Beipanjiang Bridge Duge

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To celebrate the completion of the World’s Highest Bridge in 2016, famous Chinese bungee jumper Duanshujun of Kunming and creator Eric Sakowski will attempt the highest bungee jump ever taken from a bridge. 
Working with the Liupanshui City and the Shuicheng County Sports and Tourism officials as well as the Guizhou Highway Department, this World Record will be the first fixed object bungy fall to topple not only the 400 meter barrier but the first to shatter the 500 meter height threshold.
Duanshujun was recently featured in an hour long CCTV4 special that was broadcast all over China in late 2014 and covered his career of both bungee and bridge swinging including his latest conquest, a 100 meter swing from the Nanpanjiang Bridge Yiliang with his assistant.
His most notable bungee jump took place in 2012 when he made an unofficial world record fixed object bungy jump of at least 300 meters from the Balinghe Bridge in Guizhou Province.  His small crew rigged the bungee cord in the early hours of the morning under the cover of night.  Although the jump was never officially measured, Duanshun was likely the first person to ever drop more then 300 meters from a fixed object using an 85 meter long bungee cord. 
In 2016 we are hoping to almost double the Balinghe Bridge Bungy with a drop from the Beipanjiang Bridge that may reach 550 meters.  Follow us here with the latest news and updates as we get closer to our attempt to take the biggest plunge in bungee history!
段树军最近2014年下半年在中国cctv 4 上对全国播出了一个特别节目:介绍了他的桥梁蹦极和荡绳生涯以及最近的冒险:从彝良南盘江大桥上高达100米的荡绳。
Duanshujun eyes his greatest challenge, the 564 meter drop from the deck of the Beipanjiang Bridge!  段树军注视着他未来的挑战:从564米高北盘江大桥上跳下!  Image by Eric Sakowski /
We were grateful to get a special hardhat tour of the Beipanjiang Bridge site by Mr. Wang who is the head supervisor overseeing the entire construction of the bridge.  王先生给了我们一个安全帽。他是负责整个大桥工程的主管监理。  Image from Eric Sakowski /
Image by Eric Sakowski /
A promotional image we are working on for the jump.  一张虚拟想象照片模拟我们以后要进行的冒险  Image by Martin Archer and Eric Sakowski /
The bottom of the real canyon where we will attempt several drops of over 500 meters!  真实的峡谷底部,在这里我们要从500多米高空往下跳!  Image by Eric Sakowski /
Another promotional idea.  Despite my planning to lose more then 40 pounds for the jump, we are going to make 2 separate cords, one for lighter and one for heavier jumpers.  We also hope to do the World's Highest Swing Jump.  另一张想象图。尽管我计划为这次跳跃减轻40磅体重,我们仍是二个不同的蹦极者,一个轻一个重。我们也想进行世界最高的荡绳。  Drawing by Martin Archer.
We really appreciated everyone from the Liupanshui City Tourism and Sports Authority who showed up to meet with us and discuss our plans to hold this World Record Bungee Event.  和六盘水旅游部门会面,讨论我们关于打破世界纪录高度蹦极的计划  Image by Duanshujun's assistant.
Image by Duanshujun's assistant.
Our group enjoyed a wonderful dinner that was hosted by the gracious Mrs. Tang who was previously the leader of the Liupanshui City Tourism Department.  我们团队参加了一次愉快的晚宴,由好客的唐先生主持,他是六盘水旅游部门的前领导  Image from Eric Sakowski /
Our group ate in a special restaurant where regional hot pot dishes unique to Liupanshui are served to guests with aprons that protect you from popping hot grease.  我们团队品尝了六盘水风味特色的餐饮,包括火锅及炸制食品  Image from Eric Sakowski /
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Duanshujun's 2012 Balinghe Bridge Bungee Jump<br />
Duanshujun and his crew quickly rigged up the Balinghe Bridge jump in the early hours of the morning.  段树军和他同事在坝陵河大桥蹦极跳时,清晨时间在桥边捆绑绳索  Image from Duanshujun.
A last minute check of the cord just after dawn.  日出后最后一次检查环扣  Image from Duanshujun.
Duanshujun takes the leap!  段树军起跳!  Image from Duanshujun.
Duanshujun was lowered down to the bottom by rope.  段树军由蹦极绳索下降到谷底  Image from Duanshujun.
A 300 meter jump and an unofficial new World Record for Highest Fixed Object Bungee Jump.  In 2016 we hope to make it an official Guinness World Record.  一次300米的蹦极跳,非正式的固定绳索蹦极高度新世界纪录。2016年我们希望创造新的得到认可的吉尼斯世界纪录  Image from Duanshujun.
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Duanshujun's 2012 Maguohe Bridge Swing<br />
Duanshujun received sponsorship from a local Ford dealership in 2012 to do a swing from the deck of the 180 meter high Maguohe Bridge north of Kunming City.  段树军2012年在昆明以北的马过河大桥进行的荡绳得到赞助
Maguohe Bridge.
Image from Duanshujun.
Image from Duanshujun.
In 2014 Duanshujun recalls his 2012 swing jump during a visit to the bridge with interpreter Jorson and myself.  Image by Duanshujun's assistant.  2014年段树军在经过马过河时和我及翻译杰森讲述2012年的荡绳经过
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Duanshujun's 2014 Nanpanjiang Bridge Swing<br />
In 2014 Duanshujun began plans to break his previous swing jump record by falling more then 100 meters on a cord from the deck of the Nanpanjiang Bridge Yiliang.  In August of 2014 I joined Duanshujun on a preliminary inspection of the Nanpanjiang bridge.  After several more months of planning Duanshujun finally made the biggest swing jump in Chinese history in October, 2014 with his assistant.  The jump became the subject of an hour long CCTV4 special that was broadcast on November 27,2014.  We hope to do a swing twice as large from the Beipanjiang Bridge Duge.  Image by Duanshujun's assistant.
Image from Duanshujun.
Image from Duanshujun.
Image from Duanshujun.
Nanpanjiang Bridge quadcopter aerial image from Duanshujun.

