last year whilst reading a forum i came across a comment about a suspension bridge under construction in china. the comment, made by someone living in china, mentioned that this bridge, when completed, would be the tallest in the world by some way and smash the record for highest deck-to-ground distance held by the royal gorge bridge in colorado (1’053ft). i remember quickly searching for more info about this bridge and failing miserably to discover anything related to it, then presuming either the comment was bogus or that no information written in english was available on the ‘tubes.
yesterday i searched again, and after reading a few translated chinese websites, discovered that it’s real. called the siduhe grand bridge (or 四渡河大桥) , this absolute beast is nearing completion after 4 years of construction in china’s hubei province. the deck of the bridge has just recently been connected over the valley below and is so high above the ground that you could fit the empire state building underneath it, and still have 360ft spare.
impressive? here’s some more brilliance.
so you’ve erected the enormous towers on each side of the deep valley, deeper than any valley previously bridged. how do you get a pilot cable from one tower to the next? previous solutions have included: attaching the cable to a kite and flying it over (e.g. niagara falls suspension bridge), carrying one end by helicopter (e.g. akashi kaikyo bridge) and floating one end on a boat (e.g. brooklyn bridge). the brains behind the siduhe bridge decided to ignore all those options and break another record instead. they attached the 3200ft cables to rockets and accurately fired them over the valley, becoming the first people to do so.
unfortunately, as far as i can tell, there’s no video of the operation available to view so the photos will have to do for now. if anyone knows anything else about this bridge or has any more photos, let me know.