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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

China’s Latest Glass-Bottomed Bridge isn’t for the Faint of Heart

by Danny Clemens, Discovery.com

Another glass suspension bridge just opened in China and, well, this one's a doozy. The aptly-named Brave Man's Bridge (or Haohan Bridge) spans almost 1,000 feet over a gaping chasm in central China's Shiniuzhai National Geopark:
Brave Man's Bridge
ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

According to the South China Morning Post, the original bridge was constructed completely of wood. Park officials installed a single glass pane in the bridge last year to compete with other adrenaline-pumping attractions before eventually deciding to resurface the entire structure with 9-inch-thick panes of glass.

Obviously, nothing would ruin the thrill of staring into 590 feet of emptiness between the bridge and the ground like scuffs, so the brave souls that traverse the bridge are required to don booties to protect the glass.
Visitors on Brave Man's Bridge
ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Possibly the only thing more nerve-wracking than crossing the bridge would be constructing it:

A worker who helped construct the bridge reaffirmed the structure's safety in an interview with the state-owned China News Service:

"The steel frame used to support and encase the glass bridge is also very strong and densely built, so even if a glass is broken, travelers won't fall through."
Visitors on Brave Man's Bridge
ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

The Brave Man's Bridge pales in comparison to a similar structure that is currently under construction in Zhangjiajie. According to CNN, that 1,400-foot bridge will stand 1,000 feet off of the ground, earning the designation of being the world's longest and tallest glass bridge.

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