Revision as of 22:36, 14 June 2016

Beipanjiang Bridge Duge
Dugexiang, Guizhou, China
1,854 feet high / 565 meters high
2,362 foot span / 720 meter span
World's Highest Bridge


Toppling all previous spans for height, the new Beipanjiang Bridge Duge will open in 2016 as the first crossing to ever surpass the 500 meter height barrier as well as becoming the first cable stayed bridge to ever hold the title of The World’s Highest Bridge.

No other region on earth has as many high bridges as China’s remote Western Province of Guizhou and there is no waterway within its borders with a greater collection of super-high bridge spans than the mighty Beipan River. Translated as the North Winding River, the BeipanJiang flows on a North-South rift that divides the Western and Eastern halves of Guizhou. The vertical limestone cliffs drop so deep that much of the river is in shadow during the day. Spaced every 50 kilometers along its length are a collection of epic road and railway bridges that have pushed the boundaries of China’s bridge engineering community.

Due to be completed in 2016, the G56 expressway is the last of Guizhou’s great East-West routes that will allow easy access into nearby Yunnan Province across terrain that was previously inaccessible to normal cars and trucks. The entire 4-lane divided highway stretches an incredible 2,935 kilometers from the city of Hanghzou near Shanghai to the border of Burma near Tibet. The extreme geography along the G56 has produced not only the world’s highest bridge over the Beipanjiang River near Duge, Guizhou but also the World’s Highest Suspension Bridge several kilometers further west near Puli, Yunnan.

All of this high bridge insanity began in 2001 when the mighty beast of the Beipan River summoned the construction of the World’s Highest Railway Bridge some 275 meters above a boulder-strewn crevasse on the Shuibai Railway. Two years later that triumph was followed by the river’s first road bridge record when the Beipanjiang Bridge Huajiang opened in 2003 surpassing the 300 meter height threshold as well as becoming the first suspension bridge in the world to surpass the height of Colorado’s Royal Gorge bridge after a 74-year reign.

