Yesanhe River Bridge

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Yesanhe River Bridge
野三河特大桥
Gaopingzhen, Hubei, China
689 feet high / 210 meters high
656 foot span / 200 meter span
2009


Cutting a deep gash across much of China’s Hubei Province, the Yesanhe River is a tributary of the Qing Jiang River that has always been a formidable barrier to cross. So it is not surprising to see that 3 of the region’s highest road and rail bridges traverse it including a classic concrete arch bridge from 1977 that was once the highest in China at 400 feet (122 meters).

Opened in 2009, the latest Yesanhe bridge is just one of several amazing structures on the last 300 mile (483 km) link of the 1,350 mile (2,175 km) long G50 Hurong West expressway that now connects Shanghai on the Pacific coast with the cities of Chongqing and Chengdu in the west. This 4-lane engineering marvel is home to Siduhe, the world’s highest suspension bridge and Zhijinghe, the highest roadway arch bridge in the world. It also has more than half a dozen other bridges that exceed 500 feet (150 meters) in height including Mashuihe and Longtanhe, 2 of the world's highest beam bridge viaducts. This more direct route bypasses one of the toughest and most mountainous stretches of the Yangtze River. What once took more than a day of travel on dangerous mountain roads or a Yangtze River boat can now be safely traversed in 5 hours.

The Yesanhe bridge is very similar to the Weijiazhou bridge located some 60 miles (100 kms) to the east on the same highway. Both are continuous rigid-frame bridges with a main span of 656 feet (200 meters) across a precipitously deep canyon requiring one of the piers be situated on a slope of approximately 60 degrees. For Yesanhe, the pier extends 394 feet (120 meters) from the top of the foundation to the underside of the box girder.

Just as construction was completed in 2009, a dam was also completed 1 kilometer downstream of the bridge. A reservoir quickly formed that has flooded the valley more then 150 feet deep beneath all 5 of the high Yesanhe River Bridges. The highway deck is approximately 500 feet (152 meters) above the full reservoir.



Yesanhe River Bridge Elevation


横断中国湖北山区而造就一道深壑的野三河,从其上跨越而过时,始终令人敬畏。所以,三座跨越其上的大桥成为该地区最高的桥梁,这一景象也并不值得惊奇,其中,最经典的一座1997年开通的混凝土拱桥,曾一度称为中国最高的桥梁,高达122米。

2009年通车之后,最新建成的野三河大桥只不过是众多令人惊叹的大桥之一,这些大桥坐落在1350英里(2175公里)长的沪蓉高速干线最后300英里(483公里)一段的沪蓉西高速上,而沪蓉国道线是将太平洋西岸的上海与内地的重庆和成都等城市联系起来的交通大动脉。经由三峡库区,从东部的宜昌开始直到西部的忠县,这条4车道的工程师们造就的奇迹之路,是两座世界级高桥的“家”—— 桥面行车道在谷底河面之上473米的世界第一高度的四渡河大桥以及行车道高度位于世界第一的拱桥支井河大桥。这条奇迹之路上还有着6座高度超过150米的大桥,其中就有世界最高的梁式结构的高架桥梁——马水河大桥和龙潭河大桥,两座位居世界最高的高架桥之列的大桥。这条更为直接的路线将与原先一条极为艰险、崎岖的长江流域的山区的一条公路线相并行。而原先需要一天的山区危险的车程或者长江上的航行,现在都能在5个小时之内实现。

野三河大桥和它东边60英里(100公里)处的同一高速公路上的魏家州大桥极为相像。两座桥都是连续刚构桥,主跨均为200米,跨越的都是很深的峡谷,需要其中一个桥墩设置在一个近乎60度倾角的山坡之上。对野三河大桥而言,最高的桥墩从基础顶面到箱梁底缘高度达120米。这座大桥的设计上,与中国其他混凝土梁桥所不同的一个地方时,连接每个桥墩两肢采用的是钢管作为横系梁,而非常用的混凝土箱型系梁。更高一些的桥墩有三层钢管系梁,而低矮一些的则连接着两层钢管。


An aerial view just before the highway opened in 2009. That same year a deep reservoir formed beneath the span.


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Construction view from 2008. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The same view in 2011. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Construction view circa 2006.


The Yesanhe Bridge in 2011. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Construction view circa 2007.


A temporary catenary suspension footbridge allowed workers to safely cross the Yesanhe River. Removed when the bridge was completed in 2009, the wood planked, chicken wire deck was supported by 6 parallel cables. The deck was at least 250 feet (76 meters) high. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A 2011 view with the footbridge removed. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The two sides of the second span were finally joined in late 2008. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by www.enshi.cn


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Another high footbridge connected the west tower to the ground. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Yesan River gorge and a small dam just a year before the lake formed. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


A similar view in 2011. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


The Yesanhe dam just one kilometer downstream of the highway bridge. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


Yesanhe River Bridges location map.


Yesanhe River Bridges satellite image.

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