Pingtang Bridge

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Pingtang Bridge
平塘特大桥
Pingtang, Guizhou, China
1,001 feet high / 305 meters high
1,804 foot span / 550 meter span
2019

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With Guizhou having more high bridges then any other region on earth, few might not have noticed the mountainous Chinese Province never really had a giant "viaduct" like the Millau Bridge in France. That all changed in 2019 when the Pingtang Bridge opened as the second largest viaduct in the world with the second tallest bridge structure ever built at 332 meters. Originally called the Caoduhe Bridge after the river it crosses, this gargantuan structure will have two back to back cable stayed spans of 550 meters supported on three of the world's tallest bridge towers measuring 332, 320 and 298 meters.

The composite girder deck is composed of a double I-shaped steel beam with concrete slab. The girder has a width of 30.2 meters and a height of 3.32 meters. The main stay cables are spaced 12 meters apart and 9 meters on the sides.

Like many wide river valleys in Guizhou, the first plans of a bridge crossing of the Caodu River revolved around suspension bridge schemes with a main span between 1,100 to 1,400 meters. But unlike most wide river valleys in Guizhou, the terrain in the center of the Caodu valley rose considerably from the river level up to a small ridge or hill midway between the high sides of the canyon. This small hill meant that a tower could be placed in the center of the valley and allow a multi-span cable stayed design to work in a manner not unlike the Chishi Bridge in nearby Hunan Province. The deck is at 891 meters elevation over the river surface which is at 586 meters during normal river flow.

With so much attention being paid to the three skyscraping support towers, the designers made considerable effort to give these structures a dynamic sculptural quality that emphasize a slimmer profile with less bulk one might expect from such a large mass of concrete.

Also not to be overlooked on the Pingtang to Luodian expressway is the spectacular Daxiaojing Bridge that had Guizhou's longest arch span of 450 meters at the time when it was completed in 2019.

Click on the excellent YouTube channel "Chinese Bridge" to see a video of the Pingtang Bridge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yAO8wzdLig


虽然贵州有着比地球上任何地区都多的高桥,很多人会注意到这个中国山区省份并没有一座类似法国米约大桥的巨大“高架桥”。2019年后这种情况会完全改变,平塘大桥将成为世界第二大高架桥,同时有世界第二高的328米桥塔。此桥起初按跨越的河流名字被称为槽渡河大桥。这座巨大的建筑将由两个550米主跨斜拉桥背靠背构成,支撑这双主跨的是三座平均高度世界最高的桥塔,分别高328米,320米,298米。

和许多贵州的宽阔河谷一样,这座桥最初设计使用大跨度悬索桥直接跨越槽渡河河谷,涉及跨度有1100米到1400米多种不同方案。但和贵州绝大部分其他河谷不同,这河谷的中央能找到一个小的隆起或者说平缓的山丘,正好位于河谷的中部。这座小山丘的出现,使设计者能使用一种三塔两跨连续斜拉桥,将中塔放置于小山顶部,使中塔不至于过高,和湖南的赤石大桥地形很不一样。

因为三座高塔会吸引绝大部分注意力,设计者对塔的形状进行了优化设计,使其看起来更有美感,而不是单纯一根巨大的混凝土柱。

该桥位于贵州南部平塘到罗甸高速公路上,这条公路上另一座不可忽视的大桥是雄伟的大小井大桥,主跨450米上承式钢管混凝土拱桥,在2019年完工后将成为贵州最大的拱桥


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Pingtang Bridge Elevation

The list below is based on bridge structures that have at least 3 or more tall piers or towers with at least 2 major spans, have significant height and cross wide valleys with somewhat continuous depth.

World's 10 Largest Viaducts

1. Millau

2. Pingtang

3. Liuzhi

4. Chishi

5. Sanshuihe

6. Erhaihe

7. Hutiaohe

8. Caijiagou Railway Bridge

9. Longtanhe

10. Kochertal


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A suspension bridge proposal was also studied with a main span of 1,300 meters.


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Image by CaiLiangwei.


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Image by CaiLiangwei.


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Image by CaiLiangwei.


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Image by CaiLiangwei.


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Image by CaiLiangwei.


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Image by CaiLiangwei.


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Image by CaiLiangwei.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Pingtang Bridge tower drawing.


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The final design had the central tower increased from 328 to 332 meters.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by John Filmer.


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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There will be a large visitors center and overlook at the southeast side of the bridge.


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Foundation work on the 328 meter tall central tower that will become the tallest bridge structure ever built in China.


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Foundation work on the 320 meter high east pier.


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A viewing platform will be located here. Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Image by Eric Sakowski / HighestBridges.com


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Pingtang Bridge satellite image.


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Pingtang Bridge location map.


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The Pingtang Radio Telescope was completed in 2016 as the largest of its type in the world with a spherical dish 500 meters in diameter. Built within a natural depression surrounded by mountains, the primary reflector focuses radio waves from space on a receiver hanging 140 meters above the center. There are 4,450 aluminum triangular panels 11 meters on each side. A cable robot suspended from 6 towers uses winches to change the position of the receiving antenna.


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Pingtang Radio Telescope satellite image.


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Pingtang Radio Telescope location map.