The construction of the World’s highest and longest glass bottom bridge to open at the National park of Zhangjiajie in the northern part of Hunan, China is underway.
The bridge which will be 1,247 feet long and 20 feet wide is being designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan.
This makes the United States’ Grand Canyon Skywalk pale in comparison as it only stands at 69 feet long and 718 feet above ground.
According to Haimdotan.com, “Dotan won the Israel Foreign Ministry DBOT Tender as the developer, contractor and architect of the Israel Pavillion EXPO 2010 Word Exhibition in Shanghai, China.
Dotan was has been nominated for the “Israel Prize in Architecture”, and won the “Israeli Building Construction Center Award for ‘New Architectural Language in Israel through 17 years of Development and Improvement of New Building Technologies.”
With Dotan’s accomplishments in his field, it only seems fitting that he would take on this type of architectural work.
This, already internet famous, glass bridge is being called “Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge”.
According to CNN.com, the bridge’s construction will be completed by July and will be open to the public by October.
Concept art has already been released for the project by Dotan and it’s intimidating to say the least.
The floor has large spaces where the ground below is completed visible. There are tall slanting pillars that go upwards to prevent people from going over the ledge. Depending on which concept art you view,the pillars on the side vary in shape and size.
The design allows for tourists a view of the park from every angle.
With the national park is located within the Wulingyuan Scenic Area which has two other parks, the Suoxiyu Nature Reserve and the Tianzi Mountain Natural Reserve.
Zhangjiajie has other attraction such as the Golden Whip Stream, which runs 3.5 miles long through mountains and valleys.
According to CTV, “Director James Cameron is said to have been inspired by Zhangjiajie National Park’s dramatic sandstone pillars to create the floating mountains that characterized Pandora in his 2009 film ‘Avatar’”.
If the bridge’s size wasn’t impressive enough, China International radio reported that, “staff in the park said the bridge could withstand an 8.0-magnitude earthquake and a level-14 typhoon.
Once the bridge is open, CNN said that, “Dotan says that the bridge will serve as a runway for fashion shows and be able to hold up to 800 people at once.”
Besides looking great in the background photography of models on the runway, the bridge will serve a different, scarier purpose. It will become the world’s highest bungee jump, trumping the 764 feet drop that is provided by the Macau Tower.
Dotan said, “The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge was designed to be as invisible as possible.”
He also explained his vision for the glass bridge is for it to seem as if it is disappearing into the clouds, so that it does not disturb the flora and fauna of the national park.
This is not the first time China has dabbled in glass bridges. A suspension bridge was built in Hunan, southern China that is 590 feet above the ground, and 980 feet long. The way the bridge is built is so that it will sway when the wind blows.
On a mountain in Hebei in China is a cliff side walkway made out of glass. This stands at an intimidating height of 6,233 feet above sea level.
Canada also has a Glacier Skywalk which juts 114 feet off of a cliff in Alberta’s Jasper National Park.
Although these are amazing feats in architecture, none can compare to what Dotan is promising to bring to life.