2012 Eric Sakowski

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Events of 2012


China Balinghe Bridge BASE Event


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Opening celebrations took place on a stage high along the Eastern slope where the old National Road crosses under the bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A news crew covers the event overlooking the deep Balinghe River canyon. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Thousands of spectators hiked to the event. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Dozens of food vendors were set up below the East tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Locals hiked along trails to claim a good vantage point beyond the main event stage area. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The best place to view the event was at the bottom of the gorge, requiring a long hike along a local dirt farm road and some trails. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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To reach the landing area, jumpers, spectators and news crews were ferried across the river on an inflatable raft. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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China's own SWAT team was even present at the event! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Two jumpers float towards the seemingly hidden landing area. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Balinghe event was the first of what would be 2 major 2012 BASE events at a Chinese Bridge. On September 16th a similar event was held at the Aizhai Bridge in nearby Hunan Province. Aizhai and Balinghe are the 2 most spectacular and accessible BASE jump bridges in China. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


China Beipanjiang Bridge Duge Preview Tour


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Alignment path of Beipanjiang Bridge Duge looking West to Yunnan. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Guizhou side cliff where the Beipanjiang Bridge Duge will begin. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Beipanjiang Bridge Duge east tower location. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


China Dimuhe Bridge Preview Tour


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Dimuhe Bridge office. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A small red and white flag in the bottom center marks the location of the east anchorage of the giant footbridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


China 2012 Yangtze River Bridge Trip


The following images were all taken during the "China 2012 Yangtze River Bridge Tour" that took place during the month of August in several Western China Provinces. Bridge fans Roger Perrin of Great Britain and Georges of France joined me on HighestBridges.com's second ever 3 week tour to experience almost 100 of the world's longest bridge spans that included visits to half of the world's 20 longest suspension and cable stayed bridges. The adventurous journey took us along 2,000 miles / 3,500 kilometers of roads and highways with bridge engineer Jiang Changiang and driver Mr. Chen.

The trek along the Yangtze took place in more urban environments making for some navigation challenges that we did not encounter in the more rural regions of the 2011 trip. We often found ourselves traveling along roads that were not yet on our GPS map tracker while at other times a clearly marked road had been blocked or was no longer in existence - wiped off the map due to some new mega high-rise development that did not exist just a year earlier.


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Our journey began in Chongqing City - the "Pittsburgh" of China with an amazing collection of bridges including Chaotianmen Bridge, the largest arch in the world at 552 meters. From left to right are Georges, myself (with rabbit ears), engineer interpreter Jiang Changjiang and Roger Perrin. Image by Mr. Chen


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Dafosi Bridge was one of the first cable stayed spans in the Chongqing City region opening in 2001 with a main span of 450 meters. Image by Georges.


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Flooding was so extensive from rain several days prior that the level of the Yangtze was at 177 meters in Chongqing City or 2 meters above the full 3 Gorges reservoir level of 175 meters. This was surprising given the water level at the dam several hundred kilometers downstream was only at 157 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Some of the hundreds of Chongqing skyscrapers. Image by Georges.


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The new Chongqing metro line crossing of the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers necessitated the construction of two separate cable stayed bridges known as Dongshuimen and Qianximen that are separated by a long curving tunnel. The towers were carefully designed by the Chongqing offices of T.Y. Lin International to have a curvilinear shape in all directions that give them a beautiful, signature look despite the extra cost. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Qianximen crosses the Jialing River with just one central tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Part of this beautiful group of buildings in going to have to be demolished for the south end of the Qianximen bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The mouth of the Jialing River showing the water at full height some 177 meters above sea level. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Jiang Changjiang


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Image by Georges.


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Our cruise boat had no fancy chandeliers but the outdoor view was perfect. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view of the deluxe boat complete with neon dragons and an ICBC bank sign. ICBC became my ATM of choice for most of the trip. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A big breakfast before our first full day of bridging! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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With a span of 600 meters, E'gongyan is most notable for the tower tops with their signature suspension bridge "logo". Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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One of the earliest bridges in Chongqing, the Lijiatuo Bridge opened in 1995 with a main span of 444 meters. Image by Georges.


