2012 High Bridge Trip Photo Album/Week 2

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2012 China High Bridge Trip Photo Album
Hubei and Chongqing Provinces


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The special spans visited during the second week included Yuzui, Caijiagou Railway, Qingcaobei, Wanxian, Meixihe, Wushan, Shennongxi, the big beam spans of the G42 Expressway as well as the massive 3 Gorges Dam.


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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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The latest Chongqing City regional suspension bridge is Yuzui, located on the northeast side of the city to facilitate easy access to the new airport. The main span measures 616 meters with 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 is one of the newer spans to be built in the Chongqing region having 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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Jiang poses with one of his "Changjiang" family members. 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 year after our 2011 trip we revisited 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 was the second of three large Fuling area cable stayed spans to cross the Yangtze. Opened in 2007 the main span measures 398 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The biggest surprise of the trip came in the form of the 788 meter span Qingcaobei Yangtze suspension bridge. With no word of it on any bridge blogs or websites, it was quite a shock to see it off in the distance while traveling along a local highway. This is also the first suspension bridge in the world to have a full sized prestressed approach span. This unique T-beam is composed of two 90 meter spans. 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 process of installing the hundreds of suspender cables had recently began. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The bridge will be among the highest to cross a river so wide with a deck to water drop of more than 100 meters. 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 so we decided to try it out during our stay in Fuling. Most of us preferred the authentic (and cheaper) Chinese food. 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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Jiang shows off his unusually long fingernail in front of the Fuling Yangtze pipeline bridge. Not sure where the Chinese tradition of growing long fingernails came from. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The new high speed rail line will continue traveling east from Chongqing across the HanTangjiatuo truss cable stayed bridge when it opens in 2013. Image by Jiang Changjiang.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Traveling north along the Yangtze we encountered several large beam bridges along the under construction Fengfu Expressway. This one near Fuling has a main span of 120 meters. 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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While we were not entirely surprised to discover a second crossing is now under construction in Fengdu City we never would have guessed the main span would be 680 meters making it one of the 20 longest cable stayed bridges in the world. 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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Yet another giant high speed railway viaduct on the line between Yichang and Chongqing City. This one looks to be at least 80 meters above a creek 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 is the lowest of more then a half dozen G42 expressway beam spans we would visit that exceed 100 meters in height. 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. Completed in 1995 the arch spans over 420 meters above the deep waters of the 3 Gorges reservoir. During construction, a steel arch truss frame was built to support the weight of the concrete arch and is embedded within the arch. Expect several new Chinese railway arches to match it for span size in the next few years. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Wanzhou Railway Bridge is one of China's longer arch spans at 360 meters. The giant bridge is also the only railway crossing of the Yangtze between the Chongqing City and Yichang City regions. 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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Located just north of Wanzhou over a tributary of the Yangtze, this unique truss bridge has 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 Bridge is actually one of two similar beam spans located on the G42 just a few hundred meters apart with similar main spans of 150 meters and deck heights of about 100 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Pengxihe River bridge is the second highest of 3 large cable stayed bridges on the G42 expressway that connects Yichang and Chongqing. The most impressive aspect of the Pengxihe Bridge are the two main towers that stand 208 and 202 meters tall. The 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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This gargantuan beam bridge towers approximately 500 feet above a Yangtze tributary on the G42 expressway. I am still unsure of the name but hope to know more soon. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Further up the G42 is the even more massive Tanxihe beam bridge with a central span of 230 meters atop piers 156 meters tall. This stretch of the G42 was completed in 2009 despite the east end of the expressway not scheduled for completion until 2013. Image by Georges.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Another unknown G42 beam span, this one about 75 meters above a small river. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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While it might not have the largest span of the G42 beam bridges at 180 meters, the 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 gives a nice welcome to travelers entering the 3 Gorges region from the west. The city of Fengjie is located entirely on the steep slopes of the Yangtze River gorge. 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 is one of the largest concrete filled tubular spans in China with a span of 288 meters. Constructed in 2000, the eight large steel tubes that run along the underside of the arch were initially hollow. Once the arch was closed, concrete was pumped into these tubes from the bottom up. Once hardened, the concrete solidifies and stiffens the arch, improving the compressive strength of the entire structure. Image by Georges.


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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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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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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 Dragon Gate Bridge opened in 2010 as a replacement for the original Dragon Gate concrete arch that was originally built in 1987. The creation of the 3 Gorges reservoir inundated the old arch bridge making it obsolete. The new concrete filled steel tubular arch has a span of 243 meters or twice the original arch span of 122 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 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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Jiang was quite hungry for lunch at this point. A fateful decision to drive further into the mountains delayed our afternoon meal by several more hours. Such snafus are par for the course when traveling in such mountainous regions. 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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With the G42 under construction, we were forced to travel east along the older 2-lane national roads (starving for lunch). Here we could see an unknown G42 beam bridge that will be open in 2013 when the highway is finally finished after 8 years of 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 is the last crossing of the 3 Gorges reservoir before the dam. With much of its height "hidden" under the deep Yangtze 3 Gorges reservoir, it is hard to see that the towers of the Badong Yangtze River bridge are 200 meters tall from the top of foundation to the wonderful chrome balls at the top of each tower. 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 main road east of Badong city crosses this picture perfect arch bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view of the Yangtze River from the same arch bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The most spectacular of the waterfront bridges near Badong is the Forest Park Bridge which was nearly 90 meters above the reservoir during our visit but was once 125 meters high before the 3 Gorges reservoir was filled. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Georges.


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Image by Georges.


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Several sections of railing were missing from the Forest Park Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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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 was the largest of the bridge spans along the Yangtze River tributaries before we arrived at the 3 Gorges dam. 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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We made a return visit to the Yichang suspension bridge after our previous visit in 2011 when the weather was overcast. The main span of 960 meters ranks among the 25 longest in the world. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A fresh paint job made the bridge look new again. 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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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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Our late afternoon visit to the gargantuan Jingyue Bridge was welcomed with a heavy dose of Yangtze River fog. Completed in 2010, the 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.


Click on Page 3 for Week Three with views of the Lower Yangtze Bridges, Shanghai, Hangzhou Bay and More!

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