Glass-bottomed bridges, China

This item appears on page 5 of the December 2015 issue.

A nearly 1,000-foot-long, 590-foot-high glass-bottomed bridge, called Haohan Qiao (Brave Man’s Bridge), opened in September at Shiniuzhai National Geological Park in southeastern China’s Hunan Province. Entry to the park costs CNY98 (near $15.50).

Shortly after opening, a glass panel on the bridge cracked, reportedly due to a dropped cup. Officials said the cracked panel would be replaced and that visitors were in no danger. Each panel (a few feet by a few feet) is made up of three layers of 24-millimeter-thick glass, can hold up to 1,763 pounds and is encased in steel.

(A recently installed glass-bottomed walkway across the Tower Bridge in London [Jan. ’15, pg. 11] similarly cracked during a preview night when a guest dropped a beer bottle.)

Another glass-bottomed bridge, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge in Zhangjiajie National Park, 186 miles northwest of Shiniuzhai, is scheduled to open by the end of 2015. At 984 feet high and 1,410 feet long, it will be the world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge. Entry to Zhangjiajie National Park costs CNY248. Some attractions in the park, such as cable cars, cost extra. 

For info on the national parks, contact the China National Tourist Office (Glendale, CA; 800/670-2228,