A view of the 430-meter glass-bottom bridge in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province, in August. [Shao Ying/China Daily]
Visitors hoping to walk across the world's highest and longest glass-bottom bridge mighthave to wait for a few more days, as the bridge's management committee is busyupgrading tourist support facilities.
The bridge in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province, has been temporarily closed since Sept 2 after itwas overwhelmed by crowds of tourists after its test run on Aug 20. The suspension drewquestions about the safety of the bridge.
Luo Kewen, spokesman for the bridge's management committee, said on Thursday thatthere is "no problem" with the bridge. The closure was tied to facilities upgrades towelcome visitors attending an international conference of traveling salespeople and aninternational tourism festival that will kick off in Zhangjiajie on Monday.
He said the bridge could probably be reopened around Monday as well.
More than 10,000 people have swarmed to the site every day, even though the bridgeitself is limited to 8,000 a day.
Luo said the great number of visitors and vehicles made it difficult to complete hardwareupgrades, which will add convenience for future visitors.
While the landscaping at the site has been finished, work is continuing on the expansion of aparking lot and some other support facilities. But the upgrade is about to be completed, hesaid.
Meanwhile, the online booking system for the bridge is also being upgraded. Visitors will beable to book tickets for a specific date.
"After the upgrade, we may limit tickets to 1,000 visitors per hour, so that visitors canarrange their time properly instead of wasting time in long lines," Luo said.
The bridge－430 meters long and 6 meters wide－is paved with 99 panes of triple-layertransparent glass. It is suspended between two steep cliffs 300 meters above the canyonfloor in the spectacular Grand Canyon Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie, whose unique pillar-likemountain forms influenced the scenery in the Hollywood blockbuster movie Avatar. Themountains are on UNESCO's world heritage list.
A ticket to walk on the bridge costs 138 yuan ($21). No personal belongings are allowedexcept for wallets and mobile phones. Visitors are not allowed to wear shoes with highheels, and they must cross the bridge without the aid of the railings.
Xinhua contributed to this story.
By Feng Zhiwei/Hou Liqiang (China Daily) 10:08, September 09, 2016