Israeli-designed glass bridge opens as world's highest, longest in China

Haim Dotan, a Tel Aviv-based architect and urban designer, initially did not want to build the skywalk in the picturesque Zhangjiajie mountains.

August 23, 2016 11:00
1 minute read.
Zhangjiajie bridge

People visit a glass bridge at a gorge as it opens to the public in Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province, China. (photo credit: REUTERS)

China this week opened what is said to be the longest and highest glass-bottom bridge in the world, and it was designed by an Israeli architect.

Designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, the bridge is suspended across Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon in Hunan Province's scenic Zhangjiajie National Park some 300 meters (984 feet) above ground.

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The glass-floored bridge measuring 430 meters long and six meters wide is situated between two cliffs in the picturesque Zhangjiajie mountains that  inspired the American epic science-fiction film 'Avatar.'

Dotan, a Tel Aviv-based architect and urban designer, initially did not want to build the bridge that opened to the public on Saturday.
Israeli-designed glass bridge in China (Reuters)

Eventually though he acquiesced to the request of the developer. However, according to a Wired interview in 2015, he had one condition: “I told him, ‘We can build a bridge but under one condition: I want the bridge to disappear.’”

The hanging passageway is paved with 99 panes of triple-layered transparent glass.

For those of whom the rush of walking on the see-through overpass is not enough, adrenaline junkies will also be able to do bungee jumping and zip line activities from the bridge.

A man strikes a hammer against the glass-bottom bridge in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province, China, during a safety test ceremony June 25, 2016 (Reuters)

For safety purposes, a maximum of 8,000 visitors are reportedly permitted to cross the skywalk per day.

Construction of the bridge was completed last December at a cost of 22.5 million yuan.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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