Lonely Planet Writer

China's newest bridge climbs to one-third of a mile high making it world's highest

Rising to over a third of a mile into the sky, engineers in China succeeded, within the last few days, in finishing the basic structure of what is set to become the world’s highest bridge before the end of the year.

Beipanjiang Bridge, near Bijie in southwest China's Guizhou province.
Beipanjiang Bridge, near Bijie in southwest China’s Guizhou province. Image by STR/AFP/Getty Images

Situated in the mountainous south-western area of the country, the Beipanjiang bridge soars to 1854 feet (565 metres) above a river, according to the Guizhou provincial transport department. When completed, it will supersede the Si Du River Bridge in the central province of Hubei as the world’s highest bridge.  The Guardian reports that a milestone was reached last weekend when both ends of the new structure were opened. It is now anticipated that the new bridge with a 1341-metre span will be opened for public use by the end of December.  When operational, it will cut travel time on the road between Liupanshui in Guizhou to Xuanwei in the neighbouring Yunnan province from the present time of five hours down to two, according to China Central Television.

China is home to a number of the world’s highest bridges. However in terms of measuring the height of a structure itself as distinct from distance from its top to the ground, France claims bragging rights thanks to the 343 metre-tall Millau viaduct. The Times of India reports that while one new bridge opened, it followed hot on the heels of the closure of the world’s longest glass-bottomed bridge.  This was due to the fact that Chinese authorities decided the structure needed urgent maintenance work despite being only open a short time.