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The underside of the deck is beginning to show its age. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Some locals live in makeshift buildings along the river banks below the Lijiatuo Bridge. They don't have much but welcomed us in their homes. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Masangxi Bridge is just over 10 years old and has a main concrete deck span of 360 meters. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Jiang Visits The River of His Family Name

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With a Chinese name like Jiang Changjiang, you have to wonder what the odds are that such a person would be touring the bridges that cross a river with the same name. Jiang's last name of "Changjiang" is the actual Chinese word for the Yangtze River! Such a coincidence made me attempt to photograph Jiang in front of all 80 Yangtze bridge crossings. We did not quite succeed given Jiang had to leave the trip after the second full week but he still managed to stand in front of more then 50 Yangtze crossings. Who knows, maybe someday Jiang will design a bridge that crosses the river that bears his family's name! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Yudong Bridge might look ordinary but this bridge demands respect as it is the longest double span beam bridge on earth with two back to back concrete behemoths of 260 meters. This is even more impressive when you consider a double track monorail metro line will be traveling down the center in 2013 to join the 8 highway lanes that opened in 2008. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by www.huashphoto.com


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The monorail metro approaches under construction just north of the Yudong Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Completed in 2004, the narrow Diwei cable stayed bridge is unusual in that it was built for a local mining operation and is not open for the public to use. The main span is 345 meters. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Two unmarked lanes carry nothing but truck traffic. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Guanyinyan is a wide, steel deck cable stayed bridge with a main span of 436 meters. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yangtze water level was unusually high from flooding in the days prior to our visit. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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The Dingshan Bridge will be completed in 2013 with a main span of 464 meters or about the same length as the Alex Fraser and Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridges in North America. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The construction staging area below the Dingshan Bridge had been flooded out just prior to our visit. Large bridge sections were tossed around like toys and damaged. Some pieces will probably be repaired while others might have to be completely re-manufactured. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Jiangjin Bridge's main span of 240 meters is not unusual in China but ranks longer then almost any beam span outside of the country. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Bosideng arch with a humungous concrete filled steel tubular span of 500 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The local fishermen were more prepared to walk in the mud then we were. Image by Georges.


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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No shortage of ducks in China! Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The uneven tower design has resulted in the south tower measuring a lofty 210 meters tall or about 86.5 meters taller then the 123.5 meter north side tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Brown ducks anyone? Image by Georges.


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The Luzhou Bridge is a rare type of bridge with the center third being a drop-in span. The 3 central spans of 170 meters opened in 1982. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A local Luzhou girl with a British flag handbag is surprised to see some foreigners, especially one from the U.K.! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Extradosed bridges are rare outside of Japan. Completed in 2011, the Qiancao is one of the largest of its type with a main span of 248 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The flood currents on the Yangtze were so strong below the Qiancao Bridge that several handrail barriers were knocked over. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The northern end of Luzhou City is a newer zone of upscale malls, skyscrapers and wide boulevards that are now typical of most Chinese cities where a huge migration is underway from the rural farming towns to the giant urban centers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Luzhou Railway Bridge was completed in 2002 with 3 bulky prestressed beam spans of 144 meters. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Completed in 2000 with a main span of 252 meters, the Second Luzhou Bridge had the longest beam span across the Yangtze river at that time. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Not to be outdone, the nearby city of Jiang'an made their 2008 Yangtze beam crossing with a span of 253 meters - 1 meter longer then Luzhou's! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Nanqi Bridge. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This steel arch in Yibin marks the first non-Yangtze river crossing where the remaining upstream portion of the Yangtze is officially called the Jinsha Jiang. The Yangtze continues for well over a 1,000 more miles within mountainous provinces where bridge spans are generally under 100 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This concrete arch was the very first bridge to cross the Jinsha Jiang in the city of Yibin. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Min and Jinsha rivers meet in front of this flooded plaza which marks the official beginning of the "Changjiang" River known to foreigners at the Yangtze. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This large railway bridge and a nearby single tower cable stayed bridge mark the two most upstream crossings in the city of Yibin. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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A Yibin local takes a bath at the base of this flooded riverfront tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Completed in 2008, the Yibin cable stayed bridge is similar to Tai'an Bridge with very closely spaced stays. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yibin Pipeline Bridge carries 3 different sized pipes across a main span of 516 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This truck measured an incredible 100 feet / 30 meters from end to end! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The driver enjoys a rest in a hammock near the back end. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Shimen Bridge was one of China's larger single tower cable stayed bridges when it was completed across the Jialing River in 1988 with two spans of 230 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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One of several giant beam bridges over the Jialing within Chongqing City, this 240 meter span monster carries the G75 expressway. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Shuangbei has a main span of 330 meters. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Georges washes his shoes after stepping into the muddy riverbank. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Minutes later I did the same thing with my left shoe! Image by Georges.


