World's highest, longest glass bridge a symbol of the "new China"

World's highest, longest glass bridge

The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon glass bridge in China was closed earlier this month for safety upgrades, after tourists flooded its span. But the popular and terrifying tourist spot has now reopened and it’s got everyone acting like they’re kids again, reports CBS News correspondent Adriana Diaz.

China’s newest tourist attraction is a selfie dream come true – that’s if you can handle it. Eight thousand lucky visitors pay to come each day.

The glass bridge in Central China is now the world’s highest and longest, stretching more than 1,400 feet. It’s churning stomachs and leaving visitors amazed.

“I have to tell my brain it is safe. It just doesn’t feel right to walk when you can see exactly what 1,000 feet below is,” Diaz said.

“Are you scared?” Diaz asked a man in Chinese.

“No, I think it’s great,” the visitor said.

“I feel a little scared. But, you know, I’m strong enough. So now, I’m superman!” said another visitor, James Zhang said laughing, holding up a fist.

The scenery from the bridge inspired the floating mountains in the blockbuster “Avatar,” although it could have been the inspiration for Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.”

To protect the glass, booties are required, high heels are banned and tickets are limited. After opening in August, the bridge closed for a month because of overcapacity.

Last year, a different glass walkway in China shut after a panel shattered.

“Once you get used to it, it’s not that scary,” said vice general manager Joe Chen. But he said they’re not taking any chances.

“There are three layers on each glass panel and each layer can withstand more than 40 tons,” Chen said.

To prove it, this summer, officials had visitors smash the glass with a sledge hammer and ride an SUV over it, just to drive home the point. But Chen said the bridge is more than just a tourist attraction – it symbolizes an ascending China.

“This bridge will represent the creativities and inventions power of new China,” Chen said.

The bridge is also home to the world’s highest bungee jump -- which hasn’t opened yet – and it’s being marketed as the world’s longest fashion runway. 

Copyright (c) 2016 CBS All Rights Reserved


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