World Largest Glass Bridge Reopens after Major Overhaul

Doug Williams
 
 
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
 
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Soon after the world’s largest glass bridge was open in China, tourists flocked for that extra rush of adrenaline by walking on the glass bridge that hangs over China’s famous canyon. However, the excitement and thrill did not last long as the organizers struggled to cope with the influx of tourists coming in from all over the world.

The one of a kind bridge in China’s Hunan province is now set to reopen for China’s Golden Week holiday in October; the bridge stayed closed for over a month as it was undergoing major safety overhauls.

The bridge hangs over the breath-taking Grand Canyon in Zhangjiajie, which is a UNESCO’s world heritage site. The authorities made the decision to temporarily close the bridge to tourists soon after it was officially opened on August 20.

Tourists that flocked to the Hunan province for a walk over the bridge overwhelming the authorities who struggled to cope with the large number of people.

The management committee of the bridge has now issued a detailed statement informing the tourists about the new system. The visitors will now be able to visit the bridge by using special ID cards on the machines installed at the entrance. The ID cards will be issued to individual visitors at the ticket office for both onsite purchasers and for those who will book tickets from the official website.

The glass bridge is 430 meters long, approximately six meters wide and is paved with 99 panes of transparent glass in three solid layers. The bridge hangs over the Grand Canyon at the height of 300 meters, which is a long way down, especially if you consider that the pavement is all glass so it feels like you’re going to be falling at any time.

When the Bridge was opened in August, the authorities were expecting no more than a couple thousand visitors a day. However, the staff and facilities on site were inadequate to meet the 8,000 visitors per day.

The news of the glass bridge spread like a wild fire, and people flocked to Hunan in their thousands creating a demand twice the maximum manageable limit.

The authorities then had to shut the site to install additional security measures, car parks and other amenities for the tourists to meet the international safety standards.

During the revamping of the bridge, authorities had installed a number of intelligent monitoring systems to manage and control the influx of the tourists at the various entrances and exits of the bridge. There is now a free shuttle bus service available for the visitors to take them to the site from various drop-off points.