apart from each other on either side of the canyon with plans to eventually enclose them in rock giving the appearance of natural stone spires.
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Opened in 2016 as the highest and largest footbridge ever constructed, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge is also the most successful tourist footbridge ever created with several million tourists a year experiencing the 85-story high walk in the clouds.  The Zhangjiajie Glass Footbridge was so popular that in the 3 years since it debuted, more then 100 copies opened at natural scenic areas all over China.   
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The central suspension span is spectacular not only for having glass panels along its entire length but also for the tapered deck that is 15 meters wide at the ends of the bridge before narrowing to a width of only 6 meters in the center.  Bridge architect Haim Dotan and engineer Zhi Dong Cheng pulled off this rare feat of engineering by curving the two main support cables inward, allowing the web of wire support stringers to soar outward in a V-shaped pattern that opens the bridge up to the sky like a giant butterfly.  The cable support towers are 45 meters apart from each other on either side of the canyon with plans to eventually enclose them in rock giving the appearance of natural stone spires.
  
 
The 6 meter wide deck is amazing for being only .6 meters deep despite a length of 385 meters.  This depth to span ratio of 625:1 is greater then any other stiffened deck suspension bridge in the world.  The 2,200 ton steel and glass deck was tested at Hunan University in Changsha to withstand wind speeds of 6 m/s, or 201.6 km per hour.  
 
The 6 meter wide deck is amazing for being only .6 meters deep despite a length of 385 meters.  This depth to span ratio of 625:1 is greater then any other stiffened deck suspension bridge in the world.  The 2,200 ton steel and glass deck was tested at Hunan University in Changsha to withstand wind speeds of 6 m/s, or 201.6 km per hour.  

Revision as of 07:29, 4 December 2019

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge
张家界大峡谷玻璃桥
World's Highest Footbridge
Sanguansixiang, Hunan, China
853 feet high / 260 meters high
1,411 foot span / 430 meter span
2016

6 Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Tourism Management Co.JPG


Opened in 2016 as the highest and largest footbridge ever constructed, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge is also the most successful tourist footbridge ever created with several million tourists a year experiencing the 85-story high walk in the clouds. The Zhangjiajie Glass Footbridge was so popular that in the 3 years since it debuted, more then 100 copies opened at natural scenic areas all over China.

The central suspension span is spectacular not only for having glass panels along its entire length but also for the tapered deck that is 15 meters wide at the ends of the bridge before narrowing to a width of only 6 meters in the center. Bridge architect Haim Dotan and engineer Zhi Dong Cheng pulled off this rare feat of engineering by curving the two main support cables inward, allowing the web of wire support stringers to soar outward in a V-shaped pattern that opens the bridge up to the sky like a giant butterfly. The cable support towers are 45 meters apart from each other on either side of the canyon with plans to eventually enclose them in rock giving the appearance of natural stone spires.

The 6 meter wide deck is amazing for being only .6 meters deep despite a length of 385 meters. This depth to span ratio of 625:1 is greater then any other stiffened deck suspension bridge in the world. The 2,200 ton steel and glass deck was tested at Hunan University in Changsha to withstand wind speeds of 6 m/s, or 201.6 km per hour.

The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge is one of several attractions within the privately owned park that is located just 20 minutes east of the famous Zhangjiajie National Park that inspired the look of the Avatar movies. Other attractions include a cliffwalk, mountain elevator, slide, waterfalls, caves, a smaller low level glass bridge, zip line and a boat ride.

For most visitors, the visual highlight of a trip to the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge will be viewing the gorge between their toes through glass panels 2 inches thick. But for those few who are brave enough to take their thrills to the next level, the ultimate fall awaits them on two separate platforms located several meters below the main deck. The west platform is where Bungy China runs the world's highest bungy jump at about 250 meters. On the east platform they plan to install a slightly less intense decelerator drop ride where guests dangling from the end of a cord are quickly lowered to the bottom of the gorge at a constant rate of around 60 kilometers per hour that is not as fast or out of control as the bungy drop but no less exhilarating.


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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge Elevation


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Image from Lorna.


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Visitors enter Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Bridge through a huge visitors center designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Bungy China began bungy jump tests in late 2017.


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The bridge maintenance vehicle runs along a guide track under the deck.


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August Bungy promo event. 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 jump platform will have a decelerator fall that is less intense and more controlled then a bungy fall.


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The west jump bungy platform.


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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge designer Haim Dotan.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image from Lorna.


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Image from Lorna.


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Image by Han Ruoyu.


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Image by Han Ruoyu.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Si Qing Luo (Lorna) and Zhi Dong Chen pose on the catwalk. Image from Lorna.


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Image by Lorna.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Haim Dotan Architects.


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Image by Haim Dotan Architects.


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Image by Haim Dotan Architects.


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Image by Haim Dotan Architects.


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Image by Haim Dotan Architects.


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An early rendering showing the bungee hole entrance in the center of the bridge before it was decided to have 2 separate jump platforms. Image by Haim Dotan Architects.


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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge computer render.


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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge computer render.


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An early cable stayed design showing a circular jump hole in the middle. The inclination of the stays was too shallow for this design to have worked.


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Another early cable stayed variation with the stay arrangement terminating into a circular pattern on the cliff walls.


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A third cable stayed design variation.


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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon bridge location view in 2013 before construction began. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The bridge engineer ZhiDong Chen and his wife SiQing Luo show us the latest design of the bridge. Image by Richard Scott.


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A view of the gorge where a wood walkway allows visitors to hike along the river where there are waterfalls, caves, a small glass bridge and a boat ride. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The designer and some of his staff along with a news reporter from Cili County. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Many borings that were drilled on the west side plateau. Image by Richard Scott.


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A series of switchback stairs descend down into the grandest part of the canyon. Image by Richard Scott.


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To make the descent even more fun, the owners built a smooth stone marble slide down the canyon. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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White gloves allow riders to brake themselves along the the edges of the trough. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view of the bridge crossing site from the river. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The end of the old slide that has not been in use for several years. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Completed in 2011, this small glass bridge was a trial run for the giant bridge that opened in 2016. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A food stand along the river trail. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The trail continues on through a large cave. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by John Morrison.


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A classic footbridge crosses over a cave creek along the trail. Image by John Morrison.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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At the end of the trail a boat takes visitors across a huge man-made lake that was created by the park's chief engineer ZhiDong Chen. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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With a can-do spirit and an inventive imagination, Mr. ZhiDong Chen has turned the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon into a major scenic destination where unique surprises await visitors around ever corner. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon gift shop. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon reception center. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge satellite image from early 2015 during construction of the towers and anchorages.


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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon satellite image showing the blue lake visible near the top and the glass bridge under construction near the bottom.


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Early satellite view several years before construction began with the bridge location pasted into the image.


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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Footbridge location map.


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