Siduhe Bridge Hubei

Siduhe Bridge Hubei

Aerial view of Siduhe bridge 航拍四渡河大桥 Siduhe Bridge, G50 Huyu Expressway, Enshi, Hubei, China/Siduhe bridge,highest bridge in the world(until 2016), main span 900 meters,high 496 meters from deck to water. Located in Yesan'guan town,Badong county, Hubei,China. With a roadway 1,627 feet (496 mtrs) above the water, the Siduhe River bridge is the latest Chinese champ to take the record as the highest bridge in the world. Opened on November 15th, 2009, it is the 3rd Chinese bridge in less than a decade to claim the title of “World’s Highest Bridge” and is a symbol of just how fast and how far China’s highway infrastructure has come in such a short period of time. Located about 50 miles (80 km) south of the famous 3 Gorges region of the Yangtze River in China’s mountainous Hubei Province, the Siduhe suspension bridge is just one of several amazing structures on the last 300 mile (483 km) link of the 1,350 mile (2,175 km) long West Hurong highway that now connects Shanghai on the Pacific coast with the cities of Chongqing and Chengdu in the west. The 8 highest of China’s many high bridges were all built after 2000 and are located primarily in the 3 western Provinces of Guizhou, Hubei and Chongqing. All 8 of these bridges exceed 900 feet (274 meters) in height and rank among the world’s 12 highest while four have held the world record for highest road or rail bridge. Even more amazing, 6 of these bridges are higher than Colorado’s Royal Gorge, the former world’s highest bridge from 1929 to 2001. It would only be appropriate that the highest bridge in the world is also on the greatest bridge “high-way” in the world. Stretching 300 miles (483 km) from Yichang and the 3 Gorges dam in the east to the city of Zhongxian in the west, this 4-lane engineering marvel has more than half a dozen spectacular bridges that exceed 500 feet (150 meters) in height including Zhijinghe, the highest roadway arch bridge in the world. This more direct route bypasses one of the toughest and most mountainous stretches of the Yangtze River. What once took more than a day of travel on dangerous mountain roads or a Yangtze river boat can now be safely traversed in 5 hours. The success of the route also owes as much to the construction of the numerous tunnels that punch through dozens of towering peaks that blocked the highway’s path. One of the more impressive of these tunnels leads to the east end of the Siduhe bridge and makes for one of the world’s more dramatic bridge introductions. With a span of 2,952 feet (900 mtrs), Siduhe bridge is a fairly typical long span Chinese suspension bridge with H-frame concrete towers, a truss stiffened road deck and unsuspended side spans. One aspect of its construction that was not so ordinary relates to its extreme height. Due to the remote, inaccessible river canyon, the engineers decided to experiment and instead of using a blimp or helicopter to drag the first pilot line across the gorge, they would use a rocket. Over 3,281 feet (1000 meter) of tether was attached to the back end of a 4 foot (1.5 mtr) long rocket and blasted across the deep river gorge. Also unusual is the termination of the east end bridge cables into a long tunnel foundation deep under the steep slope of the mountain. Siduhe is so high that its closest rival in Mexico is over 100 meters lower. It is 672 feet (205 meters) higher than Colorado’s Royal Gorge bridge. The structure also has the unique distinction of being the only bridge in the world where a person falling from the deck can reach terminal velocity - the speed at which a falling object will no longer accelerate. With so many unprecedented superlatives, the Siduhe River bridge is unlikely to lose its lofty height record for sometime to come. Siduhe translates to Four Crossings River. “Si” means four while “du” means crossings and “he” means river. The name probably came from the Red Army’s famous Four Crossings of the Chishui River in Guizhou Province during Chairman Mat Tse Tung’s Long March in 1935. A trip along the G50 expressway to Siduhe bridge is a truly spectacular experience as you will be treated to an assortment of huge bridges of every size and variety. West of Siduhe there is the Zhijinghe bridge, the world’s highest roadway arch that soars 965 feet (294 meters) above the river gorge. East of the bridge there is the incredible parade of 200 meter high monsters including the Tieluoping cable stayed bridge, the Shuanghekou beam bridge and finally the Longtanhe viaduct - a multi span concrete beam bridge that exceeded Germany’s Kochertal as the world’s largest and highest beam bridge viaduct. (France’s Millau is still the world’s highest viaduct overall). www.highestbridges.com

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