This was followed by a succession of bridges both high and super-high including the Beipanjiang Bridge Hukun on the G60 expressway, the Beipanjiang Bridge on the Shuipan expressway with the world’s longest span high-level beam bridge, the Beipanjiang Bridge Wang’an expressway and the Beipanjiang Bridge Zhenfeng.

But in 2016 the Beipan will deliver its two biggest high bridge gifts ever in the form of the Beipanjiang Railway Bridge Qinglong - the world’s highest “High-Speed” railway bridge at 295 meters and the colossal Beipanjiang Bridge Duge at 564 meters in height. Other engineering honors Duge can claim include having the second longest steel trussed cable stayed span and the tenth tallest bridge tower in the world at 269 meters.

Until the year 2000, the experience of traveling around Guizhou was a grueling and arduous one that often took days along a dangerous network of older, 2-lane national roads. Despite a land mass slightly smaller then Great Britain or the U.S. state of Washington this outdated infrastructure limited the kind of growth that had been underway in the Eastern Provinces where accessibility had been improving steadily and rapidly since the early 1990s.

The first hint of Guizhou’s high bridge aspirations came in 2001 when the Liuguanghe beam bridge opened as the World’s Highest Bridge on a 2-lane expressway between the capital city of Guiyang and the smaller county of Bijie in the Northwest corner of the Province. In the 15 years that followed, expressway construction went into full gear with four and now six-lane expressways connecting cities both large and small regardless of how difficult the mountain terrain may be. An old saying states that in Guizhou there are no three days without rain, no three acres without a mountain and no three coins in any pocket. They may have to amend that and add that there are no three kilometers of expressway without a high bridge!

Today the Province of Guizhou is home to more high bridges then every other country on earth combined. By 2020 Guizhou will have more then 250 bridges over 100 meters high as measured from the road or rail deck to the water. Compare that with Italy which has the world’s second greatest number of high bridges with only 40 spans exceeding 100 meters in height. Of the world’s 20 super-high spans that exceed 300 meters from deck to water, all are in China except for 3.










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Beipanjiang Bridge Duge Elevation


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Image by Jon Fether, Jesus Catalan and Eric Sakowski /


Image by Jon Fether, Jesus Catalan and Eric Sakowski /


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Image by Eric Sakowski /

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The Guizhou side tower is an impressive 269 meters tall. Image by Eric Sakowski /

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Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /

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The tower tops are more then 735 meters above the Beipan River surface. Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image from Tadashi Ashimi.


Image by Richard Scott.


Image by Han Ruoyu.


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Richard Scott.


Image by Eric Sakowski /

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The mountain in the foreground obscures the deep gorge of the Beipanjiang Duge Bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski /

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Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Beipanjiang Bridge Duge and North American High and Tall Bridge Comparison


Image by Jon Fether, Jesus Catalan and Eric Sakowski /


Drawing by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Jon Fether, Jesus Catalan and Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Drawing by Eric Sakowski /


The original paint scheme was blue for the truss deck sections before they decided to switch to orange. Image by Jon Fether, Jesus Catalan and Eric Sakowski /


Beipanjiang Bridge Duge and Baluarte Bridge Comparison

The Beipanjiang Bridge at Duge will be nearly 175 meters higher then Mexico's Baluarte Bridge, the previous record holder for world's highest cable stayed bridge.


Beipanjiang Bridge Duge and Siduhe Bridge Comparison

The Beipanjiang Bridge at Duge will be nearly 70 meters higher then China's previous high bridge king, the Siduhe Bridge.

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The drainage basin of the Beipanjiang Bridge Duge.

The explosion of road and bridge construction in China first began in 1989 when China launched the National Trunk Highway System, a network of 5 north-south and 7 east-west expressways with a total length of 22,000 miles (35,000 km). Divided into three stages of development, the second stage, from 1998 to 2005, was completed a decade ahead of schedule, allowing the entire infrastructure to be completed by 2009. The goal was to link more than 90 percent of all cities with a population of over half a million and 100 percent of all cities with a population of more than a million. During this time period of 20 years, the total number of highway bridges in China doubled.

