How to make visitors feel safe on the world’s longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge? By letting someone try to smash the glass floor with a sledgehammer of course!
The construction company that just finished China’s newest and most-hyped glass-bottomed bridge across the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon tasked BBC journalist Dan Simmons with administering this unconventional safety test last week.
The bridge spans 430 meters (1410 ft) across the canyon, holding 800 people some 300 meters (985 ft) above the ground. It has also broken a total of 10 world records for bridges, Xinhua reports.
The construction of the glass bridge deviated from conventional methods. It does not contain a wind cable suspension and is the only bridge in the world to use magnetic, water and electric vibration damping for stabilization. Also, it has the world’s highest bungee jumping platform and the steepest zip line. Gee whiz!
But how to make sure that tourists will be brave enough to visit this modern marvel? After all, an incident last year in which a tourist on a glass-bottomed bridge in Yuntai mountain happened to drop her cup and crack a glass panel still has everyone a bit spooked.
Well, that’s where Dan Simmons comes in. The president of the construction company challenged the intrepid journalist to shatter his brand-new bridge.
The two of them stood on an elevated glass panel on the glass-bottomed bridge and Simmons took his first swing with the sledgehammer, causing the top layer of glass to crack immediately. However, after a dozen strikes, the other layers of glass remained intact.
Watch the video below:
While we applaud Zhangjiajie’s promotional efforts, they really couldn’t get Peter Gabriel for this stunt?
And if they are so confident, why not use the glass panels that have already been installed on the bridge?
Anyway, this must surely mean that the bridge is likely to open in the next month or so. It was originally scheduled to open last October, but was subject to a number of delays. If you are now convinced you won’t suddenly fall to your doom if someone drops a cup, make a trip to Hunan next month. Maybe.
By Sarah Lin
[Images via hunan.gov / Xinhua// Video via BBC]