Azhihe River Bridge

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Azhihe River Bridge
阿志河大桥
Changliuxiang, Guizhou, China
810 feet high / 247 meters high
928 foot span / 283 meter span
2003


The Azhihe River bridge was one of 4 medium sized suspension bridges that were designed and built in the same time period by the Major Bridge Reconnaissance Design Institute in Wuhan, Hubei, China. The bridges all share common traits including an extremely thin 2 foot (.6 mtr) thick prestressed concrete slab deck and cable suspenders just 16 feet (5 mtrs) apart. Since all 4 bridges were of similar length and in similar gorge settings, it was economical and efficient to design them at the same time. The other 3 include the Beipanjiang 2003, Xixi and Luojiaohe bridges. All four are among the world’s 60 highest bridges.

Azhihe is most similar to Xixi with an elevated side span on the north side of the bridge that leaves the cable anchorages about 100 feet (30 mtrs) below the level of the road deck. The south side span of the bridge is less interesting but earns points for being at the entrance to a tunnel. Of course the real magic of Azhihe is the location of the bridge. Soaring 810 feet (247 mtrs) above the Azhi River, the bridge is 85 percent as high as Colorado’s Royal Gorge bridge and nearly as spectacular. The south side of the canyon is especially precipitous, dropping nearly straight down into a gorge with an unusually narrow “throat”. The bridge is just one of several spectacular bridges on the new two lane road that now connects Liupanshui with the Guiyang to Kunming highway. The region has one of the highest concentration of high bridges in the world with the Liuguanghe, Jiangjiehe, Balinghe and the 3 crossings of the Beipanjiang all within a radius of 100 miles (161 kms). Azhihe Bridge is located about 6 miles (10 kms) north of Changliuxiang in Guizhou province.



Azhihe River Bridge Elevation


阿志河公路桥是同一时期设计、建成的四座中等跨径的悬索桥之一,由位于中国湖北武汉的中铁大桥局勘测设计院设计完成。这四座桥有一些共同特点,例如,桥面相当薄,仅为合0.6米厚的预应力混凝土桥面板,主缆吊杆的间距仅有5米。因为这四座桥桥长相近、而且桥址的峡谷环境也相似,所以一次性设计四座桥是比较经济和高效的,另三座桥分别为2003年建成的北盘江大桥(关兴公路上)、西溪大桥和落脚河大桥。这四座大桥都在世界前50最高的大桥范围之内。

阿志河大桥从外观上最像西溪大桥,都在大桥北侧设置边跨,这样就把主缆索的锚固位置建在了桥面板以下30米的位置。大桥的南侧边跨则没有这样有趣的设计,但仍然赚足了点数,因为南侧边跨紧接一个隧道的入口。飞跨在阿志河上方247米的该桥,大概相当于科罗拉多州皇家大峡谷桥的高度的85%,并且同样雄伟。峡谷南半边十分陡峭,几乎笔直向下直至极其狭窄的咽喉般的谷底处。阿志河大桥只是众多雄伟大桥中的一座,位于将六盘水与贵阳、昆明连接的双向车道的新建公路之上。这一区域是世界上最密集分布着高大桥梁的高原山区,如六广河大桥、江界河大桥、坝陵河大桥、以及在位于100英里(161公里)范围内分布的三座跨越北盘江的大桥。


A view of the bridge in 2006. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A second visit in 2011 shows considerably more rust on the cable covers. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Orange and chrome suspenders line up in 2006. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Northeast side cable anchorage in 2011. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The thin concrete deck was in good shape in 2006. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


By 2011 some concrete had dropped away revealing some rusted rebar. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by www.qjt.gov.cn


The Northwest anchorage in 2006. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com



Azhihe River and Royal Gorge Bridge size comparison

Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A visit in 2011 reveals a new gravel storage area under the North tower. Sandbags surround each pier to protect it from the rock piles. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Bridge engineer Shijie Du looks out over the Azhi River in 2006. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A close up of a suspender and cable in 2011. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Azhihe River flows south for 5 more miles before it empties into the mighty Beipanjiang River. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A view looking 810 feet (247 meters) straight down! Note the trail barely visible on the right side embankment. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Georges of France frames up a view of the bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A narrow and steep trail goes along the Southwest side of the Azhi River canyon where I ventured further in 2011 then I did in 2006. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A 2011 view from the North slope looking West. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A view looking north towards the small village of Yixicun. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


In 2011 our group trekked down beneath the bridge as the locals were doing. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Azhihe Bridge satellite image.



There are several tall viaducts along the Shuihuang highway between Baishui and Liupanshui. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

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