China’s new record-breaking Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon glass bridge closed last Friday after being open just 13 days due to an overwhelming number of daily visitors.
With a total price tag of 22.5 million Yuan (over $3 million USD), the world’s longest and highest glass bottom bridge opened to the public on August 20. Since opening, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon bridge has received more than 10,000 visitors on a daily basis. According to CNN, the attraction is only supposed to accommodate 8,000 people a day.
“We’re overwhelmed by the volume of visitors,” said a spokesperson from the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon’s marketing and sales department. The spokesperson added that although the bridge was the main draw of the canyon, it also brought renewed interest to other scenic spots in the area.
Located in China’s central Hunan Province, the 20-feet-wide bridge stretches over 1,115-feet long and is suspended between two stunning cliffs 980-feet above the ground floor. The same area is said to have inspired the scenery and visuals for James Cameron’s epic 2009 sci-fi movie “Avatar.”
Park officials made the announcement last Thursday on its Weibo account –a popular Chinese social networking site– saying that the closure was due to an “urgency to improve and update” the facility so it can better manage the heavy influx of visitor. The announcement further indicated that no accidents, problems or cracks in the bridge have been reported. Officals also apologized for any inconvenience the sudden closure might have caused.
During the closure, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon park plans to improve its infrastructure, parking lots, ticket-booking system, customer service and other park areas. No re-opening date has yet been announced.
Last year, another glass bridge in China cracked two weeks after opening. The 853-foot glass bridge at Yuntaishan Scenic Park cracked while visitors were on it. It immediately closed for inspection, but later reopened. Officials said the damage was just superficial and never caused any harm.