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The Caijiajialing Bridge is one of the highest metro line bridges in the world carrying line 6 some 100 meters above the Jialing River. The narrow span measures 250 meters. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The egg-shaped tunnels were required to accommodate the extra height of the elevated "mono" rail. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Jiayue was the second big extradosed bridge of the trip with a main span of 250 meters. The elegant Y-shaped towers and slender deck are the handiwork of the famous engineering firm of T.Y. Lin International. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A pedestrian walkway under the road deck made for a nice stroll 80 meters above the river. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This new road viaduct near the Jiayue Bridge paralleled yet another metro line going north out of Chongqing City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Jialing River gorge has an impressive lineup of road and rail bridges near the city of Beibei. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This obsolete suspension bridge with 4 main offset cables was recently bypassed by an arch bridge. The central span is approximately 190 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Can you count all 6 Jialing Bridge crossings? Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Jialing River G5001 Ring Highway Bridge has a central span of 240 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Located just a few kilometers east of Chongqing Airport, the giant Chaoyangsi Bridge crosses a wide and deep valley on 3 spans of 130 meters. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Yuzui Bridge with a main span of 616 meters and a 100 foot wide deck that carries 6 lanes of traffic plus 2 safety lanes. The span is composed of 50 steel box girder sections that are 12 meters long with each weighing 180 tons. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Huaihua Bridge is one of the only Yangtze railway crossings near Chongqing. The giant cantilever truss has 2 central spans of 192 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Changshou Bridge opened in 2009 with a large main span of 460 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The gargantuan Caijiagou high speed railway bridge with 41 piers including one that reaches a height of 456 feet (139 meters), the largest of any pier on any railway bridge in the world. The massive piers are shaped like the Chinese character 人 to keep the huge structure stable. The total length of the bridge is 1 and a quarter miles or 2.05 kilometers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Separated by a tunnel from the Caijiagou Bridge, the nearby Xinshuangxian Bridge is the world's 2nd largest railway viaduct with 7 spans of 96 meters perched on piers as tall as 114 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The very first Fuling area bridge was completed in 1997 with a main span of 330 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Shibangou was the third large Fuling area cable stayed bridge over the Yangtze with a central span of 450 meters. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Wujiang River Bridge near Fuling carries the new Fengfu Expressway high above the river which is partially submerged under the 3 Gorges reservoir. The central span of 320 meters is held up by two towers 200 and 205 meters tall. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Wujiang Fuling Railway Bridge with a main span of approximately 140 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Heizhulin Bridge is one of several giant beam spans on the new Fengfu expressway between Fengdu and Fuling cities that will open in 2013. The central span is 150 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Lidu Bridge opened in 2007 the main span measures 398 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The 788 meter span Qingcaobei Yangtze suspension bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Chinese fast food chain Dico's is the third largest in China after McDonald's and KFC. Image by Georges.


