If you’re like me, you’re probably more accustomed to seeing bridges cross rivers rather than run along their length. But this stretch of highway which was recently completed in Xingshan County of China’s Hubei Province does just that. Are the bridge’s creators crazy, or crazy like an ecologically minded fox?

The complete road runs about 10.5km (6.5mi) connecting Xingshan County with the Yiba Expressway.

Of the full roadway about 4km (2.5mi) runs over a mountain stream. It’s said that this was done to protect the environment by avoiding cutting through the forest or mountain itself.

The above-water stretch of highway cost about 2 million yuan (US$320,000) which was nearly half of the 4.4 million yuan ($700,000) it cost to build the entire thing.

In addition to not disturbing the landscape of the mountain it also provides motorists with a gorgeous view as they pass through.

Comments from Chinese readers about the road were mixed, with some celebrating this first-of-its-kind bridge as “an example of harmony between people and nature.” Many others questioned whether this plan was truly more environmentally sound than other methods – such as tunneling through the mountain – or simply cheaper.

There were also those who questioned the safety of such a bridge, but we will have to see how it fares when it opens to the public sometime in early 2015.

Source: News163 (Chinese) via Livedoor News, Toychan (Japanese)