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Aizhai Bridge


Aizhai Bridge is a suspension bridge on the G65 Baotou–Maoming Expressway near Jishou, Hunan, China. The bridge was built as part of an expressway from southwest China's Chongqing Municipality to Changsha. As the world's highest and longest tunnel-to-tunnel bridge, the Aizhai suspension bridge links two tunnels 1,176 meters apart, carrying traffic 330 meters above the foot of Dehang Canyon. Construction of the bridge started in October 2007 and its main sections were completed at the end of last year. The bridge was temporarily opened to pedestrians during the 2012 Spring Festival and was formally opened to traffic in March 2012. It is also the sixth-highest bridge in the world and the world's twelfth-longest suspension bridge. Of the world's 400 or so highest bridges, none has a main span as long as Aizhai

.The bridge contains 1,888 lights used to increase visibility at night. It is designed to help ease traffic in the mountainous region, where queues are common due to the narrow, steep and winding roads.The bridge and the associated road construction reduced the travel time between Jishou and Chadong from four hours to less than one hour, and is expected to inject vigor to local tourism.


Aizhai Bridge is the world’s highest tunnel to tunnel bridge and the fourth suspension bridge in China to cross a valley so wide it seems to be connecting two mountain ranges. The first three were the Siduhe, Balinghe and Beipanjiang 2009 bridges. Of the world's 400 or so highest bridges, none has a main span as long as Aizhai with a tower to tower distance of 3,858 feet (1,176 mtrs). Located deep in the heart of China’s Hunan Province near the city of Jishou, the suspension bridge is the largest structure on the Jishou to Chadong expressway with a deck 1,102 feet (336 mtrs) above the DeHang Canyon.

The two tunnels on either side of the Aizhai bridge allowed the engineers to use the mountain top for the location of one of the towers, reducing its height to just 165 feet (50 mtrs) - unusually short for a bridge with a span nearly as long as the Golden Gate bridge at 3,858 feet (1176 mtrs). In addition to cost savings, the stubby support also allows the bridge to blend more naturally into its surroundings. The taller bridge tower is no less unique with side span cables that soar down the backside of a mountain, making first time visitors quizzical as to what exactly lies ahead. With most of the structure hidden from view, the bridge will come as a jaw-dropping surprise whether you enter the canyon from either tunnel. Due to a gap of approximately 328 feet (100 mtrs) between the last truss suspenders and the tops of the bridge towers, the engineers added some additional ground anchored suspenders to stabilize the two massive suspension cables and reduce any oscillations that could damage other components of the bridge. An overlook and visitors center will offer additional views of the broad valley.

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