[Image above] Rendering of the soon-to-be completed Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in Zhangjiajie National Park, China—the world’s longest and highest glass-bottom bridge. Credit: Haim Dotan
If you think the U.S.’s Grand Canyon Skywalk is an impressive feat of human engineering, just wait until you see China’s latest construction project.
Zhangjiajie National Park in China will soon be home to the world’s tallest and longest glass pedestrian bridge. The superlative achievement hovers 300 meters (984 feet) over a cavernous drop and stretches 430 meters (1,410 feet) long and 6 meters (20 feet) wide.
Credit: World Breaking News; YouTube
Needless to say, this isn’t a quick stroll across… the trek is kind of a commitment. So acrophobic visitors to the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge may want to keep their gaze fixed forward—the bottom of this footbridge features a stunning-but-terrifying transparent 5-cm-thick safety glass floor end-to-end.
To put things into perspective, the Grand Canyon Skywalk is 21 meters (69 feet) long and stands 219 meters (718 feet) above the canyon floor.
Canada’s Glacier Skywalk in Alberta, which opened last year, extends 35 meters (115 feet) beyond the cliff’s edge and is just shy of 300 meters (985 feet) above the ground.
The mastermind and designer behind the bridge is Israeli architect Haim Dotan.
“The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge was designed to be invisible as possible—a white bridge disappearing into the clouds,” Dotan says in a Huffington Post article about the project.
The bridge’s structure comprises two side steel beams, a glass deck, handrails, and side suspension cables. Engineers say the bridge will be able to withstand the weight of up to 800 people at once and wind gusts of up to 100 mph.
“The engineers described it as thin as a wing and as light as a swallow,” Dotan says in a Wired article.
Daredevils worldwide can look forward to the bridge’s bungee jumping spot. (Sidebar: I am not in this group. Yikes!)
And for the artistic types, this bridge will also be used as a runway for “high” fashion shows. (Pun intended.)
Construction is expected to wrap up this month, but the bridge won’t officially open to the public until October.