The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon’s glass-bottom bridge is the world’s longest and highest bridge, welcoming its 8,000 visitors to view the grand bridge from all around. The 430 meters long and 6 meters wide glass-bottom bridge is accepted as the most scariest bridge in the world with its transparent and brittle look structure. Designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, the bridge hovers over a 300-meter- deep valley between two cliffs in central China’s Hunan province.
A total budget of the bridge is $3.4 million to construct and this apparently ‘invisible’ bridge was “paved with 99 panes of three-layered transparent glass,” according to Xinhua, China’s state-run new agency. The bridge can carry up to 800 people at a time, according to same agency. But, the visitors are not allowed to use cameras, stilettos and selfie sticks on the bridge.
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon glass bridge is located in a very dramatic region of China, comprised of rock formations and fruitful vegetation. The real design story of the bridge is, in fact, inspired from a scene of Halleluja Mountain movie, which was directed by James Cameron. And, the northwest part of the Hunan province was the inspiration of the director for this film.
When ”The developer” asked Dotan, ‘What do you think about a bridge from here to there?’ And the architect said, ”No”. Dotan explains this in this way: ”He looked at me and said ‘Why, what are you talking about?’ And I said, ‘Why do you want a bridge? It’s too beautiful.”
The developer persisted him, and Dotan finally relented. “I told him, ‘We can build a bridge but under one condition: I want the bridge to disappear,” said in his interview published in Wired. In order to get an invisible bridge, Dotan used white supporting beams beneath the 5-centimeter-thick safety glass were originally 10 feet wide while the engineers want it to be 20 feet wide, proposing that it will be large enough to host the fashion shows its developers plan to hold there—with a center platform that provides an unobstructed view and, allowing new adventurous types, a place for bungee jumping.
But, Dotan wasn’t pleased. “I told them, ‘No, there’s no way,’” he says. “The bridge has to disappear,” according to same source.
The other point about the bridge is that whether it is safe or not, because the glass bridge got cracking alarming at the Yuntai mountain in northern Henan in 2015,” as AFP reported. However, Chinese authorities announce the bridge’s safety tests publicly in order to keep informed the visitors about what is happening on the bridge.
”The engineers described it as thin as a wing and as light as a swallow,” Dotan says with a laugh. ”My god, can you imagine a structural engineer describing a bridge like this?”
All images © VCG/CVG via Getty Images