2013 Eric Sakowski

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Events of 2013


China 2013 High Bridge Trip


The 3-week 2013 High Bridge trip was another grand adventure through the mountains of Western China to visit the world's 10 highest bridges as well as many other spans and several spectacular national parks. Our guests included 3 retirees made up of British dentist Lee Choong and engineering twins John and Ray Morrison of Australia. Rounding out the group of bridge fans was Canadian 'In the Wake of Tacoma' bridge book author Richard Scott. Our translator was yet another energetic Tongji University bridge engineering student with the famous name of Bruce Lee. On board for the second year in a row was our trusty driver Mr. Chen who navigated us safely along more then 2,000 miles / 3,500 kilometers of often crazy roads.

If there was one word to describe the 2013 trip it would be HOT! Record temperatures were being broken throughout many parts of China during our 3 week trek and it often made it difficult to want to get out of the comfortable confines of our air conditioned mini-van to snap some photos of a bridge.


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Our first meal together at a great dumpling restaurant near Tongji University. On the left is Richard Scott with twin brothers Ray and John Morrison. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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All of my China trips seem to begin at Tongji University in Shangahi which has the best and most extensive bridge engineering courses of any school in China. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by John Morrison.


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Tongji also has China's only Bridge Engineering library with hundreds of unique journals and books that can only be found here. Image by John Morrison.


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The Shanghai Tower was the world's 2nd tallest skyscraper for several years. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Bridge engineer Shijie Du. Image by Richard Scott.


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Shanghai's Urban Planning Center overlooking the People's Park. Image by Richard Scott.


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The incredible model of central Shanghai that also includes several bridge crossings of the Huangpu River. Image by John Morrison.


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The model transitions into a night mode with colorful lighting on many of the iconic buildings. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The giant Lupu Bridge, once the world's longest arch with a span of 550 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The famous new Pudong financial skyscraper district as seen from the Bund. Image by Richard Scott.


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A view of the cavernous new waiting hall of the Hongqiao High Speed Railway station. Image by John Morrison.


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World traveler Lee Choong has been to China many times but this was his first to visit bridges. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Interpreter and Tongji bridge engineering student Li Xiaolong. His name translates as 'Little Dragon'. It is also the real name of famous martial arts legend Bruce Lee so Li picked that as his English name. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Han River arch bridge. Image by John Morrison.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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The soaring cables of the Yingwuzhou double span suspension bridge cross the Yangtze just 2 kilometers upstream from the famous railway bridge. Each span is 850 meters supported by towers as high as 150 meters above the river. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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The Morrisons stroll through the mostly abandoned buildings whose days are numbered. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The main cables of the Yingwuzhou Bridge had been completed just days before our arrival. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The central tower of the Yingwuzhou Bridge is made of steel while the two shoreline towers are made of concrete. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our first official dinner of the trip in Wuhan. Image by Richard Scott.


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A dancer performs along the Han River waterfront. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Opened in 2001, the Yichang Bridge has one of the longest suspension spans in China at 960 meters and still ranks among the 35 longest spans in the world. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by John Morrison.


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Weijiazhou Bridge was our first high span of the trip carrying the G50 expressway 220 meters above a deep gorge. Image by Richard Scott.


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The gargantuan Longtanhe Viaduct with 200 meter spans perched almost 200 meters above the valley floor. This was the world's 2nd largest viaduct for several years behind France's Millau Viaduct. China's own Chishi and Sanshuihe viaducts have recently pushed it further down to 4th place among all the world's viaducts but it is still an impressive site to behold. Image by John Morrison.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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A pile of discarded bicycles and motorbikes near Langpingzhen. Image by Richard Scott.


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Tieluoping Bridge with a height of 209 meters and a main span of 322 meters. Image by Richard Scott.


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A group photo near the Tieluoping Bridge along the older national road 318. Image by John Morrison.


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The Shuanghekou Bridge on the G50. Image by Richard Scott.


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Siduhe Bridge with a deck nearly 500 meters high. Image by Richard Scott.