In addition to the National Trunk Highway System there is a secondary National Expressway Network composed of several independent routes collectively known as “7918”. The number 7 is for several radiating routes around the city of Beijing while the other numbers refer to 9 North-South routes and 18 East-West routes. Many of these smaller highways will connect cities with populations of just 200,000 people. With more than 25,000 miles (40,000 km) of this system still un-built, these will be the highways to look forward to for high bridges until their completion in 2020. If the economic growth of China continues beyond 2020 then another 56,000 miles (90,000 km) of expressways may be built, bringing the total expressway mileage to 109,000 miles (175,000 km). All of these expressways have tolls. If you want to learn more about China’s rapidly growing road network, go to the Expressways of China page on Wikipedia at

Since there are many Chinese bridges throughout this web site, a few tips about word translation are in order. Often you will see the addition of the word “Jiang” or “He” at the end of a Chinese bridge name. Jiang means large river and is only used for the biggest and mightiest in China - the equivalent of the Columbia, Ohio or Mississippi rivers in the U.S. or the Rhine river in Europe. The word “He” is used for all other rivers.

Multiple names are often given to the same highway based on the two cities the highway is passing between. So a section of highway between Yichang and Huangshi is called the Yihuang expressway, taking the first half of each city name and combining them. With a single highway having multiple names, there was often confusion - especially to those traveling long distances. So in 2010, the Ministry of Transport renamed 50,000 kilometers of expressways with uniform numbering and naming including origin and destination signs as well as new exit numbers based on kilometers traveled rather than the previous system that was based on a sequential number of exits passed on the route. Improved graphics as well as numerical digits for each expressway were also be implemented. Informal local names of the past were replaced by more formal names that cover larger sections of expressways making travel easier for everyone.









The Beipanjiang Bridge was officially announced in December of 2010 but construction would not begin until the fall of 2012. 兴建都格北盘江大桥的计划发布于2010年10月,2012年秋季开始建设。



The first drawing of the bridge was released in 2010 with an earlier design showing a continuous taper of the lower tower. 第一张关于这座桥的想象图发布于2010年,图中较矮的桥墩是连续锥


In 2011 a final inaugural celebration took place. 2011年开工仪式


The 2011 Beipanjiang Duge Bridge render with the redesigned lower tower. 都格北盘江大桥2011年想象图中已体现最终设计


A hike to the top of this 300 meter high mountain at the confluence of the Beipan and Gexiang Rivers affords the best views of the new bridge. 登上这座位于北盘江(可渡河)和革香河交汇处约300米高小山,能在最佳角度观赏这座桥 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Guizhou tower foundation construction in early 2013. 贵州侧桥塔基础在2013年初开始兴建


A view of the main headquarters and worker housing on the Guizhou side. 贵州侧建设营地一窥 Image by Eric Sakowski /

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A view looking north up the Beipan River shows another tight gorge where a 500+ meter high crossing could have been constructed. 从桥址沿北盘江北望,可以看到另一处适合修建500+米高桥的桥址 Image by Eric Sakowski /


The Gexiang River can be seen flowing under the crane towards its confluence with the Beian River. 吊机下方流淌的是革香河,该河与北盘江交汇 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Two small footbridges across the Beipan and Gexiang Rivers. 两座人行小桥横跨北盘江和革香河 Image by Eric Sakowski /


The Guizhou towers reach a height of 170 meters. Another 100 meters to go! 贵州侧桥塔达到170米高度,还有100米需要修! Image by Eric Sakowski /


Large steel tubes make up the temporary support scaffolding on the Guizhou tower. 大型钢管支撑着贵州侧桥塔的临时构件 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


A view across the canyon towards the Yunnan side. 从贵州侧隔峡谷远望云南侧 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Progress on the Yunnan towers has fallen behind the Guizhou tower. 云南侧桥塔的进度比贵州侧慢 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


