World's highest bridge near completion in China

An aerial view of the Beipanjiang Bridge under construction; it will connect two provinces in Bijie.
An aerial view of the Beipanjiang Bridge under construction; it will connect two provinces in Bijie. PHOTO: REUTERS
The Beipanjiang Bridge, in mountainous south-western China, soars 565m above a river.
The Beipanjiang Bridge, in mountainous south-western China, soars 565m above a river.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese engineers have completed the structure of what is expected to become the world's highest bridge, the local authorities said.

The Beipanjiang Bridge, in mountainous south-western China, soars 565m above a river, the Guizhou provincial transport department said in a statement.

It overtakes the Si Du River Bridge in the central province of Hubei to become the world's highest bridge, said the statement posted on Sunday (Sept 11).

The two ends of the bridge were linked on Saturday, it added.

The 1,341m span is expected to open to traffic at the end of this year. It will cut the time needed for road trips from Liupanshui in Guizhou to Xuanwei in neighbouring Yunnan province from around five hours to less than two, state broadcaster China Central Television reported on Monday.

Several of the world's highest bridges are in China, although the world's tallest bridge - measured in terms of the height of its own structure, rather than the distance to the ground - remains France's Millau viaduct, which is 343m tall.