Lvzhijiang Bridge

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Lvzhijiang Bridge
Lvzhizhen, Yunnan, China
1,050 feet high / 320 meters high
2,559 foot span / 780 meter span


The longest and probably most beautiful single tower suspension bridge ever built, the Lvzhijiang Bridge crosses a remote canyon in central Yunnan Province, China. The distance from tower to mountain anchorage is 780 meters surpassing the previous single tower record holder, the Jinshajiang Hutiaoxia expressway bridge with a span of 766 meters.

Lvzhijiang Bridge has a sleek steel box deck similar to what has been used on the Longjiang and Puli Bridges which are also in Yunnan Province. The Lvzhijiang Bridge is the largest and highest structure on the Yuxi to Chuxiong expressway.

There have been previous suspension bridges with only one tower and even completely towerless suspension footbridges but none have been built on a scale as large as the Lvzhijiang and Jinshajiang Hutiaoxia Bridges. In China the most famous example of this bridge type is surely the 1983-built Dazi Bridge in Tibet over the Lhasa River with a large span of 415 meters and a total length of 500 meters with an anchorage high up on a cliff that required cable stays on the high end.

For modern expressway bridges, the most recent attempt at designing a nearly towerless suspension bridge was a scheme put forth for the 300 meter deep gorge crossing of the Zhijingje Bridge in Hubei Province that would have had a central span of 540 meters supported by stubby towers approximately 20 meters tall.

In 1998 Arup, supported by Wilkinson Eyre, won a design competition for the Metsovitikos Bride on the Egnatia Motorway in Greece with a 775 meter cable span between foundations supporting a main suspended span of 565 meters. The innovative form of the design created difficulties with tests showing the main cable deflecting too much above the deck near the ends causing the hangers to go slack. While solutions were added to the design to create 'virtual saddles' and 'flexing panels' at the ends of the deck, additional seismic issues eventually caused the ambitious design to be abandoned in 2001 in favor of a large beam span that was eventually built across the Metsovitikos canyon.

The earliest attempt to do away with conventional suspension towers on a large road crossing was for the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge between New York and Canada that was also once the world's longest suspension bridge from 1851 to 1867 with a main span of 317 meters supported by hillside towers just a few meters tall.

Many footbridges around the world have been built with no cable towers. One famous example being the the Grand Canyon Black footbridge over the Colorado River in Arizona.


Lvzhijiang Bridge Elevation


The steep west slope tunnel and towerless anchorage location of the Lvzhijiang Bridge.


The east slope side of the Lvzhijiang Bridge where the single tower will be located.

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Lvzhijiang 20191207.jpg


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /



Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /

LvzhijiangJinshajiangHutiaoxiaElevations copy.jpg

Direct size comparison between Lvzhijiang and Jinshajiang Hutiaoxia Bridges, the two longest span single tower suspension bridges in the world.


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Originally built in 1959, the older 2-lane route 313 was rebuilt in 2015 with widening and improved grades. Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /


Image by Eric Sakowski /





The Dazi Bridge in Tibet has only one tower with a high cliffside anchorage supporting a main span of 415 meters.



The Lewiston-Queenston Bridge between Canada and the U.S. was once the longest suspension bridge in the world with a main span of 317 meters supported by stubby foundation towers approximately 5 meters tall.



An early towerless suspension design for the Zhijinghe Bridge supported on short towers about 20 meters tall.


An elevation of the towerless Metsovitikos Bridge in Greece that was never built.



Lvzhijiang Bridge satellite image.



Lvzhijiang Bridge location map.

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