Wushan Yangtze River Bridge

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Wushan Yangtze River Bridge
Wushan, Chongqing, China
590 feet high / 180 meters high
1,509 foot span / 460 meter span

One of the largest and most spectacular arch bridges ever built, the Wushan Yangtze River bridge is the second crossing of the 3 Gorges reservoir upstream of the massive dam. A gateway to the city of Wushan, millions of visitors a year pass under the bridge as they travel up through the famous 3 Gorges region of the Yangtze River.

A half through arch with a main span of 1,509 feet (460 meters), Wushan ranks 7th among the world’s longest span arch bridges. The main arch was constructed using the stayed cantilever method whereby a tower is erected on either side of the gorge and cables temporarily radiate out from it to support individual sections of the arch until the two halves can be joined in the middle. A cable high line between the tops of the two towers was used to move the steel sections into place high above the river. Once the arch was closed, concrete was pumped into the 8 main ribs of the arch span, stiffening and strengthening the entire structure.

If you are traveling through the 3 Gorges region, I highly recommend you visit the bridge by disembarking your boat at the dock in Wushan and hiring a taxi driver to take you to the bridge. Plan on a one hour round trip drive to the bridge plus another hour to photograph it and take a stroll across. Just be sure to get back to the dock in time for the last boat!

A beautiful scene of the bridge being lit up at night can be seen in the excellent 2005 Chinese movie Still Life which chronicles a man’s journey to find his wife. Photographed in and around the cities of Wushan and Fengjie when they were being rebuilt to accommodate the rising reservoir, the film has a slow, lingering pace that captures a world that is sometimes so real it seems almost surreal. It won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film festival. It is available for rental on Netflix.

Wushan Yangtze River Bridge Elevation





Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

The full height of the old level of the Yangtze River can be seen in this construction view. The top of the arch is about 800 feet (244 meters) above the water.

Wushan Yangtze River Bridge construction plan.

The 3 Gorges reservoir had already begun to fill up beneath the arch in this view.

Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

Image by nipic.com / moriwuyu

Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

One of the massive arch pins is positioned into place. The foundation was then built over the pin connection.

Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

Wushan City adjustable level dock elevator. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com

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