Innovation Case

The world’s largest valley-crossing suspension bridge completed and open in Aizhai, Hunan

Date: 2014-07-15
View Count: 295

 The world’s largest valley-crossing suspension bridge completed and open in Aizhai, Hunan


The world’s largest valley-crossing suspension bridge completed and open in Aizhai, Hunan

Ultra-large suspension bridge in Aizhai, western Hunan before opening


On March 31, the steel truss girder suspension bridge with the largest valley-crossing span in the world – the Aizhai Bridge – was completed and open. At that time, the Changsha-Chongqing Expressway with a full length of over 800 kilometers was fully open.


The ultra-large Aizhai Suspension Bridge stretches across the Dehang Valley in Aizhai, western Hunan, being a controlling work on the Jishou-Chadong Expressway on the Changsha-Chongqing Expressway, about 20 kilometers away from Jishou City. The bridge has a span of 1,176 meters and a vertical height of 355 meters from the valley bottom, being the largest valley-crossing steel truss girder suspension bridge in the world. Both ends of the bridge are connected directly with tunnels, and the main line is a 4-lane two-way expressway, with a girder width of 27 meters, a roadbed width of 24.5 meters and a design driving speed of 80 kph.

According to chief designer Hu Jianhua of the Aizhai Suspension Bridge, this bridge set four “world records” in design and construction: It not only was the largest valley-crossing suspension bridge in the world, but also employed a structural design with towers and girders fully separated, erected steel truss girders using the original “track cable sliding" method, and used a rock anchor cable structure and carbon fiber as the pre-stressed reinforcement for the first time.


The reporter saw on the spot that with silver white cables and orange steel truss girders, the bridge looked like a spectacular rainbow crossing the valley. World-famous bridge expert Deng Wenzhong who attended the opening ceremony described his first impression of the Aizhai Bridge as being “beautiful”. He thought that set in the picturesque scenery of western Hunan, the gentle suspension bridge was highly attractive and also rare among worldwide bridges.


The Aizhai Bridge not only adds to the landscape of western Hunan, but also brings convenience and safety to the people there. The Aizhai Winding Highway below the bridge was once called a “miraculous highway of China”, as this 6-kilometer-long highway with 13 big bends has been built in this place with a horizontal distance of less than 100 meters and a vertical height difference of 440 meters. This was the only way between Hunan Province and Chongqing City, and it took at least 30 minutes’ drive to get through it. The 13 bends were actually 13 dangerous portals. However, it takes only less than two minutes to drive through the Aizhai Bridge. The once natural chasm has now become a thoroughfare.


When the Changsha-Chongqing Expressway is fully open, it will take only less than 9 hours’ drive from Chongqing to Changsha, Hunan, and there will be 9 outgoing expressways in Hunan Province, with a total open expressway length of 2,744 kilometers.




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