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The giant yellow towers support a Tacoma-sized span of 900 meters. Image by Richard Scott.


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The Morrisons check out the center of the bridge which has a steel truss locking the deck to the main cables. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The road deck is approximately 24 meters wide with 26 meters between the center of the cables. Image by Richard Scott.


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Just east of Siduhe is the giant Shuinan Viaduct carrying the G50 expressway 110 meters above a wide ravine. Image by John Morrison.


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Image by Bruce Lee.


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Image by John Morrison.


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The Yesanguan city hotel more then 1,000 meters above sea level. Note the odd building on the right where several new floors seem to be getting constructed on top of an older building. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A late dinner next to the main plaza in Yesanguan. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Once the world's highest arch bridge at 292 meters, the central span of 430 meters still ranks among the world's 20 longest arch spans. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The 200 meter span of the Yesanhe River G50 expressway bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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One of several major bridges across the Yesanhe, this pipeline bridge is the latest high wire act with a span of 240 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by John Morrison.


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The Yesanhe Railway Bridge is one of the highest of its type in the world rising 140 meters above the tight river canyon. Image by John Morrison.


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The famous Yesanhe national road 318 bridge was the highest in China back when it opened in 1977 with a deck to river drop of 125 meters. Today it would not even rank among China's 200 highest bridges. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The herculean central pier of the Mashuihe Railway bridge supports two beam spans of 116 meters along the Yichang-Wanzhou line. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The local road crosses the Mashui River on this simple frame bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Longwangmiao Bridge is one of several great beam bridges over 100 meters high on the Wanzhou line. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Also crossing the Mashui River is the beautiful Nanlidu arch which carries the old national road 318 across a concrete filled steel tubular span of 220 meters. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by John Morrison.


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Constructed in 1970, the Enshi city Xiaoduchuan stone arch bridge over the Qingjiang River has a span of 96.8 meters, more then any stone bridge ever built in Europe except for one. China is home to the world's 20 longest stone arch bridges. Image by Richard Scott.


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Qingjiang water level gauge. Image by John Morrison.


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The main plaza near the Qing Jiang River Bridge was crowded with dancers, a tradition that takes place in nearly every city in China. Image by John Morrison.


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The beautiful multi-level bridge across the Qingjiang River. Image by John Morrison.


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The second huge beam bridge along the Enshi-Qianjiang highway with piers over 100 meters tall. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The beautiful 268 meter main span of the Long arch bridge. The main ribs are filled with concrete once the steel arch has been closed at the crown. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The box beam vertical spandrel supports were installed before the end of 2013. Image by John Morrison.


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I enjoyed a quick tour up one of the arch ribs. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The beautiful Zongjianhe Bridge with slender towers 250 meters tall. These rank among the 20 tallest bridge structures on earth exceeding any bridge in North America. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The cable stayed truss deck passes through the north tower approximately 140 meters above the ground. The roadway surface will be 260 meters above the normal level of the Zhongjian River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The base of each tower is supported on massive circular piles. Image by Richard Scott.


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A view of the south tower from a point more then 250 meters above the reservoir. Image by Bruce Lee.


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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 Chief Bridge Engineer.


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Zhongjianhe Bridge truss staging area. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The beautiful Qingjiang G50 expressway bridge from the older national road. Image by John Morrison.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Our second dinner in Enshi was at a buffet-style restaurant. Image by John Morrison.


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Image by John Morrison.


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Our breakfast in Enshi. Image by John Morrison.


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The Xiaohe arch bridge is another big CFST span with concrete inside the main ribs. Image by Richard Scott.


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This viaduct crosses the Qingjiang River on the new line spur from Enshi to Chonqging. The line opened just before the end of 2013. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Wenxi Bridge along the Fengfu expressway that parallels the Yangtze River from the G50 expressway to the city of Fuling. The highway opened at the end of 2013. Image by Bruce Lee.


