World’s Longest Glass Bridge to Appear in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, located in the west of Hunan Province, is known for its deep valleys and pillar-like peaks (it is said the floating mountains seen in the film Avatar are based on the landscape in the region). A glass bridge, 330 m in length (1,082 ft), will soon be built over two towering cliffs in the park, so that visitors can view the valleys and peaks from above. The project is said to have been inspired by the Grand Canyon Skywalk Arizona, U.S.
The planned bridge will connect two scenic areas in the park, Lishuping and Wuwangpo and will be 265 m (870 ft) up in air. On the bridge there will also be a bungee jumping platform, which is believed to be the highest in the world.
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is part of the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Area, which in 1992 was designated by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It remains to be seen if the planned bridge will start another round of tourism vs. preservation debate. In 2001, when Zhangjiajie constructed what is known as “Tian Ti,” “Sky-high Elevator,” there was strong criticism of the project. Fixed to a stiff cliff, the elevator moves visitors up to 326 m (1,070 ft) above ground.