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New 'Cracking' Glass Bridge Opens in China

Thursday, February 22, 2018

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Some of us use haunted houses and roller coasters to get a thrill; in China, the current trend is to give yourself a scare by heading out on a glass bridge—and daredevils have another opportunity thanks to a new “cracking,” swaying span in Xuching City.

According to media reports, the new bridge opened this week in the Henan Province city as part of its Spring Festival celebration. The 268-meter (about 880-foot) long pedestrian span, which is 158 meters high at its highest point above land, features an inch-thick glass floor that those brave enough to cross can see right through.

To add to the terror, a layer beneath the surface reportedly creates the illusion of cracking as visitors walk across it. While glass bridges have become relatively common in China in recent years, illusions of this sort are just beginning to take hold as a design choice. Last year, the Shapotou Suspension Bridge, in Ningxia Province, was renovated with a glass deck with 3-D art on it.

Other Glass Bridges

The Zhangjijie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is perhaps the best-known of the glass bridges; designed by architect Haim Dotan, that bridge, in Hunan Province, was at the time it opened the longest (430 meters) and highest (300 meters over the canyon) such span in the world. The Zhangjijie was subject to controversy when visitors said the glass surface broke beneath them; officials performed stunts including hitting the surface with sledgehammers and driving a car across the bridge to prove the span was safe.

Just last month, another new glass bridge, in the Hongyagu, Hebei Province, opened, claiming the title of longest, at 488 meters. (That bridge is not as high as Zhangjijie, though, with a height of 218 meters.)


Tagged categories: AS; Bridges; Construction; Design; Glass; Program/Project Management

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