Wanjiazhai Dam Footbridge
Wanjiazhai Dam Footbridge
Wanjiazhaizhen, Shanxi, China
(328) feet high / (100) meters high
1,640 foot span / 500 meter span
The gargantuan Wanjiazhai Dam Footbridge is still the longest flat deck span suspension footbridge in the world with a tower to tower length of 1,640 feet (500 meters) which would exceed both Japan's Kokonoe "Yume" Otsurihashi footbridge and several other large Chinese footbridge spans. The suspended section of the bridge is however only 1,532 feet (467 mtrs) - less then the 494 meter free span of the Charles Kuonen pedestrian footbridge in Switzerland. Open to the public for a nominal fee, the Wanjiazhai Dam bridge is located across China's great Yellow River in a remote and arid region of China near the Inner Mongolia Autonomous region.
The slender bridge was originally built for workers to get across the Yellow River gorge during the construction of the Wanjiazhai hydroelectric dam. Originally scheduled for removal in 2000 once the dam was completed, the dam personnel decided to keep it and so the span was rehabilitated and strengthened for long term use.
The bridge is reportedly only 115 feet (35 meters) above a full reservoir but based on a known dam height of 344 feet (105 meters) minus a foundation of approximately 35 meters and an extra 5 meters for the dam crest, I would estimate the bridge to be 328 feet (100 meters) above the old level of the Yellow River.
World's 30 Longest Footbridge Spans
1. Sky Bridge 721, Czech Republic - 721 meters
2. Tibetan Footbridge of Canillo, Andorra - 603 meters
3. Gandaki Golden/Baglung Parbat, Nepal - 567 meters
4. 516 Arouca, Portugal - 516 meters
5. Wanjiazhai Dam, China - 500 meters
6. Charles Kunonen, Switzerland – 494 meters
7. Kushma Bungy, Nepal - (490) meters
8. Huangchuansanxia Glass, China - 460 meters
9. Rappbode Dam, Germany - 458 meters
10. Tianyundu Glass Footbridge, China - (450) meters
11. Daqingshan Glass Footbridge, China - 450 meters
12. Longguwan Glass Footbridge, China - (445) meters
13. Hongyagu Glass, China - 445 meters
14. Sochi Skybridge, Russia – 439 meters
15. Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass, China – 430 meters
16. Yinzuotianmeng, China – 420 meters
17. Ulleong Sogeumsan, South Korea - 404 meters
18. Highline 179, Austria – 402 meters
19. Mishima Grand, Japan – 400 meters
20. Kokonoe Otsurihashi, Japan - 390 meters
21. Ryujin, Japan - 375 meters
22. Skywalk Sattel, Switzerland - (374 meters)
23. Bega-Banduk, Nepal - 365 meters
24. Geierlay, Germany – 360 meters
25. Kushma-Mudhikuwa, Nepal - 359 meters
26. Baiheshanzhuang Footbridge, China - 358 meters
27. Bailihuang Glass Footbridge, China - 350 meters
28. Triveni Garas, Nepal - 350 meters
29. Bunwajorghat, Nepal - 350 meters
30. Shuiyuan Footbridge, China - 342 meters
A construction view of the Wanjiazhai Dam with one of the bridge towers faintly visible at the edge of the river gorge plateau.
A view of the completed Wanjiazhai Dam with a blue suspension bridge tower visible in the upper left.