Sec­tions linked up on world’s high­est bridge in South­west China

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By LI YINGQING in Kun­ming and LUOWANGSHU in Bei­jing Con­tact the writ­ers at luowangshu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

With the join­ing of two bridge sec­tions from op­po­site sides of a gorge in South­west China on Satur­day, the world got its high­est bridge.

The Beipan­jiang Bridge in Guizhou province is ex­pected to open to traf­fic by the end of the year.

The 1,341-me­ter-long struc­ture, soar­ing 565 me­ters above a river, over­took the Sidu River Bridge in Hubei province as the world’s high­est, ac­cord­ing to Guizhou trans­porta­tion of­fi­cials. Zhou Ping, direc­tor of the high­way man­age­ment of­fice that is over­see­ing con­struc­tion, told Science and Tech­nol­ogy Daily that the bridge’s height is equiv­a­lent to a 200-story build­ing.

The three-year con­struc­tion project be­gan in 2013 with a to­tal cost of 1.03 bil­lion yuan ($156 mil­lion), an of­fi­cial state­ment said. Ve­hi­cles will be able to cross the bridge at up to 80 kilo­me­ters per hour.

“The bridge is built in a moun­tain­ous area above the Nizhu River Canyon,” said Wang Chao, se­nior en­gi­neer at Min­istry of Trans­port’s high­way plan­ning in­sti­tute. “Con­struc­tion is af­fected by the wind, re­quir­ing a high de­gree of pre­ci­sion. Trans­port­ing ma­te­ri­als to the canyon was very dif­fi­cult. Usu­ally, we trans­port as­sem­bled sec­tions. But on this project we did the op­po­site, trans­port­ing parts and as­sem­bling them on site.”

The bridge links Yun­nan and Guizhou prov­inces, and is ex­pected to re­duce driv­ing time to one hour from nearly five in the past.

The span is part of the Hangzhou-Ruili high­way, which is ex­pected to open to traf­fic at about the same time as the bridge.

The 3,404-km high­way con­nects eastern and south­west­ern China, cut­ting across tourism cities, in­clud­ing Huang­shan, Zunyi, Li­u­pan­shui, Kun­ming and Dali. Boost­ing tourism is one ob­jec­tive.

“We are about to build a bed-and-break­fast ho­tel to at­tract vis­i­tors when the bridge opens,” said Liu Ji­aen, head of La­long vil­lage in Yun­nan province, where one end of the bridge is lo­cated. AFP con­trib­uted to the story

WU DONGJUN / FOR CHINA DAILY

The Beipan­jiang Bridge con­nects Xuan­wei, Yun­nan province, and Shuicheng, Guizhou province, in South­west China. Height of the Beipan­jiang Bridge over the Nizhu River Canyon. The bridge is the high­est above the ground in the world— equiv­a­lent to a 200-story build­ing.

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