300-meter-high cableway to close in southwest China
CHENGDU, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The cableway connecting two villages across the Jinsha River will retire as the major work of a bridge was completed Wednesday.
Measuring 470 meters long and standing around 300 meters above the Jinsha River, a tributary of China's longest waterway, the Yangtze, the cableway has served as the major transport for residents in Fengjiaping Village in Sichuan Province and Yingge Village in Yunnan Province since it was built in 1999.
Locals ride in an open-air steel cage which is suspended and propelled from above by cables to cross the Jinsha River. It cut the five or six hour mountainous trip to just a few pulsating minutes.
Cableways were once a common way for residents to get around in mountainous Yunnan and Sichuan.
Construction started on the bridge spanning the Jinsha River near the cableway in January 2016 to improve local transport. The 385-meter-long bridge will be finished and put into traffic in June.
Zheng Junfeng, the manager in charge of construction of the bridge, said the bridge was difficult to build due to strong winds, high temperatures in summer and poor transport conditions on the mountain.
So far, Sichuan has built 74 new bridges to replace the cableways. Another three bridges are expected to be completed by the end of the year, which will mark the end of the province's cableway era.
Local officials say they will still let the cableway stand and may turn it into a tourist attraction for adventure-seeking visitors after that.