World’s Longest Glass Suspension Bridge Opens In China

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

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. It is 488 metres long and perches over a vertical drop of 218 metres. If the height doesn’t bring visitors to their trembling knees, the fact that the bridge is allowed to sway just adds to the nerve-wracking experience.

"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 bridge is 4 meters wide and made of 1,077 glass panels that are four centimeters thick.

Opened to the public on Christmas Eve, 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 make it across.

Visitors must wear special provided "shoe gloves" to protect the glass surface -- a necessary precaution given that 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 shatterwhen visitors walk on it. 

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