Beipanjiang Bridge Shuipan

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Beipanjiang Bridge Shuipan
水盘高速北盘江大桥
Fa’er Bouyei, Guizhou, China
804 feet high / 245 meters high
951 foot span / 290 meter span
2013

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Just upstream of the famous Beipanjiang Railway bridge is the monstrous new Shuipan expressway crossing with an unprecedented span configuration of 220, 290 and 220 meters. The central span of 290 meters is one of the 10 longest concrete beam spans on earth and the first to be built with an unusual "open window" design that makes the beams look less bulky and more arch-like.

The west pier is one of the 10 tallest on earth with a foundation to beam height of 176 meters.

No other river on earth outside China has more than one high bridge over it - the Beipanjiang now has 5 with 2 more to be completed by 2016! The word Beipanjiang (pronounced Bay-Pan-Gee-Ang) translates into North Winding River with the word “bei” meaning north and “pan” meaning winding. Cutting a huge swath from the northwest end of Guizhou Province to the southwest where it becomes the Hongshui he river at the border of Guangxi Province, the Beipanjiang River traverses through some of China’s most spectacular mountain gorges. When China began to expand its road and railway system in the 1990s, the river became the biggest obstacle between the giant cities of Guiyang and Kunming.

The entire area where the Shuipan expressway travels through the Beipan River canyon has become a hotbed of high bridge activity with no less then 6 bridges exceeding 100 meters in height in a distance of just 6 kilometers. Only the Malinghe River near Xingyi has as many high bridges in such close proximity.



Beipanjiang Bridge Shuipan Elevation


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by John Filmer.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A diagram of tendons within the unusual openings of the 290 meter main span.


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Wind tunnel testing on the tallest pier and half the span.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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A sign showing the rough 8 kilometer drive to the east side of the bridge construction. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Beipanjiang 2013 Bridge satellite image.


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A wider view showing the giant tunnel spirals of the Shuibai Railway that were necessary to reduce the steepness of the railway grade that descends hundreds of meters down into the Beipanjiang River gorge.


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Beipanjiang Bridge Shuipan expressway location map.

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