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Our Fuling City hotel had their dining room at the top of the hotel with nice views of the city. Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Further north another big Fengfu expressway beam bridge arises with a central span of 150 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Fengdu Yangtze Bridge is unique for having just 2 lanes as car ownership was light in 1997. The stiffened truss deck was also common on all of China's pre-2000 suspension bridges. Since 2010, steel box decks have become nearly as popular. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Longhe is the king of Fengfu beam bridges with a massive central span of 240 meters rising more then 100 meters above the 3 Gorges reservoir. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Another giant high speed railway viaduct near Fengdu City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Zhongxian Yangtze River Bridge has concrete towers that support a steel truss span of 460 meters. The bridge opened to traffic in 2001. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The G50 expressway Zhongxian Yangtze Bridge is the longest of all the upper Yangtze crossings with a length of 2,129 meters composed of an assortment of spans that are as follows: 35X3+40X3+112+200+112+205+460+205+40X4+30X15. The bridge is half submerged in the deep waters of the 3 Gorges reservoir with towers taller then the Golden Gate bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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A lady prepares more noodle strands to keep Georges and me loaded up on carbs! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Guanjiagou Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Wanxian was one of China's first bridges to enter the record books, in this case for longest concrete arch. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Wanzhou Railway Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Second Wanzhou suspension bridge is similar to its downstream cousin in Zhongxian but with a bigger main span of 580 meters. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A Wanzhou truss bridge with 3 main spans of 120 meters that look very similar to Chile's Malleco Viaduct. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Also in the Wanzhou region, the Caidigou Railway Bridge crosses over the new G42 expressway with 3 truss spans of approximately 65 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Bayang Bridg. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Pengxihe River bridge with a central span is 316 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yunyang Bridge crosses the Yangtze with asymmetrical towers. The taller tower is 85 feet (26 meters) higher above the Yangtze River. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Tanxihe beam bridge with a central span of 230 meters atop piers 156 meters tall. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Hongshiliang Bridge was the highest with the east and westbound lanes rising 505 and 550 feet above a steep river ravine. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This local road bridge skirts the north side of the Yangtze River near the city of Fengjie and was completed in 2007 with spans of 40 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The 460 meter span Fengjie Bridge. Image by Georges.


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our hotel in Fengjie overlooked a large plaza. In the background a concrete arch carries the main boulevard through the city. Image by Georges.


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Another big dinner with the obligatory soy sauce for Georges and me to put on our rice. Image by Georges.


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The Meixihe Bridge with a span of 288 meters. Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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The Meixihe River cable stayed bridge carries the G42 high above the 3 Gorges reservoir with a span of 386 meters. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Shimahe Bridge crosses 100 meters above a wide river valley along the G42 east of Fengjie. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A new beam bridge crosses more then 100 meters above the exit road from the G42 to the city of Wushan. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The spectacular new Longmens or Dragon Gate Bridge opened in 2010 as a replacement for the original Dragon Gate concrete arch that was originally built in 1987. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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With a single leap of 460 meters, the Wushan Yangtze River bridge is one of the 10 longest arch spans on earth and is arguably one of China's most beautiful with the surrounding mountains of the 3 Gorges rising thousands of feet above the river valley. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A group of trucks floats down the Yangtze River "highway" below the Wushan Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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An abandoned house near the Wushan arch bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The G42 under construction. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This beam bridge crosses the upper end of the Shennongxi River, one of the largest Yangtze tributaries in the 3 Gorges region. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The highest bridge along the entire G42 is the crossing of the Shennongxi river. The A-frame cable stayed bridge crosses 225 meters above the original river level and 170 meters above the 3 gorges reservoir. The main span is 320 meters and also includes a side beam span of 150 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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The Badong Yangtze River Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Forest Park Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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We had a nice time waiting in the Badong boat terminal building before our scheduled trip up the Yangtze River on a hyrofoil boat! Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Jiuwanxi arch bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Located just below the 3 Gorges dam and only open to dam workers or tour buses, the Xiling Bridge is the first of the super long Yangtze crossings. Completed in 1996, the 18 meter wide bridge has a tower to tower span of 900 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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The most impressive site along the 3 Gorges Dam tour are a view of the giant ship locks that allow river traffic to bypass the dam. Compared with tours of other famous dams around the world, the 3 Gorges tour was a bit of a letdown with no visitor access allowed on either the top of the dam or inside one of the cavernous turbine generator rooms. With a height of some 160 meters from foundation to top and a length of 2.335 kilometers this is without question the largest dam on earth as well as the largest producer of hydroelectricity. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our dinner in Yichang was at a pseudo-fast food place but with purely Chinese dishes. Image by Georges.