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The second unknown beam bridge along the Fengfu expressway north of Fengdu city. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The third unknown beam bridge along the Fengfu expressway. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The fourth unknown Fengfu expressway bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The fifth unknown Fengfu expressway beam bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The sixth unknown Fengfu expressway bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Bruce poses in front of the giant Long bridge, the 7th and largest crossing of the beam bridges along the Fengfu highway. The main span is 240 meters and rises 180 meters above the old Long River level. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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We took an hour long detour to see the famous Jiuxigou stone arch bridge which had the longest stone arch span in the world upon its completion in 1972 with a length of 116 meters. Today it ranks 3rd behind two other Chinese stone spans built in 1991 and 2001 over the Wuchaohe and Danhe rivers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A protective layer of concrete was put over the stone in recent years, taking away the classic look of the natural masonry bricks. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The deep river piers of the Fengdu Second Yangtze River Bridge. The main span of 680 meters will rank it among the world's 25 longest cable stayed spans. Image by Richard Scott.


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The original Fengdu suspension bridge with a span of 450 meters. Image by Richard Scott.


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The Fengdu Bridge cable hangers are inclined. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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An older national road arch bridge parallels the new Fengfu highway unknown beam bridge #8. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The ninth unknown Fengfu highway beam bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The tenth Fengfu expressway beam bridge. Image by John Morrison.


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The new Hanjiatuo high speed railway bridge that opened at the end of 2013. The main span is 432 meters. Image by Richard Scott.


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The unusual cable stayed Fuling Yangtze River pipeline bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Fuling City arch bridge across the Wujiang River was completed in 1989. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Fuling City Wujiang River waterfront reconstruction. In the background is the 2009 Fuling Wujiang cable stayed bridge with a span of 340 meters supported by uneven towers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Wujiang River near its confluence with the Yangtze River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Fuling City waterfront park and music theater. Image by Richard Scott.


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Group photo at Fuling City park where the Wu River meets the Yangtze River. Image by John Morrison.


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The first crossing of the Yangtze at Fuling was in 1997 in the form of this 330 meter span cable stayed bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Xinqiao Viaduct on the new high speed line from Chonqging city to Shanghai. The massive piers rise 114 meters and support a double line deck over 2 kilometers in length making it the world's second largest railway viaduct after the nearby Caijiagou Viaduct. Image by John Morrison.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The distinctive 人-shaped piers that support thousands of tons of steel and concrete more then 100 meters above the valley floor. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The even larger Caijiagou Railway viaduct with its record breaking piers 139 meters tall. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The central span of 144 meters perched atop the 2 super-sized piers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Three generations of Caijiagou bridges!


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The new Qiancaobei suspension bridge with a main span of 788 meters. Image by Ray Morrison.


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The huge Qingcaobei Bridge saddle. 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 first of 3 high beam bridges known as Chayuanxi Bridge along a new highway between Fuling and Chongqing on the south side of the Yangtze River. The beam span of 130 meters is approximately 83 meters high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Also 83 meters high with a 130 meter main span is the Liangshuijing Bridge, the second beam bridge between Fuling and Chongqing. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Lixiangxi is the 3rd big beam bridge between Fuling and Chongqing. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Lixiangxi has the largest span of all at 180 meters resting approximately 105 meters above the Youjiang River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Fuling city steak restaurant. Image by Richard Scott.


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Cable stayed crossing of the Wujiang River with a main span of 320 meters and towers over 200 and 205 meters tall. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our bridge day in Chongqing City was made with bridge fan and Chongqing resident Wang who met us at the west end of the Chaotianmen arch bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Chongqing city skyline as seen from the Chaotianmen arch bridge. Image by Richard Scott.


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The massive arch of Chaotianmen is the largest in the world at 552 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Bridge fan Wang and Eric. Image by John Morrison.


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A view of the Chongqing skyline in our hotel. Chaotianmen Bridge can just barely be seen on the right and Caiyuanba arch bridge can just barely be seen on the left. Image by Lee Choong.


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The new Jialing River single tower cable stayed Qianximen Bridge was almost complete and supports a new metro line. To the right is the new Chongqing opera house overlooking the confluence of the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The double tower Dongshuimen metro line bridge leaps across the Yangtze with a central main span of 445 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Dongshuimen has just 9 cable stays on either tower. Image by John Morrison.


