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Artist impression of Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge. — AFP pic
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CHINA is set to become home to the tallest, longest, and, arguably, scariest pedestrian bridge in the world, when construction of a glass-bottomed bridge is complete in the national park that inspired the floating mountains from the James Cameron film Avatar.
Hovering a dizzying 984 feet above the ground, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge will span 1,247 feet in length and 20 feet wide.
Designed by Tel Aviv-based architectural firm Haim Dotan Ltd., the bridge can accommodate up to 800 people and will feature the world’s highest bungee jump. Designers also envision the bridge as a dramatic catwalk for fashion shows.
Lead architect Haim Dotan said the design — glass-bottomed floor, side suspension cables — is meant to work seamlessly with nature, make the least impact on its surroundings and give visitors the sense of floating in mid-air.
“The Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge was designed to be as invisible as possible,” he said in a statement.
“A white bridge disappearing into the clouds.”
Director James Cameron is said to have been inspired by Zhangjiajie National Park’s dramatic sandstone pillars to create the floating mountains that characterized Pandora in his 2009 film Avatar.
Zhangjiajie National Park is located in the northern part of Hunan province.
One of the columns has also been renamed the Hallelujah Mountain after the film.
Construction of the bridge will be complete in July and the official opening is set for October.