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The Yichang suspension bridge with a main span of 960 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Few foreigners ever get to visit the Zhicheng Railway Bridge. This road and rail monster was completed in 1971 with 9 truss spans of 160 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Jingzhou is another rarely visited giant that crosses the Yangtze River on two cable stayed spans separated by several large beam spans. The north span is the longest at 500 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The south span of the Jingzhou Bridge has uneven towers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The gargantuan Jingyue Bridge with a main span of 816 meters is supported by towers of uneven height with the taller tower measuring 265 meters and the shorter one measuring 200 meters. This is also the longest span cable stayed bridge in the world with conventional H-frame style towers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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The Wuhan 2nd Crossing Bridge. Constructed in 1995, the bridge opened almost 40 years after the famous 1957 road and rail bridge was completed. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Erqi Bridge opened in 2012 as the longest double span cable stayed bridge on earth with two back to back spans of 616 meters. There is no bridge in North or South America with even one cable stayed span of this length let alone two! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The very first large bridge to cross the Yangtze was the First Wuhan crossing in 1957. The giant road and rail bridge was the model by which the more famous First Nanjing Bridge was based on. Russian Bridge engineers assisted in the design of the double decker truss that carries 2 tracks of the Beijing-Guangzhou line on the bottom as well as 4 road lanes and 2 pedestrian walkways on the top. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Yingwuzhou has two back to back spans of 850 meters - equivalent to the 2 Tacoma Narrows Bridge spans placed end to end. The name translates to Parrot Chou Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yellow Crane Tower is the most famous historic site in Wuhan. Mao went up it to survey the planned site of the giant railway bridge in 1953. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Baishazhou Bridge with a main span of 618 meters. The A-frame towers are very similar to Shanghai's Xupu Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This single tower cable stayed bridge crosses the Han River in Wuhan. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A typical Chinese hotel bathroom with a fairly revealing glass wall! Image by Georges.


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Another view of the giant 8-lane Erqi Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Tianxingzhou road and rail cable stayed bridge with a span of 504 meters. The incredibly bulky concrete towers support a rarely seen triple plane of cable stays. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yangluo suspension bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Huanggang Yangtze River road and railway bridge downstream of Wuhan. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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With a main span of 480 meters, the E'Huang Bridge was one of the longest cable stayed spans across the Yangtze when it opened in 2002. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Huangshi Bridge is the last downstream beam bridge to cross the Yangtze. The rest are all suspension or cable stayed designs except for the First Nanjing truss spans. Opened in 1995, each of the 3 spans measure 245 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Edong Bridge with a span of 926 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Jiujiang bridge with a steel box center span of 818 meters. This is just 2 meters longer then upstream neighbor Jingyue Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Several large gas stations had these tall pyramid shaped roofs. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Jiujiang railway bridge finally opened in 1992 after years of difficulties during its construction. The central arch span is 216 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Some views of the new Jiujiang cable stayed bridge from the south side. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Lake Poyang Bridge just north of Jiujiang city. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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the Anqing Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The ferry was still popular with the locals! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Anqing high speed railway bridge with a main span of 580 meters. Image by Georges.


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Some kind of gravel bed will be placed on top of the deck to support 2 of the high speed rail lines. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Tongling Yangtze Bridge opened in 1995 with a span of 432 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Linjiang "Fish" Bridge in Wuhu is an odd combination of an observation tower building and cable stayed bridge. We never did come across any public entrance to the tower. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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One of China's early road and rail bridges from 2000, the Wuhu cable stayed bridge has a main span of 312 meters. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This classic look of this concrete arch and wood pedestrian bridge are typical of many new construction projects where the builders want to convey a sense of China's thousand year old tradition of hand-built craftsmanship. Image by Georges.


