Because walking across a glass-bottomed suspension bridge just isn’t scary enough, China is finding new ways to bring the fear.
The country’s latest – billed as the world’s longest – opened at the end of 2017 in Hebei Province’s Hongyagu Scenic Area.
And just in case the 488 meter span (1,600 feet) over a vertical drop of 218 meters (715 feet) doesn’t bring visitors to their trembling knees, there’s an added sway to test the nerves at this destination.
“Hongyagu glass suspension bridge marks the 2.0 era for China’s glass-bottomed bridge,” says Yang Minghua, the chairman of Hebei’s Bailu Group, which created the span linking two peaks in the mountainous region of northeastern China.
The three-year construction project has given birth to several record-breaking claims – some more objective than others.
These, Yang told local media, include the largest span, the greatest transparency and “the most spectacular pedestrian glass suspension bridge.”
The bridge is 4 meters wide (13 feet) and made of 1,077 glass panels that are four centimeters thick (almost 1.6 inches).
Opened to the public on December 24, 2017, the bridge can accommodate up to 2,000 people, but only 500 to 600 visitors will be allowed to walk on it at the same time.
Staff will be stationed along the bridge to help the fainthearted get back on their feet.
Visitors must wear special provided “shoe gloves” to protect the glass surface – a necessary precaution given other bridges suffered broken glass panels not long after opening.
Hongyagu’s swaying suspension bridge isn’t the first glass walkway with a nerve-jangling extra.
The 266-meter aerial path in East Taihang Scenic Area, also in Hebei, looks and sounds like it’s about to shatter when visitors walk on it.
While Hongyagu’s glass bridge might have stolen the “longest” crown from another Chinese structure, it’s predecessor – which spans the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon – can still claim to be the highest, at 300 meters.