The world’s tallest and longest glass bridge opened to the public on August 20 in China’s Hunan Province following months of several safety tests.
The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge is suspended 980 feet above the ground floor of the deep, tree-lined gorge. The walkway is more than 1400 feet long and 6 feet wide, and can accommodate 800 visitors at a time.
Designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, the bridge’s floor is made of 99 panels of multilayered glass, giving visitors a clear view of how far above the ground they stand. “The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge was designed to be invisible as possible — a white bridge disappearing into the clouds,” Dotam said in a statement.
The glass-bottomed bridge will also feature the world’s highest bungee jump beginning in June 2017, as well as serve as a runway for fashion shows
The bridge cost $3.4 million to build and although the bridge was originally scheduled to open earlier this summer, the date was pushed back to allow for more rigorous safety tests. In June, volunteers were invited to try to smash the glass panels with sledgehammers to demonstrate the bridge’s strength and durability. In another demonstration, a car was driven over the glass structure.
The Zhangjiajie bridge is one of many new glass-bottomed tourist attractions that have been drawing crowds to China over the past couple of years. An 88-story glass skywalk debuted on the outside of Shanghai’s Jin Mao Tower earlier this summer, and in September 2015, the Brave Man’s Bridge opened in Shiniuzhai National Geologic Park, also in the Hunan province.
Over 8,000 tourists visited the Zhangjiajie Bridge on it’s opening day this past Saturday.