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The eastern section of the Ma'anshan Yangtze Bridge with 2 back to back spans of 260 meters supported by oval shaped support towers that are the first of their kind in the world. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Ma'anshan Yangtze suspension bridge is tied with downstream neighbor Taizhou Bridge as having the 2 longest back to back suspension spans on earth. The two leaps of 1080 meters are partially supported by a central tower with a concrete base and a steel tower. This is somewhat different from downstream double span neighbor Taizhou which is made up of an all steel A-frame center support. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Cable spinning on a suspension bridge is an extremely rare process to see in person as there is no more large scale suspension bridge construction going on in either the Americas or Europe. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The dozens of cable bundles are connected to massive anchors embedded in the exposed anchorage. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Ma'anshan tower tops have a one-of-a-kind cross beam design that looks like wood molding you might see in a doorway. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The only way to visit the suspension bridge from the east side of the Yangtze was across this ferry to an island in the middle of the river. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The 3rd Nanjing bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Nanjing Dashengguan Bridge is located on the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway line over two steel arch trusses of 336 meters that represent the longest double span railway arch in the world. The total length of this huge crossing is 9.273 kilometers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Jiangxinzhou Bridge in Nanjing City is a single-tower spatial cable self-anchored suspension bridge with a main span of 248 meters. There are very few bridges of this type in the world. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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For many decades the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge was China’s most famous crossing. It was completed in 1968 and is the first double-decker, double-track highway and railway bridge designed and constructed by the Chinese without outside engineering assistance as was done with the 1957 Wuhan Railway Bridge. The upper road deck is 4,588 meters long across truss spans of 160 meters. The lower railway deck is 6,772 meters long and 14 meters wide. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A large statue of Mao greets visitors in the museum at the base of the east tower. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Nanjing 2nd crossing with a main span of 628 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Runyang South Bridge is part of a large bridge complex that crosses two sections of the Yangtze River that are divided by the island of Siyezhou in the middle. The main span of 1,490 meters is one of the longest in the world. The streamlined orthotropic steel box girder is 3 meters in depth and 39 meters wide to accommodate 6 lanes.


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The north bridge is a cable-stayed structure with a main span of 406 meters supported on towers 150 meters tall. Construction of the bridge began in October 2000 and was completed in April of 2005 at a cost of 5.8 billion Yuan (about U.S. $700 million). Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The five star hotel on the island of Siyezhou had a beautiful mural of the bridge. Sadly there were few people staying at the hotel which offers great views of both bridges from a restaurant on an upper floor. Image by Georges.


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The 4th Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge with a tower to tower distance of 1,418 meters. The material within both 229 meter tall towers is mainly concrete, but at the top of each tower there is a unique steel cross-beam arch between the tower legs. The 6-lane deck of the bridge consists of a streamlined steel box girder with an overall width of 38.2 meters and a depth of 3.5 meters. The estimated cost is about 17.7 million yuan (CNY) or 2.6 billion dollars (USD). Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A stronger "anchor" suspender on the east end. Image by Georges.


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The giant Taizhou suspension bridge with its record breaking back to back suspension spans of 1080 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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The concrete cross member at the top of the tower is a large cavernous room. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The climb to the top of the 180 meter tower required an exhausting trek up several dozen flights of stairs. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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But the view was absolutely worth it! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view down the temporary elevator support shaft. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The bridge will have opened by the end of 2012. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The world's tallest transmission towers cross the Yangtze River near the Jiangyin Bridge. With a height of 346.5 meters these monsters dwarf even the Eiffel Tower. A spiral staircase and a one-man elevator are the only way maintenance workers can reach the top! The cables span 2.3 kilometers between the two towers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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All of the structural members are made of intricate truss beams. Image by Georges.


