A Bridge above the Rest

The colossal bridge towers 565 m (1 854 feet) above the bed of the river it crosses.  The brand new Beipanjiang Bridge Duga is on track to open this year and is officially the World’s Highest Bridge.  It surely counts as one of the world’s modern wonders and is truly a bridge above the rest:

750px-BeipanjiangBelowDecemberFinal2Orange

750px-BeipanjiangDugeJanuaryFinalOrange

The official list of highest bridges on the website highestbridges.com includes those still under construction.  Eight of the top ten can be found in China.  China also boasts well over eighty of the top hundred bridges on the list.  This gives some indication of the rugged territory and numerous deep gorges which challenge Chinese construction engineers as they seek to revolutionize and modernize the antiquated highway system.  Today’s superhighways are a far cry from the days of Mao’s Long March in 1935:  which in itself must have been a considerable achievement, as Guizhou Province with its daunting terrain was part of their route.

Here are the other remarkable Chinese bridges in the Top Ten:

2) Jinshajiang Bridge Taku at 512 m (1580 feet) due for completion in 2020;

650px-JinshajiangTaku金沙江丽江
What the Jinshajiang bridge will look like

3) Siduhe Bridge at 496 m (1627 feet – 2009 ;

4) Puli Bridge at 485 m (1591 feet) – 2015;

Puli20150402c
Puli Bridge: during final stages of construction

5) Yachi Bridge at 440 m (1444 feet) – 2016;

YachiBridgeView

6) Qingshuhe Bridge at 406 m (1332 feet) – 2016;

750px-QingshuiheByWuDongjun

9) Balinghe Bridge at 370 m (1214 feet) – 2009;

750px-Balinghe2011View2

10) Beipanjiang Bridge Guanxing at 366 m (1200 feet) – 2003: as the name indicates this bridge also spans the mighty Beipanjiang and is 200 m lower than the brand new one on the same river.  Flowing in its steep wooded gorge the Beipanjiang divides the eastern and western halves of Guizhou province and has been spanned by more of the highest bridges than any other river.

420px-BeipanjiangByChen7224255 guanxing

Yet another very attractive Chinese bridge is the Aizhai at 336 m (1102 feet) which is number 13 on the list and can be seen in the pics below:

 

Aizhai Bridge opening ceremony

he quest to improve transportation in the Guizhou region began in 2001 when the then world’s highest railway bridge (275 m) was constructed over the Beipan on the Shuibai Railway.  Just two years later, the Beipanjiang Bridge Huanjiang (Guanxing) was the first road bridge to surpass 300 m and the first suspension bridge to supersede Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge, which opened in 1929.  By 2020 Guizhou will be home to over 250 road and rail bridges over 100 m high as transformation of the travel system continues. Guizhou Province alone boasts way more high bridges than any country in the world.

The Luichonghe Bridge, also in Guizhou, enjoyed a brief reign as the world’s highest bridge when opened in 2001 to link the capital city of Guiyang with the county of Bijie:

liuchonghe

The Beipanjiang Bridge Duga is on the brand new G56 four lane expressway (two lanes each way) which will be open this year and is an amazing achievement stretching over 2935 km from Hanghzou near Shanghai to the border of Burma near Tibet.

To me, the Siduhe Bridge (Sidu)  is the most aesthetically appealing of the Top Ten.  The Siduhe also enjoyed a brief reign as World’s Highest Bridge.  Situated in Hubei province and on the West Huring Highway, it opened on 15 November 2009.  The innovative engineers chose to use a rocket to blast the first pilot line across the gorge.  The Siduhe Bridge is quite dramatic because approaching it from the east you will go through a tunnel and emerge onto the bridge.  See below:

All these imposing new superstructures dwarf our own Bloukrans Bridge at 216 m (708 feet), completed in 1984 and claiming to be the world’s third highest bridge at the time.  It is now number 79 on the list.  This bridge, on the border of the Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces, hosts the world’s highest bridge bungee jump and people flock there for the adrenalin adventure which courses through their veins as they plunge pell-mell towards the rocky bottom.

Those who entertain any fear of heights would probably not wish to visit the new Beipanjiang Bridge and gaze down at the scene below them, but others will queue to be among those who can say they’ve seen the highest bridge in the world and taken a selfie on the edge of the precipice!

Advertisements

Published by: envirozentinel63

Diagnosed with asperger syndrome. Keen runner and writer who wants to share the ups and downs of all my many experiences and maybe reach out to someone who needs encouragement.

2 Comments

2 thoughts on “A Bridge above the Rest”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s