As if normal bridges did not seem risky enough, China have gone ahead and constructed the world’s longest and highest bridge with a glass bottom. The extensive structure was officially unveiled on 20th august 2016.
It crosses two peaks on the mountains of Zhangjiajie which is said to have inspired the ‘floating peaks’ in James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’.
Only 8,000 visitors are allowed each day and such was the hype that thousands flocked overnight ahead of its opening.
Designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, the bridge is approximately 430 metres long and is suspended at an height of about 300 metres. The six metre wide structure is made up of 99 panels of glass.
According to an official statement made by an official in Zhangjiajie to China’s state news agency Xinhua, it can carry up to 800 people at a time.
Tourists started queuing the night before the opening to be able to cross it on its first day. Some of the visitors were terrified and took very careful steps while some claimed it was not as scary as they thought it would be.
The officials wanted to ensure to the public that the bridge was as safe as it gets. Let’s be honest, anybody would think twice before walking on a bridge made of glass.
We see regular shattering of glasses in our everyday lives whether it’s in the form of a window or a jar. It’s only natural that the general public would need reassurance that they’d not be victims of a ‘freefall’.
In order to prove how strong the bridge is, officials sent in men with sledgehammers as well as a car full of passengers earlier in the year. Proper media coverage of these was also ensured.
Such steps were necessary considering incident where the glass pane on a new transparent walkway shattered near Yuntai Mountain, Henan Province, in October last year.
A visitor took photos of shattered glass and posted the same on social media leading the bridge to be closed for repairs.
The glass cracked after a tourist dropped a stainless steel mug on the 400 metre long bridge.
Cameras and selfie sticks have been banned on the newly unveiled skywalk as well as wearing stilettos.
Such a bridge in India is a far away dream considering that even normal constructions here are far from durable. But if one day such architecture would be possible in our country, it would be a spectacle to behold.
With claims that people will be even able to bungee jump soon, the new skywalk is definitely something to look forward for the adventurers.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.