Zhijinghe River Bridge

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Zhijinghe River Bridge
支井河大桥
Dazhipingzhen, Hubei, China
965 feet high / 294 meters high
1,411 foot span / 430 meter span
2009


Located about 50 miles (80 kms) south of the Yangtze River gorge in China’s mountainous Hubei Province, the Zhijinghe River bridge is the highest arch bridge in the world. Opened on November 28th, 2009 with a deck 965 feet (294 mtrs) in height, it surpassed the Beipanjiang Railway bridge by 40 feet (12 mtrs) and West Virginia's New River Gorge bridge by 90 feet (27 mtrs). India’s Chenab River bridge will be higher when it opens sometime after 2015 but Zhijinghe will still retain the honor of highest roadway arch since Chenab is a railway bridge. Zhijinghe is also the world’s highest tunnel to tunnel bridge, a record that will go to the Aizhai suspension bridge in nearby Hunan province in 2012. The soaring red span is also impressive for its 1,411 foot (430 mtrs) length, ranking it among the world’s ten longest arches.

A major connection on the last 300 mile (483 km) link of the 1,350 mile (2,175 km) long West Hurong highway that now connects Shanghai on the Pacific coast with the cities of Chongqing and Chengdu in the west, the span is just one of many jaw-dropping high bridges along the Yichang-Enshi portion of the route including Siduhe, the highest bridge in the world and Longtanhe, the largest beam bridge viaduct on earth. Throw in 6 other bridges over 500 feet (150 mtrs) in height and you have the greatest stretch of bridge “high-way” in the world.

The type of steel truss arch used for the Zhijinghe bridge may look common but the Chinese have taken it one step further, developing it into a unique type of structure all its own. The eight large steel tubes that run along the underside of the Zhijinghe arch were initially hollow. Once the arch was closed, concrete was pumped into these tubes from the bottom up. First used by the Chinese in 1990, they have refined and improved the technique and now use it on the majority of their steel arch bridges. Depending on the length of the span and the width of the bridge, different styles of tubing are used. For Zhijinghe, they adopted an array of single tubes spaced apart from each other. Other configurations include dumbbells with two tubes closely connected, a mix of a dumbbell and single tubes such as was done on the Beipanjiang River Railway bridge or a tight cluster of tubes known as “multiple contiguous”. Once hardened, the concrete solidifies and stiffens the arch, improving the compressive strength of the entire structure.

As there are several Chinese CFST (Concrete Filled Steel Tubular) bridges on this website, you may find the following in depth article to be informative.



Zhijinghe River Bridge Elevation


位于中国湖北省山区的长江三峡以南大约50英里(80公里)处,支井河大桥是世界上最高的拱桥。2009年建成,桥面高294米,支井河大桥高出北盘江铁路桥27米。印度奇纳布河桥2015年后建成将会更高。但是,支井河大桥将仍然保留世界上最高公路拱桥的容易,因为奇纳布河桥是铁路桥。支井河大桥目前还是世界上最高的连段紧连着隧道的大桥,这一纪录将在2012年湖南省的矮寨悬索桥建成后被刷新。高耸的红色拱桥还有一点引人瞩目,全长430米,跻身世界前十长度的拱桥。

沪蓉国道,1350英里(2175公里)长,连接起太平洋西岸的上海与内地的重庆和成都等城市的交通大动脉。其最后300英里(483公里)一段的高速公路路段,支井河大桥仅仅是在宜昌至恩施段上的、众多令人惊叹的下巴都要掉下来的特大桥之一,而就在宜恩段上,有着世界最高的大桥四渡河大桥,以及位于世界最高梁式高架桥的龙潭河大桥。如果再放入另外6座高度超过150米的大桥,你就会得出世界上最伟大的一条桥梁“高”路来。

支井河大桥的钢管桁架的形式可能看起来很普通,但是中国人却更进一步,独创了一种新颖的结构。大桥下面的八道钢管起初是空心的。一旦拱桥合拢,混凝土就从拱脚位置泵送到拱顶处进行灌注。这一技术最初在20世纪90年在中国使用,之后又被加以完善改进,现在已经在中国多数的钢拱桥上使用。根据桥梁跨度和宽度的不同,许多不同的钢管形式均有使用。对支井河大桥而言,他们采用了一组彼此间隔开来的单管结构形式。其他的构造形式,有两根单管紧密相连形成的哑铃型的形式,哑铃型管和单管组合的形式(在北盘江铁路桥上采用),或者紧促的钢管束(组合式钢管)。一旦强化,混凝土就会固结并加强拱圈,增强整个结构的整体强度。


Image by www.nipic.com qiujun1982



Image by bbs.enshi.cn


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


An access tunnel was constructed next to the main highway tunnels. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by www.enshi.cn


Image by www.enshi.cn


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com






One of the massive truss sections is moved into position. Once the main arch was complete, concrete was pumped up into the large hollow tubes to stiffen and strengthen the entire structure. Image by www.enshi.cn


Image by Tigerspace.



A giant model of the Zhijinghe bridge at the construction headquarters. The depth of the gorge was exaggerated somewhat. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The arch was connected in mid-2008. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A nearby access tunnel punches through the mountain. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com




In 2009, Zhijinghe Bridge surpassed the New River Gorge Bridge as the world's highest highway arch.


Zhijinghe Bridge satellite construction image showing the two arch halves beginning to rise out over the canyon.

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