The Aizhai Suspension Bridge Is One of China’s Wonders

Daniel A. Tanner - Feb 24, 2014
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The Aizhai suspension bridge from the Hunan Province of China is the highest and the longest tunnel-to-tunnel bridge in the world. A remarkable construction, the bridge was started in October 2007 and was finished ahead of the schedule, at the end of 2011. The opening ceremony took place in March 2012 for the traffic and during the Spring Festival, for pedestrians. The bridge was built in the western part of Hunan.

With four lanes (two in each direction), a span of more than 1100 feet, a length of 3858 feet and 1888 lights for night visibility, the bridge is suspended above Dehang Canyon and is visible from miles away during the day. The translation of the canyon's name is "beautiful valley" in the local language of the Miao. The Valley is a place where all the urban experience in nearby cities ceases and people enjoy a country-like lifestyle. The views on offer for the pedestrians are breathtaking.

For making the impressive construction, a loan of 208 million dollars has been taken from the Asian Development Bank. The loan allowed more than the bridge to be built, because a sixty four kilometers expressway was made and also, upgrades to more than one hundred kilometers of local roads.

Two tunnels are linked through the beautiful bridge that has two colors: orange and gray. According to experts, the passage can cut travel time by three hours. The bridge is expected to bring many visitors from all over the world to the Hunan province, which is the place of birth for Chairman Mao.

The reason for which the bridge was built was to help people get rid of the many curves necessary to go through for traversing the mountains and the valley. There were four world premieres achieved when the bridge was designed and constructed. The first one is the height. The second refers to the first implementation of pylon and girder separation structure.

The third achievement was the primary use of carbon fiber for reinforcement and rock anchor suspension. The fourth achievement is the primary use of rail cable sliding methods for erecting steel truss girder. These premieres may be confusing for people who are not engineers, but those who know what these achievements are will surely be impressed.

The Aizhai suspension bridge is a monster compared to other constructions of its type. There is a bridge in Japan that has almost double the length of this one, but the quality makes Aizhai better. When it comes to height, experts say that it would take eight seconds for a vehicle to reach the ground in case it would fall from the bridge. But, this would not happen, because the construction is well protected on the sides.

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