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A view of the side by side Shibanpo Bridges. The newer bridge has the world's largest beam span of 330 meters with the middle third comprised of steel that was raised into place from a boat on the Yangtze River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The through-arch Caiyuanba bridge with a main span of 420 meters. The basket handle arch carries a double track monorail metro line on the bottom and 6 lanes of highway on the top. Image by John Morrison.


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The E'gongyan Bridge was the first long span crossing in Chongqing City, opening in 2000 with a main span of 600 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Wu Jiang River near Wulong City with cliffs that rise hundreds of meters high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Wujiang Wulong River Bridge with a central span of 200 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The new Wujiang beam bridge in the center of Wulong City.Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A triple span Wujiang River arch bridge in the center of Wulong 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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Image by Richard Scott.


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The arch bridge we all photographed. Image by John Morrison.


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The 2-lane Gouearxia Bridge. The 190 meter span beam crossing bypasses an older road that twisted down into the bottom of the canyon. Image by Richard Scott.


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The central span of the Gouearxia Bridge is 145 meters high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The spectacular Furongjiang beam bridge with a central span of 240 meters. Image by Richard Scott.


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The Furongjiang gorge looking north from the deck of the beam bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Furongjiang beam bridge is 240 meters above the river. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Just a few kilometers east of the Furong River is the Luoyan arch bridge which spans across a cut 120 meters deep. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view looking north up the Luoyan River gorge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A brick factory was located on the edge of the river canyon. Image by Richard Scott.


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A new concrete arch span just west of Pengshui City. Image by John Morrison.


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A view of Pengshui City from the old national road. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This family in Pengshui City enjoyed serving us lunch. Image by Richard Scott.


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The outside of the Pengshui restaurant near the Wu River waterfront. Image by Richard Scott.


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These orange snacks that became an obsession for Richard. Image by Richard Scott.


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The second G65 crossing of the Wu Jiang is across this 200 meter beam span. The railway line crosses on the lower beam. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The third G65 crossing of the Wu. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yu River gorge. The Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A footbridge across the Yujiang River near the G65 expressway. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The G65 crossing of the Yujiang River is about 100 meters high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yushan Mountain Bridge east of Qianjiang City carries the older national road more then 170 meters above a deep river gorge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Still one of the world's highest cable stayed bridges at 263 meters, the Wulingshan Bridge opened in 2009 with a span of 360 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Wayyaobao Bridge carries the G65 about 80 meters above a deep mountain ravine. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Qianjiang arch bridge carries national route 319 to a new airport that serves the city of Qianjiang. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Several new apartment complexes have sprung up around the new bridge crossing. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The new Qianjiang River Pipeline Bridge rises more then 147 meters above the canyon floor. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Qianjiang River from the pipeline arch bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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I have come across something new and spectacular every trip I have taken to China but the most incredible find yet may well be the epic cliff sculpture of the goddess Avalokiteśvara (观音) just south of Qianjiang City. The bas-relief sculpture is reportedly 123 meters high with a width of 69 meters but the full height above the river is around 275 meters based on the height of the nearby pipeline bridge. This is approximately the same height as the entire Stone Mountain in Georgia which is 263 meters from the summit to the surrounding terrain. The sculpture on Stone Mountain is just 48 x 23 meters with the outer cutout measuring 109 x 58 meters. This would make the Qianjiang Avalokiteśvara sculpture the largest of its type in the world. What is not clear is how much of the surface is made of concrete rather then just pure stone carving. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The face of the goddess Avalokiteśvara. The buddhist figure or deity is an important religious figure in many other countries including Burma, Tibet, Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, Japan, India and Nepal. Image by Richard Scott.


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If you look carefully you can see the fingers of the goddess. Image by Richard Scott.


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The scaffolding rises nearly a thousand feet from the river floor. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Yanxigou Bridge is one of the highest beam bridges on the G65 at 151 meters. The river continues to travel into an underground cave located directly beneath the point this photo was taken. Image by John Morrison.


