China is out to prove the safety of its glass bridges.
After a glass-bottomed bridge in Shiniuzhai National Geological Park started to crack under tourists — as theystood suspended 3,500 feet in the air — Chinese officials have been making a show of safety tests of the new world’s longest glass suspension glass bridge in the Tianmenshan National Forest Park in Zhangjiajie.
Ahead ofits public opening, the glass bridge has been slammed with sledgehammers and now driven on in a giantSUV.
The new bridge, engineered with three half-inch layers of ultra-strong glass, is meant to withstand powerful blows. To prove it, 20 brave volunteers smashed the glass bottom with sledgehammers. While the exercise left ominous looking cracks in the top layer, the cracks are not a threat to the bridge's structural integrity.
If you want proof of that, the volunteers are on it: They drove a two-ton Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle packed with 11 people over the bridge’s shattered bricks,the Washington Post reported. Afterward, volunteers returned to smash more of the bridge with sledgehammers.
After all the potentially damaging activities, the bridge remained, stretching 1,410 feet between two mountains in the park, which is tucked into the China’s northwestern Hunan Province. This newbridge is “only” suspended 984-feet about the valley floor, giving visitors plenty of time to admire Zhangjiajie’s incredible mountain pillars, which appeared in the movie Avatar.
The new attraction was originally intended to open to the publicin May, but rainfall has pushed its opening date back toJuly, according to the South China Morning Post.