Bridges inject new vitality into tourism sector in mountainous province

2024-May-17 09:04 By: Xinhua

This photo taken on May 16, 2024 shows the Longli River bridge in Longli County, southwest China's Guizhou Province. (Xinhua/Luo Fei)

GUIYANG, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Walking across the transparent glass walkway of Longli River Bridge in southwest China's Guizhou Province, one can feel the frisson as if they were on the brink of an abyss.

Spanning over the Duohua Grand Canyon, the bridge has become an instant hit and attracted many tourists with its unique design since it opened to traffic in April.

"It's a very different experience to be able to walk on the bridge and take a sightseeing tour on the glass walkway," said Wang Aoqiang, a tourist from Guiyang, capital of Guizhou.

The Longli River Bridge is 1,260 meters long, with its bridge deck soaring 280 meters above the bottom of the canyon. On each side of the bridge's deck, parallel to the car lanes, there are glass walkways measuring 528 meters long and composed of 254 glass panels.

Additionally, a sightseeing elevator integrated into the bridge structure also provides lofty views for visitors.

"During the construction of this bridge, we prioritized fulfilling its essential transportation functions alongside catering to the sightseeing demands for tourism development. Despite facing various technical challenges, our team overcame them one by one," said Jiao Linyang from the Second Highway Engineering Co., Ltd. of China Communications Construction Company.

Mountainous and hilly areas account for 92.5 percent of the province's total land area.

In recent years, Guizhou has strived to upgrade its transportation system with an eye toward modernity and connectivity. Currently, more than 30,000 bridges have been built or are under construction in the province.

Today, Guizhou boasts about half of the world's 100 highest bridges. Some not only help shorten travel time from major cities to scenic spots but also become tourist attractions.

With the completion of the Longli River Bridge, travel time between Guiyang and Longli Grassland, a masterpiece of natural beauty, has been cut from 1.5 hours to around 30 minutes.

"Guizhou is aiming to further promote the integration of its transport infrastructure and tourism, supporting the development of scenic spots in the province," said Feng Wei, deputy head of the provincial department of transport in Guizhou.

Not far from the iconic Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou, the 370-meter-high Baling River Bridge, one of the world's highest bridges, has drawn many skydivers since 2012.

A bridge technology museum, recreational vehicle campgrounds and homestays have also been built near the bridge. Since its opening in 2019, the museum has received over 70,000 visitors.

"When building bridges in mountainous areas, constructors not only have to overcome challenges to build safe and durable world-class bridges but also need to consider how to integrate the bridge with the natural environment, achieving a harmonious unity between the beauty of bridge architecture and the charm of natural scenery," said He Yiling, a student from Guiyang after visiting the museum.

Tourists pose for photo on Longli River Bridge in Longli County, southwest China's Guizhou Province, May 16, 2024. (Xinhua/Luo Fei)

A tourist poses for photo on the glass walkway of Longli River Bridge in Longli County, southwest China's Guizhou Province, May 16, 2024. (Xinhua/Luo Fei)

Editor: ZAD
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