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The orange truss pipes of the Xisha Bridge make it pop out among the green foliage along the G65. The gorge drops 217 meters below the deck level. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The main ribs of the Xisha Bridge are filled with concrete. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This giant G65 expressway Hejiaba viaduct leaps almost 90 meters above the small buildings of Youyang City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Aizhai Bridge with a main span of 1,076 meters was once the longest of the world's 100 highest bridges. Image by Richard Scott.


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Richard Scott and Mr. Chen take in the scenery 330 meters above the river canyon. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Public walkways inside the truss allow visitors to experience the height of the bridge in a way few other spans allow. Image by John Morrison.


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Image by John Morrison.


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A view from the old national road that winds down to the town of Aizhai. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The tightrope from a 2012 event with Adili Wuxor was left up. Image by Richard Scott.


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The 3 sisters watch over the town of Aizhai and the DeHang River canyon. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The small town of Aizhai. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Aizhai hotel lunch. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Bruce Lee.


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The G65 crosses the Tonghe River on this large viaduct before the exit into Jishou City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A giant new visitors center was built in 2012 to increase tourism in the area. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The highest bridge on the route is over the Mengdong River. The concrete filled steel tubular arch has a span of 255 meters and a height of 232 meters over the old river level. Image by Richard Scott.


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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 massive beam viaduct was over 150 meters above a small river. The piers have 3 progressively larger stages as they descend to the valley floor. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Qingping Viaduct is also 150 meters high and has piers with 3 stages of thickness. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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An overview of the Qingping Viaduct. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The one-of-a-kind Lishuihe Bridge tower design. The truss suspension bridge crosses 330 meters above the Lishui River with a central span of 856 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by John Morrison.


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The spectacular peaks and spires of the mountain range south of Zhangjiajie. The great hole of Tianmen Mountain can be seen towards the left. Image by Bruce Lee.


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Dancers in downtown Wulingyuan city - the gateway to Zhangjiajie national park. Image by John Morrison.


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Bruce takes a walk through the cold river water that flows out of the mountains of Zhangjiajie national park. Image by Richard Scott.


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Wulingyuan is loaded with upscale tourist shops, hotels and restaurants. Image by Lee Choong.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The first kilometer of the ropeway traverses across the apartment rooftops of Zhangjiajie City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A green lake more then 1,000 meters below the summit of Tianmen Mountain. Image by Bruce Lee.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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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 John Morrison.


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The glasswalk near the summit of Tianmen Mountain is spectacular with a vertical drop of over 250 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The square sections of glass must be walked on with booties to avoid scratches. Image by Bruce Lee.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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You can put your hopes and wishes onto a red ribbon and tie it around a tree. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Mr. Chen with one of the crickets that make a loud but unique buzzing sound. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This stretch of the cliffwalk does not have glass but it is the highest such walkway in the world with a straight vertical drop of over 300 meters. This is considerably more then the Grand Canyon Skywalk in the U.S. state of Arizona with a drop of 219 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by John Morrison.


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Another cantilevered platform around 50 meters high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Mr. Chen and John on the chairlift ride to the summit. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The summit building. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view looking west from the summit of Tianmen Mountain. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The large complex of museum buildings. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The suspension footbridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A few of the 99 turns along the bus road to the Tianmen Mountain cave. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The gondola leaps between several peaks that are separated by drops of over 100 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The many peaks of Tianmen Mountain. The summit in the middle is where the BASE jumpers launch themselves off a platform every October during the Red Bull World Wingsuit League event. Image by Richard Scott.


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A view of the Tianmen Mountain hole which has a clear opening height of 125 meters. The steps to get up to the hole are also 125 meters in height. Image by Richard Scott.


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A new plaza was completed in 2013 to handle the bigger crowds and includes the addition of a hotel. Image by Richard Scott.


