You may not know Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Provence by name but you’ve likely seen their beautiful pillar mountains of Wulingyuan on one of the countless movies and TV shows they appeared in. Those sheer, bare-faced red stone cliffs topped with lush vegetation look like something from a fantasy story.
Coming next year, China has plans to accentuate this beauty with a record setting feat of engineering, the world’s first suspension bridge made entirely of glass.
Construction of the bridge is set to begin in March of 2013 and hoped to be completed by the end of the year. Upon completion is expected to be the world’s first all glass suspension bridge.
The term glass might be misleading though as it’s actually a cutting edge composite material designed for the Chinese space program. The bridge will span a 370 meter gap between two peaks in the Wulingyuan mountain range, making it the world’s longest glass bridge.
The bridge is also expected to be suspended around 400m over the canyon floor, making it the highest glass bridge in the world. It is planned to be 2.3m wide and may have a bungee jumping platform in the center which would make it – you guessed it – the world’s highest bungee jump.
China is no stranger to high bridges with the country boasting the world’s highest bridge, the Sidu River Bridge, along with over half of the world’s 50 highest bridges.
The price tag for this project is estimated to reach 260,000,000 yuan (US$41.7M).
I’m not much of a bridge fan myself. Every time I walk or drive over one I worry that that’s the moment some major earthquake will strike. So the idea of an all-glass bridge – especially glass that’s never been used before – doesn’t really appeal to me. Nevertheless, RocketNews24 tips our hats to the builder of this new bridge and wish them the best of luck.
▼ A promotional video for Wulingyuan: The glass suspension bridge isn’t mentioned until around the 4:19 mark.