The Duge Beipanjiang Bridge (also called the Beipanjiang Bridge or the Duge Bridge) is a concrete cable-stayed bridge that carries four lanes across the Beipan River. Connecting Xuanwei in the Yunnan Province and Liupanshui in Guizhou, the bridge reduces travel times between the two cities from four hours to just over an hour.
It was a massive construction project, and the designers kept having to move the final location of the bridge higher and higher to avoid caves and cracking in the karst mountains at either side of the valley.
The eastern tower of the bridge is 883 feet tall, which is up there among the tallest bridges in the world. Even more impressive, however, is the huge expanse between the road deck and the river below. The deck is 1,854 feet—or over a third of a mile—above the average water level of the river. For perspective, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has a clearance of about 220 feet. Chicago’s Sears Tower would fit under the Beipanjiang Bridge with 400 feet to spare, while London’s 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin) would fit under the bridge three times over.
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