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Part of the hotel and the main lobby have glass panels over them. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The lower half of the exhausting stair climb. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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A view of the imposing hole with thousands of tons of rock more then 100 meters above your head! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, a private park 20 kilometers east of the national park. The owner and chief architect of the park and its attractions is also a skilled engineer whose ambitious plans include nothing less then the construction of the highest and longest suspension footbridge ever constructed with a deck more then 250 meters above the canyon. The cable shown above was placed along the exact alignment of the planned 430 meter suspension bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The bridge engineer ZhiDong Chen and his wife SiQing Luo show us the new design proposals that were modified from the original cable stayed design by Israeli engineer Haim Dotan. Image by Richard Scott.


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A view of the gorge where a wood walkway allows visitors to hike along the river where there are waterfalls, caves, a small glass bridge and a boat ride. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The designer and some of his staff along with a news reporter from Cili County. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A series of switchback stairs descend down into the grandest part of the canyon. Image by Richard Scott.


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To make the descent even more fun, the owners built a smooth stone marble slide down the canyon. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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White gloves allow riders to brake themselves along the the edges of the trough. 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 view of the bridge crossing site from the river. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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The trail continues on through a large cave. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by John Morrison.


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A classic footbridge crosses over a cave creek along the trail. Image by John Morrison.


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At the end of the trail a boat takes visitors across a huge man-made lake that was created by the park's chief engineer ZhiDong Chen. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Mr. ZhiDong Chen has turned the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon into a major scenic destination where unique surprises await visitors around ever corner. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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The epic Tianmen Mountain show of the Weedman and the Fairy Fox. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by John Morrison.


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Image by John Morrison.


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At the end of the show, entire sections of Tianmen Mountain are lit up including the giant hole just barely visible at the top center of the image. The two sides of the rock bridge in the center connect at the end of the show allowing the Weedman and the Fairy Fox to finally meet. Image by Bruce Lee.


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A giant pagoda marks the official east entrance to Zhangjiajie national park. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The upper half of the Bailing elevator. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Bruce Lee.


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Several of the photo spots have Avatar-like creatures. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Zhangjiajie Park footbridge with a height of 140 meters above a deep crevasse. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Bruce Lee.


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A view looking south from the footbridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The top of the famous kissing bridge peaks can be seen. Similar to the Tianmen Mountain hole, a natural bridge connects two spires more then 100 meters tall. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Many of the trees near the kissing bridge have locks on them to signify a bond between couples. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Several of the railings have thousands of locks on them. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view of the Bailong elevator taken by photographing the reflection of the elevator ceiling and flipping it right side up. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Many of the rock formations have special names. Image by Bruce Lee.


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Our last meal in Wulingyuan with Yang Chen. Image by Richard Scott.


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Our drive along the national road to Jishou passed under the Qingping Bridge we had driven over 3 days earlier. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our worst breakfast of the trip was at this roadside stand where the beef noodle bowl had a lot of noodles and little beef. Image by Richard Scott.


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Balinghe Bridge,once the longest and highest in Guizhou Province. A group of CCTV producers met us at the bridge to talk about the possibility of doing a world record bungee jump from the bridge for an episode of the China Guinness TV show. Although the bungee attempt never materialized we had a pleasant afternoon with Guizhou highway leader Zhou Ping and producers Wang Wei, Pia and Gao MingZe. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Bruce speaks with Zhou Ping and Pia. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Pia and Zhou Ping enjoy the view from the 370 meter high Balinghe Bridge. Zhou Ping is one of the central highway construction leaders who oversees several billion dollars of new expressways in Liupanshui County, Guizhou. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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We were all amazed by the cavernous Balinghe truss which is 10 meters deep. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The new Balinghe visitors center will allow tourists to take an elevator up the east tower for a walk inside the giant truss. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The west end of the Balinghe Bridge truss. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Lunch near the famous Huangguoshu waterfalls. Image by Richard Scott.


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I saved the Maotai wine bottle from lunch. Maotai is the most famous liquor in China and is the only alcoholic beverage presented as an official gift by Chinese embassies in foreign countries and regions. The expensive drink is produced in Renhuai, a city in Guizhou we visited several days later in the trip. Image by Richard Scott.


