The world’s highest and longest glass bridge is currently in China, and it takes “wow” to a whole new level after a recent safety test. With the public watching, a total of 30 volunteers tried their best to smash through the glass with a sledgehammer before a two ton SUV filled with 11 people drove across on Sunday.
Located at the Grand Canyon of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, the 430-meter bridge is made of three layers of tempered glass. There are 99 pieces in total, each measuring 3 x 4.5 meters and 15 millimeters thick. The bridge hangs 300 meters above the ground.
From a height of nearly 1000 feet, it’s not surprising to get chills over the breath-taking natural view. But looking down from a glass pane is even more terrifying for many, especially those with a fear of heights.
Needless to say, owners of the park are determined to prove the structure’s durability. On Sunday’s media-directed safety test, 20 volunteers were only above to damage the first layer the glass, Xinhua reported.
But what came next had hearts stopping — following the initial stress, a Volvo XC90 SUV carrying 11 people drive over the damaged panes.
And that wasn’t the end of it — 10 more volunteers smashed the fractured glass right after the vehicle’s crossing. To the surprise of watchers, the glass did not break or fall apart.
Designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, the glass bridge took approximately 460 million Yuan, or over $69 million, to build, according to Mashable. The safety showcases were staged prior to the park’s grand opening next month.
The area surrounding the bridge will function as an extreme sports site, Daily Mail noted. A spokesman told the source:
“The bridge is not only a bridge, it’s a combination of nature, adventure and technology. It will offer a variety of activities, including rock climbing, scuba diving, rafting, cross-country motorcycling and wing-suit flying.”
The bridge joins China’s list of recently-opened glass walkways which includes one in Shiniuzhai (984 feet long) located in Stone Buddha Mountain, Hunan Province, the Yunduan glass deck (1,410 feet long) located in Longgang National Geological Park, Chongqing, and the Yuntai Mountain passage (853 feet long) located in Jiaozuo, Henan Province.
Of these four walkways, the one in Yuntai Mountain is the highest at 3,540 feet. It cracked last year when a tourist dropped a stainless steel mug, and as a natural consequence, visitors screamed in panic.
Are you brave enough to cross one of China’s glass bridges?