China Unveils Longest Glass-bottom Bridge, Again

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January 10, 2018

China has built yet another glass-bottomed bridge, this one even longer than the ones before it. The latest spans 1,600 feet over 715 feet of empty air, in between two mountain peaks in the northeast part of the country.

A total of 1,077 glass panels that are 1.6 inches thick make up the 13-foot-wide bridge, which is in the Hogyagu Scenic Area, in Hebei Province.

China's longest glass bridge, again

The bridge also sways, a bit.

China opened the bridge to the public on December 24, 2017, after three years of construction. On hand from the start were staff to help pedestrians who had second thoughts while crossing the bridge.

Officials say that the bridge can hold up to 2,000 people at a time. However, the limit, enforced by staff, is 600. In addition, everyone walking across the bridge must wear "shoe gloves," to protect the glass.

Officials installed the cap and the equipment requirement after problems experienced after opening another bridge, over the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, in 2016 and then having to shut it after less than a month because pedestrian traffic had weakened the glass foundation. That bridge is still the highest in the world, at 984 feet above sea level; at 1,410 feet long, it was the longest glass bridge in the world.

China has unveiled several high-profile glass-bottomed attractions in recent years. A companion to the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon glass bridge was a 300-foot-long glass skywalk the stretched around a nearby cliff. And in 2015, engineers made an existing 980-foot-long wooden bridge into a glass bottom walkway–above thin air, of course.

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