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A statue on the pathway leading to the Huangguoshu waterfalls. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Reported to be the largest waterfall in China, the Huangguoshu falls measure 78 meters tall by 101 meters wide. Image by Richard Scott.


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There are many walkways and stairs and even a footbridge within the Huangguoshou gorge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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There is a beautiful cave hidden behind the falls. Image by Bruce Lee.


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This suspension footbridge allows guests to cross back over the river. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Highway leader Zhou Ping brought us all to a special restaurant where the food is cooked at the table on hot plates. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by John Morrison.


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The gargantuan Dimuhe footbridge that was constructed to allow workers to access the north slope where construction was underway on the new G56 Dimuhe suspension bridge. The chicken-wire span is 270 meters above the reservoir surface and has a main span of 510 meters - even longer then the Brooklyn Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Dimuhe footbridge actually crosses a shallow reservoir created from a dam 2.5 kilometers downstream of the crossing. Image by Bruce Lee.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Richard Scott.


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A view of the footbridge from the north slope. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Dimuhe Bridge worker.


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Image by John Morrison.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Dimuhe north slope footbridge anchorage. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Dimuhe Bridge headquarters welcomed us for lunch and a video presentation. Image by Richard Scott.


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The north tower is nearly twice as tall as the south tower. Image by CCCC.


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The tower site construction of the new Beipanjiang Duge cable stayed bridge that will carry the G56 expressway more then 500 meters above the Beipan River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The massive east tower rises to 269 meters making Beipanjiang Duge Bridge one of the world's 20 tallest bridges as well as the world's highest bridge of any kind ever built. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view of the east tower construction area across the canyon in Yunnan Province. The main span of 720 meters will rank it among the world's 20 longest cable stayed structures. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The depth of the Beipan River gorge is hard to see from the upper slopes. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Beipanjiang 2003 suspension bridge was once the highest in the world with a thin 1.5 meter deck crossing 366 meters above the original level of the Beipan River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view of the Beipan river gorge. Water from the Beipan flows south, eventually emptying into the South China Sea near Macau and Hong Kong. Image by Richard Scott.


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The concrete underside of the Beipanjiang 2003 Bridge. Image by Richard Scott.


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The Beipanjiang G60 expressway bridge. Image by Richard Scott.


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The 4-lane bridge has a span of 636 meters and carries the G60 expressway 318 meters above a dry region of the Beipanjiang River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Beipanjiang High Speed Railway Bridge. The concrete arch is the largest of its type in the world with a clear span of 445 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A new pipeline bridge across the Bei Pan River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A highline more then 300 meters above the canyon is used to lower the arch sections into place. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Steel tube truss staging area. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Several of the steel arch truss pieces were placed in the river, awaiting their turn to be lifted into place. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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After a rainy drive north of Zhijin City we stopped at this restaurant along national road 209. Lee told us it was a historic stop as the Red Army had also eaten there. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Opening in 2013, the giant Sunziyan Bridge carries the Zhijin-Qianxi expressway north across a gorge more then 150 meters deep. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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One of the world's 10 highest cable stayed bridges, the Liuchonghe Bridge has a central cable stayed span of 438 meters supported on towers 190 and 157.6 meters tall. Image by Bruce Lee.


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A view looking more then 330 meters down to the Liuchong River. 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 Bruce Lee.


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One of two high suspension bridges along the old Guibi highway between Guiyang and Bijie, the Xixi suspension bridge opened in 2001 with a thin 1.5 meter concrete deck. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Xixi Bridge has a main span of 338 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The east tower of Xixi Bridge is much taller then the west tower. Image by John Morrison.


