Don’t look down: hundreds of Chinese tourists with a head for heights test world’s longest glass-bottomed bridge

Thrill-seekers enjoy spectacular views as its near-500m span is packed to capacity

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 March, 2018, 1:58pm
UPDATED : Friday, 23 March, 2018, 1:58pm

Hundreds of tourists crammed onto the world’s longest glass-bottomed suspension bridge in northern China on Tuesday.

The 448-metre-long (0.3 mile) bridge between two mountain peaks at Hongyagu Scenic Area in Hebei province allows 600 people to walk on it at the same time, according to news portal QQ.com.

And the bridge was used to its full capacity as hundreds put their faith in the engineers by flocking on to it to enjoy the spectacular views of mountains and waterfalls.

It was clearly not for the faint-hearted as visitors described how the bridge would swing from side to side slightly as they walked to the middle of the bridge.

The swaying is no accident – it was designed to do that to give visitors an extra thrill.

The bridge situated in the eastern end of the Taihang Mountains is four metres wide and sits 218 metres (715 feet) above the ground, the equivalent of the height of a 66-storey building.

With a 4cm-thick glass floor, the report said the bridge had been designed to withstand earthquakes of magnitudes up to 6.0 and storms with wind speeds of up to 37 kilometres per hour (23mph).

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Built by a local tourism company Hebei Bailu Group, the bridge was opened to the public in December after three years of design and construction work.

The bridge was designed to support the weight of up to 2,000 people but only 600 are allowed on it at one time for safety reasons.

“The bridge’s load-carrying capacity is as much as 3.5 times the country’s standard for bridges,” Liu Qiqi, a construction director, told China Daily.

Numerous glass-bottomed bridges have been built across China over the past few years and have proved wildly successful.

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The first such bridge opened in Shiniuzhai National Geopark in Hunan province and attracted up to 20,000 visitors a day soon after it opened.

A second bridge in the same province, in Zhangjiajie national park, is probably the best-known internationally and was the longest in the world until the Hongyagu bridge opened.

It attracted so many visitors after it opened in 2016 that it had to be shut temporarily after just 13 days.