An aerial of the eastern approach showing the G56 expressway heading towards Liupanshui City, the second largest in Guizhou Province. 航拍东侧G56高速公路的引桥,东面通往贵州第二大城市六盘水 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


The eastern approach in 2013 before the piers were constructed. 2013年东侧引桥修建状况 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


A giant cave below the Yunnan tower slope. 云南侧谷底的巨大岩洞 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Gexiang River footbridge in the foreground and the dilapidated Beipan footbridge in the background. 近处是革香河步行桥,远处是废弃的北盘江步行桥 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Yunnan tower in mid-2013. 云南侧桥塔2013年年中 Image by Eric Sakowski /


The short main street in the center of Duge town. 都格镇中心的小街 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Looking south towards the town of Duge. 从都格镇向南望 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Probably constructed in the early 1990s, this truss-arch across the Beipan was bypassed by a beam bridge and is only open to pedestrians. 可能建于1990年代的这座拱桥已经被一座梁桥取代,现在拱桥仅供行人通过 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Expressway cuts are visible from Duge town more then 500 meters up on the steep Guizhou slope. 都格镇能看到高速公路在贵州侧500米高的山坡上兴建 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Guizhou tower foundation work in mid-2013. 贵州侧塔基2013年年中 Image by Eric Sakowski /


A rare view of the Beipan during a drought in 2013 exposes rocks and sandbars that are usually hidden from view. 一张罕见的照片,在2013年旱季能看到水量稀少的北盘江裸露出的岩石和沙滩,平时看不到这些 Image by Eric Sakowski /





Map of the Beipanjiang Bridge Duge water pipeline trail.

To really appreciate the awesome scale and beauty of the Beipanjiang Bridge Duge and its surroundings, there is a short 2 kilometer trail along the west side of the river that leads to some spectacular vantage points at the bottom of the gorge over 500 meters below the bridge deck. This narrow but level trail is used by a few of the farmers who live near the confluence of the Beipan and Gexiang Rivers. Two small suspension footbridges cross both rivers.

To reach the water pipeline trailhead you will need to drive south on local road S212 for 30 minutes from Liupanshui City to the small town of Dugexiang. After crossing the Beipan River on a small beam bridge continue north on S212 a few hundred meters and turn right into the water power building entrance and park. 北盘江都格一带的水系地形图。



Image by Eric Sakowski /


The Beipanjiang water level was at 919 meters near Duge city in August of 2013. 都格镇附近的919米海拔水位标志,2013年8月 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Another power station on the east side of the river. 河东另一座水电站 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Giant house-sized boulders can be seen during unusually low water levels in 2013. 在2013年特别干旱的气候条件下,河中能看到平时少见的房屋一样的大的岩石 Image by Eric Sakowski /


During heavy rains these swimmers would be swept away. 如果下大雨这些游泳的小孩就不会在这里了 Image by Eric Sakowski /


The Gexiang River footbridge greets visitors after 2 kilometers of hiking. 革香河步行桥欢迎游客跋涉2公里到来这里 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


A view of the Beipanjiang with the Gexiang River at the bottom. 北盘江景色,下方是革香河 Image by Eric Sakowski /


The Gexiang River in August of 2013. 2013年8月的革香河 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


The now unused Beipanjiang footbridge. 现已被废弃的北盘江人行桥 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


A view looking up the Beipan River where the bridge deck will cross over 500 meters above the water. 北盘江上游景色,都格大桥桥面将从这里的500多米高空通过 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


South of Duge the Beipan continues to flow under at least 6 more bridges that exceed 200 meters in height. 都格以南,北盘江上还有至少6座高于200米的桥梁 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Another water pipeline trail descends down along the edge of the Yunnan slope. 另一条水边小道在云南侧山坡上蜿蜒而下 Image by Eric Sakowski /


Satellite view showing the great high bridge crossings of the Beipanjiang in the upper right and Puli Bridge in the lower left. 卫星图右上方显示巨大的高桥横跨北盘江,左面下方是普立大桥



Beipanjiang Bridge Duge location map.

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