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The Guibi highway is often backed up with traffic from slower moving trucks that cannot easily be passed. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Xixi Bridge crosses over a reservoir from a downstream dam. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Guibi highway is one of the most dangerous in China. Next to the Luojiaohe Bridge there are many car wrecks from head on collisions. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Luojiaohe Bridge is similar to Xixi but with a slightly smaller span length of 268 meters. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Luojiaohe canyon looking north from 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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Bijie City bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Downtown Bijie City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The owner of a Bijie car wash lives inside of this makeshift storage container and bus roof. 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 massive Jinsha Viaduct is the largest bridge on the G56 Between Bijie and Zunyi. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Pingzishang beam bridge is located just a few kilometers south of Renhuai on an expressway that opened in 2009. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Known mainly as the home of the Maotai liquor factory, Renhuai is one of the largest cities in Guizhou. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A giant observation tower is shaped like a Maotai drink container and overlooks the Yanjinhe River gorge. Image by Richard Scott.


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The Yanjinhe River gorge with the now closed truss arch bridge in the upper left. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A couple poses for Richard in front of the original gateway entrance to the arch bridge. Image by Richard Scott.


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The Yanjinhe 2007 beam bridge has a central main span of 198 meters. Image by Richard Scott.


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Just upstream of the 2007 beam bridge is the 2009 Maotai Bridge on the Renhuai expressway with a main span of 220 meters. Image by John Morrison.


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Rain passes through a giant cup on the Renhuai expressway. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A giant sculpture in the downtown area of Zunyi city, another large Guizhou metropolis. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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This square in downtown Zunyi sits across from a large Wal Mart. Image by Richard Scott.


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The entrance to the famous Zunyi meeting house. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The building behind us was the location of a famous communist party conference that took place in 1935 during the Long March. Image by Mr. Chen


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One of the rooms in the house made to look as it might have in 1935. Image by Richard Scott.


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A bedroom used by some of the generals. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Bruce Lee.


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The gigantic Wujiang Viaduct crosses 173 meters above the city of Wujiang. Image by John Morrison.


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The 1997-built Wujiang suspension/cable stayed bridge was the first span of its type to be built in more then 50 years. In 2016 the new Yavuz Sultan Selim or 3rd Bosphorus Bridge will open in Turkey with a similar combination of cable stays and suspension cables. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The main span is 288 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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This large conveyor paralleled the G75 expressway for several kilometers near Xifeng. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Although it is no longer the world's highest bridge, the Liuguanghe is still the world's highest beam bridge with a drop of 297 meters to the Wu River surface. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A view looking downstream towards the Liuguanghe arch bridge just barely visible at the top of the photo. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our lunch in Liuguanghe with our standard request for salted peanuts. Image by John Morrison.


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The graceful Liuguanhe truss arch that spans more then 90 meters above the Wujiang River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The city of Guiyang had so many apartment buildings under construction the landscape looked like something out of an artificial videogame or movie. Image by Richard Scott.


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Image by Richard Scott.


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The new Pianpo beam bridge on another ring road on the north side of Guiyang City. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A few kilometers further south is the 116 meter high Xiaoguanshuiku Viaduct. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Xiaoguanshuiku Bridge looking north. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Another high bridge was under construction for a new Guiyang metro line. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Guiyang Dico's restaurant for our final ice cream snack of the trip. Image by Richard Scott.


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Our journey west on the G60 to Kunming carried us over several high beam bridges like this one several kilometers east of the Beipanjiang River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The tall piers of the Baishuichong Bridge carry the G60 expressway 125 meters above a wide ravine. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The Hutiaohe Viaduct is one of the largest beam bridges in the world with 4 back to back spans of 235 meters. Image by John Morrison.


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A much lower bridge carries the new Guiyang-Kunming high speed railway line across the Hutiaohe canyon. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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The highest beam bridge on the G60 is the Zhuchanghe bridge with a deck height of 224 meters. The piers of the new Guiyang-Kunming high speed railway bridge can be seen lower down in the gorge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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One of the dozens of new viaducts and tunnels on the new Guiyang-Kunming high speed railway. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Kunming City, the capital of Yunnan Province with a population of over 6 million people. Image by Richard Scott.


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Kunming's beautiful and lively Cuihu Lake Park. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Our last meal at a Kunming Japanese food restaurant. Our trip had finally ended but the memories will last us a lifetime! Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

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