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The Jiangyin Suspension Bridge was the most seaward bridge to cross the Yangtze River of China at the time of its completion in 1999. The 190 meter tall concrete towers support a streamlined steel box girder deck. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Goodwin Steel Castings Ltd. of the United Kingdom manufactured the wire cables for the bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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With no other railway bridges so far down the Yangtze, this bridge allows trains to board a ferry. Plans are underway for a new road and railway bridge downstream of this crossing. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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With a span of 1,088 meters, the Sutong Bridge had the longest cable-stayed span in the world from 2007 to 2012 before it was surpassed by Russia's Russky Island Bridge. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Often overlooked, Sutong Bridge has one of the longest concrete beam spans in the world at 268 meters. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Sutong Bridge park has many full size examples of the bridge deck as well as a 2-story building that houses what is arguably the best single bridge museum ever created. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Shanghai Chongming Yangtze River Bridge and tunnel stretch 16.63 kilometers across the mouth of the Yangtze River. The tunnel portion is 8.9 kilometers in length and has two stacked levels. The upper level has three lanes in each direction while the lower level is reserved for a future Shanghai Metro line. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The 10 kilometer bridge section consists of a central cable stayed span of 730 meters which ranks among the 20 longest in the world. It is rare for a cable stayed bridge so large to have a single mast design, allowing the 208 meter tall towers to split the roadway lanes into two separate steel decks. Only the Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong is larger among this type of bridge. The total combined length of the route is 25.5 km and the total cost was 12.6 billion yuan (US$1.84 billion). The remaining gap between Chongming and the north bank of the Yangtze is crossed by the Chongqi Bridge and the Chonghai Bridge, collectively forming the most downstream crossing of the Yangtze. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The approaches were given a sigmoid "S" shape. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Once the longest cable stayed bridge in the world, the Yangpu Bridge was completed in 1993 with a main span of 602 meters. The deck is 30.35 meters wide with six lanes of traffic. The two pylons reach 223 meters in height. The bridge was originally unpainted but for the millennium it was coated with red paint. The name Yangpu Bridge (杨浦大桥) inscribed on each pylon was originally hand-written by a former leader. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Nanpu Bridge was the first major cable stayed bridge built in China when it opened in 1991. With a main span of 428 meters, the distance was almost double the previous longest span Chinese bridge. Like many early Chinese spans, the steel for the composite girder and the cables were imported from Europe. Since that time, China has established its own wire manufacturing and exports strands to many other cable stayed bridge projects around the world. Nanpu was designed by the Shanghai Municipal Design Institute with assistance from T.Y. Lin and Buckland and Taylor and was the first major Chinese bridge contract to be awarded to foreigners. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Lupu Bridge is the world's second longest arch bridge after Chaotianmen Bridge in Chongqing City. The Lupu Bridge is a steel box "basket handle" through arch bridge. The central span of the deck is suspended from two sets of 28 double cables. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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With spectacular views of the Shanghai region and the Huangpu River, we were surprised there were not more tourists doing the hike to the top of the arch. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Lupu Bridge became a major symbol of the International Expo 2010 that took place along the riverbanks from May to October of that year. More then 250 countries participated with many constructing innovative pavilions with edgy architecture that often reflected the culture of that country. China's inverted red pyramid was the largest of the many themed buildings. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Many of the pavilions were removed after the Expo ended. Over 73 million attended the event breaking the previous record of 70 million at the Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The side of the bridge was lit up for the Expo 2010 with lights and colored LEDs. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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With a span of 590 meters supported on towers 212 meters tall, the Xupu Bridge was China's longest span cable stayed bridge when it opened in 1997. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Minpu Bridge is now the longest span across the Huangpu River with a pylon to pylon distance of 708 meters. The length is also a record among all double decker truss cable stayed bridges. There are 6 lanes of traffic on the top and 4 lanes on the bottom. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Nearby Minpu 2 is another large crossing of the Huangpu River with a main span of 251.4 meters. The upper deck carries a highway while the lower level serves a Shanghai railway line. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Hangzhou Bay Bridge is the longest continuous trans-oceanic bridge in the world. Opened to the public in 2008, the bridge shortened the highway travel distance between Ningbo and Shanghai from 400 km to 280 km and reduced travel time from 4 to 2.5 hours. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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There is a multi-level "mall", museum and observation tower on the south end of the bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Jintang is one of 2 large cable stayed bridges along the new Zhoushan Trans-oceanic bridge on the Zhoushan Archipelago - the largest offshore island group in China. The bridge is 21 kilometers in total length (18.4 kilometers over the sea), and consists of a main span of 620 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Xihoumen Bridge was the second-longest suspension bridge in the world as ranked by the length of the center span. The 5.3-kilometre-long suspension bridge has a 2.6-kilometre-long main bridge with a central span of 1,650 metres. The approaches total 2.7 kilometers. The central span has a special box design that allows wind ventilation in the center of the roadway as well as adding strength transversly. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Taoyaomen Bridge is the second cable stayed bridge on the Zhoushan Trans-oceanic bridge after Jintang. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yongjiang River Bridge is one of the longest span arch bridges in the world at 450 meters. Similar to the through arch Lupu Bridge in nearby Shanghai, the 2 main ribs are wide at the base and meet eachother 95 meters above the water. The main span was constructed by temporary cable stays connected to towers 150 meters high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Qingshuipu Bridge is a rare side by side cable stayed bridge with double diamond towers that support a span of 468 meters. The bridge opened in 2012 and also crosses the Yongjiang River on the outskirts of Ningbo City. The 8-lane deck is 56.7 meters wide made up of steel box sections that are about 27 meters wide. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A parallel cable stayed railway bridge is also under construction and should be completed by 2014. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

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