Guniuhe Footbridge

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Guniuhe Footbridge
Houchangxiang, Guizhou, China
(656) feet high / (200) meters high
1,640 foot span / 500 meter span


The highest, largest and most spectacular gorge arch bridge ever built, the epic Guniuhe Bridge spans more than 400 meters above a remote river canyon on the Anpan Expressway in Guizhou Province. The main span of 520 meters ranks among the 10 longest arch spans in the world and the second among deck arches just behind the Fenglai Bridge but surpassing the New River Gorge Bridge by 2 meters. The deep 4 to 1 rise ratio has also produced an arch rise of 130 meters that is first among all arch bridges in the world. The deck is exactly 400 meters above the full reservoir level created by the Guangzhou Dam or 405 meters above the normal level of the Guniu River surface. Also on the Anpan Expressway is the nearby Liuchehe Bridge which is also over 400 meters high making them the only two arch bridges in the world to exceed the 400 meter height threshold.

A footbridge with a span of 500 meters was built in early 2024 to allow workers to have easy access across the canyon.

The upper highline for Gunihe Bridge had a span of 800 meters making it one of the longest highline spans ever erected for a bridge. The north slope was so steep that an access road could not be built down to the arch foundation so all the equipment and concrete had to be lowered down from the highlines.

The CFST Concrete Filled Steel Tubular ribs that make up the main span of Guniuhe Bridge consist of eight large steel tubes that were initially hollow when erected by a highline. 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 Guniuhe, 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.

Guniuhe Bridge is one of several spectacular high level crossings on the amazing Anpan Expressway that cuts across an extremely mountainous section of Guizhou Province between Panzhou near the Guizhou/Yunnan border and Anshun in Guizhou Province. The Anpan is the only expressway in the world to have five bridges that exceed 300 meters in height including Liuchehe, Tianmen, Guniuhe, Wumengshan and Liuzhi Bridges.

The Tianmen suspension bridge is the third crossing of the Beipan River to exceed 500 meters in height.


Guniuhe Bridge Elevation

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Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /






Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /




Guniuhe Bridge truss diagram.


Guniuhe Bridge satellite image.


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Guniuhe Bridge location map.