On August 20, Zhangjiajie, China opened the world’s longest and highest bridge to the public. Thirteen days later, the same bridge closed due to its overwhelming demand.
The $3.4 million bridge, covered in 99 panes of three-layered transparent glass and suspended 984 feet over a canyon, was meant to hold a maximum of 8,000 people per day, 800 people at a time. When more than 80,000 people came to the bridge wanting access, the park officials panicked, asking the government for an upgrade.
“We’re overwhelmed by the volume of visitors,” a spokesperson from the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon’s marking and sales department told CNN.
The park announced the news over Weibo, a Chinese microblogging website. As expected, there was quite a backlash from visitors, especially tour guides who had already booked their trips in advance.
Areas slated for improvement include the infrastructure, parking and ticketing. According to other Weibo users, the 1,100 foot-long bridge and surrounding sites didn’t seem to be very sanitary.
“The Scenic Area is deficient,” the user said. “There’s trash everywhere and no bottled water for sale. It’s right to reopen only after they’ve cleaned up the place.”
Until it reopens, we can wait with anticipation as the park continues to upgrade the beautiful, record-breaking bridge.
McGee Nall is a travel intern with Paste and a freelance writer based out of Athens, Georgia.