China has repeatedly bested itself and others for the title of world’s tallest bridge, but the highest one yet, and the current reigning champ, is the Sidu River Bridge which hangs over 1,600 nauseating feet above a canyon floor, connecting what amounts to two mountaintops.
Opened in 2009, the Sidu River bridge (which crosses the titular river, as one might expect), beat out the previous record-holding span, the Hegigio Gorge Pipeline Bridge in Papua New Guinea, which is suspended just over 1,200 feet above the ground. The Sidu bridge was part of China’s ever-expanding highway system, connecting two disparate parts of the country that were previously separated by difficult, mountainous terrain and multiple rivers.
The bridge spans just over 5,000 feet across the river valley and was so far across that the builders had to use a rocket to string the first pilot line across the gap. The hefty length is supported by two massive, H-shaped towers, one at either end of the road. The suspension lines dip in the middle and rise back up again, looking more than a little flimsy for such a massive span.
This is not to say that the bridge isn’t safe, as the huge amounts of steel and concrete that make up the bridge should be more than adequate to hold any amount of vehicles that might want to make the trip across. Fun fact: it is also said that the Sidu River Bridge is the only bridge in the world high enough for a person to reach terminal velocity if they were to jump off. There are no known survivors of this experiment however.