China set to open world's highest, longest glass bridge

Officials have staged high-profile events to try and reassure the public of the bridge's safety, bashing at it with sledgehammers and driving a auto filled with passengers across it.

A tourist poses for a photograph on the glass-bottomed bridge above a valley in Zhangjiajie on Saturday.

The construction work on the mammoth glass bridge was completed in December previous year at an estimated cost of $3.4m (£2.6m).

The bridge has been built by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, and has become an instant hit with locals and tourists alike.

The glass bridge connects two big mountain cliffs.

World's 'highest and longest' glass bridge set to open in China
China set to open world's highest and longest glass bridge

Six metres wide and made of some 99 panels of clear glass, the bridge can carry up to 800 people at the same time, an official in Zhangjiajie - a popular tourist destination - told the Xinhua news agency. The Hollywood hit movie Avatar was shot in this location. Authorities have already conducted many high profile events to convince the public about the safety of the glass bridge.

In another publicity stunt, the superior strength of the glass panels was further demonstrated by workmen pounding on them with sledgehammers.

Although only open to foot-traffic, the bridge, at 6m (20ft) wide, is broad and strong enough to take auto, a feat designers proved last month when driving a Volvo XC-90 SUV across it in order to demonstrate that the bridge was safe.

China has quite a penchant for glass-bottomed bridges and skywalks - and while officials say this is the longest, similar structures have been appearing around the country. Chinese people have been flocking to such bridges to marvel at the glass architecture and enjoy the stunning view. Events like mass yoga displays and even weddings, have been staged on several such bridges.

  • Joey Payne