Cihang Bridge

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Cihang Bridge
Qianjiang, Chongqing, China
480 feet high / 146 meters high
(377) foot span / (115) meter span


Located just 3 kilometers southeast of Qianjiang city, this concrete arch makes for a spectacular scene across the deep crevasse of the Qian River. Originally built as a pipeline bridge, the span was partially converted in 2016 into a pedestrian bridge that serves tourists visiting the nearby Avalokiteśvara cliff sculpture scenic area. The narrow deck is 6.2 meters wide with antique pavilions on either end.

Less then a kilometer downstream is the 83 meter high Zhengzhou arch bridge with a similar span length but built to look like one of China's more classical stone spans with smaller arches within the spandrels. Located on the National Road 319, Zhengzhou arch leads to the new Qianjiang airport. The Qian Jiang River is a tributary of the giant Apengjiang River that flows south alongside the route of the G65 expressway.




Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by John Filmer.


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


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Two pagodas were built high up on both sides of the Qianjiang River canyon. Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Zhengzhou arch bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Peter Wu.


Image by Eric Sakowski /


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 /


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.


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


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


Image by John Filmer.


Image by Peter Wu.


In addition to the Avalokiteśvara cliff sculpture, the new gorge park also offers tourists another one of Western China's new cliffwalks. This one opened in 2015. Image by Peter Wu.


The Qianjiang arch can just barely be seen from the Zhengzhou arch bridge.


The Zhengzhou arch bridge with the Qianjiang arch bridge in the background.


Zhengzhou arch bridge image by cqtys.


The road to the new airport necessitated the addition of a parallel arch next to the original Zhengzhou Bridge from several years earlier. Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Zhengzhou Bridge view taken sometime before the apartments were constructed on the west side.


Satellite image showing the Zhao Qianjiang Bridge crossing in the upper left with the Zhengzhou arch towards the middle and the Qianjiang city airport to the right.

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