World's longest glass bridge set to open in China next year

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An artist's concept of people walking across the glass bridge high above the Zhangjiajie canyon in China(Credit: Haim Dotan Ltd)

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In a bid to attract more tourists to the region, Hunan Province in China has commissioned the architectural firm of Haim Dotan to produce a completely transparent glass bridge spanning 370 m (1,214 ft) across the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Dizzyingly high at about 400 m (1,312 ft) above the canyon floor, the span is claimed to be capable of holding up to 800 people at a time.

China seems to be enamored with terrifyingly high, world-beating glass structures. Gizmag recently detailed the world's longest glass-bottomed cantilever skywalk in Longgang National Geological Park, Chongqing, for example, which extends 26.64 m (87.4 ft) over a straight drop of 718 m (2,356 ft), making it some 5 m (16 ft) longer than the Grand Canyon Skywalk in Arizona. The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon glass bridge continues this trend of oneupmanship.

Funded as part the Tourism investment cooperation meeting at the Central China Expo in 2012, and slated for opening some time next year, the glass bridge is touted as a "Wonder of the World" by Hunan Province.

Set to be constructed between the summits either side of the canyon, the deceptively fragile-looking structure will also have an added thrill for those that find the idea of walking across a sheer drop on a see-through bridge too tame: A bungee jump. To be located in the middle of the structure, the bungee jump is also said to be another world-first for Hunan province as the highest bungee on the planet, at around 60 m (197 ft) or so higher than the current highest commercial bungee of 233 m (764 ft) on the Macau Tower.

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