Apparently, the very public stress tests carried out on the world’s longest and highest glass-bottomed bridge in the months before its opening went over a little too well with reassuring the public.
After finally opening on August 20th, the record-breaking bridge over Zhangjiajie’s Grand Canyon was closed just 13 days later, because it turned out that too many people wanted to walk across it.
The 430-meter-long bridge hangs 300 meters above the canyon floor. It was supposed to be open last October, and then “early this year,” but was only “completed” in May. When it finally officially opened last month, the breathtaking bridge was swarmed by thousands of brave tourists, pictures soon went viral showing the glass bridge crammed full of visitors.
In recent years, Chinese tourist spots have been on a frenzy of glass-bottomed bridge building; however, last year, one of them cracked. To assure tourists that the Zhangjiajie bridge would not do the same, developers went to extreme lengths. Earlier this summer, developers had a SUV drive across the bridge and had a British journalist pound the glass with a sledgehammer to show that it could stand up to anything. There is one thing that they didn’t think of though: people.
The park capped the number of daily visitors to the bridge at 8,000 per day. However, as many as ten times that number waited outside the gates for their chance to walk across. Some tourists lined up overnight to be one of the lucky few allowed through.
Apparently, the park just wasn’t prepared for this kind of crazy demand. Last Thursday, they posted on Weibo that the bridge would be closed in order to “improve and update” the facility.
“We’re overwhelmed by the volume of visitors,” a spokesperson from the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon’s marketing and sales department told CNN, adding that there were no accidents or safety problems with the bridge.
There is no announcement about when the bridge will open once again. Considering its history, it might be a while.