Pingtang, Guizhou, China
1,001 feet high / 305 meters high
1,804 foot span / 550 meter span
With Guizhou having more high bridges then any other region on earth, few might not have noticed the mountainous Chinese Province never really had a giant "viaduct" like the Millau Bridge in France. That will all change in 2019 when the Pingtang Bridge opens as the second largest viaduct in the world with the second tallest bridge structure ever built at 328 meters. Originally called the Caoduhe Bridge after the river it crosses, this gargantuan structure will have two back to back cable stayed spans of 550 meters supported on three of the world's tallest bridge towers measuring 328, 320 and 298 meters.
Like many wide river valleys in Guizhou, the first plans of a bridge crossing of the Caodu River revolved around suspension bridge schemes with a main span between 1,100 to 1,400 meters. But unlike most wide river valleys in Guizhou, the terrain in the center of the Caodu valley rose considerably from the river level up to a small ridge or hill midway between the high sides of the canyon. This small hill meant that a tower could be placed in the center of the valley and allow a multi-span cable stayed design to work in a manner not unlike the Chishi Bridge in nearby Hunan Province. The deck is at 891 meters elevation over the river surface which is at 586 meters during normal river flow.
With so much attention being paid to the three skyscraping support towers, the designers made considerable effort to give these structures a dynamic sculptural quality that emphasize a slimmer profile with less bulk one might expect from such a large mass of concrete.
Also not to be overlooked on the Pingtang to Luodian expressway is the spectacular Daxiaojing Bridge that will have Guizhou's longest arch span of 450 meters when it is completed in 2019.
Click on the excellent YouTube channel "Chinese Bridge" to see a video of the Pingtang Bridge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yAO8wzdLig
Foundation work on the 328 meter tall central tower that will become the tallest bridge structure ever built in China.
Foundation work on the 320 meter high east pier.
Pingtang Bridge satellite image.
Pingtang Bridge location map.
The Pingtang Radio Telescope was completed in 2016 as the largest of its type in the world with a spherical dish 500 meters in diameter. Built within a natural depression surrounded by mountains, the primary reflector focuses radio waves from space on a receiver hanging 140 meters above the center. There are 4,450 aluminum triangular panels 11 meters on each side. A cable robot suspended from 6 towers uses winches to change the position of the receiving antenna.
Pingtang Radio Telescope satellite image.
Pingtang Radio Telescope location map.