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Bridge to prosperity

By Chen Meiling in Guanling, Guizhou and Yang Jun in Guiyang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-06-24 09:49
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The aerial panorama photo taken on June 14 shows the Huajiang Canyon Bridge under construction. [Photo/Xinhua]

High over Huajiang Canyon in Guizhou province, a new construction project will integrate nearby scenic spots, link surrounding villages and cut travel times

High over Huajiang Canyon in Guanling county of Anshun, Guizhou province, a new bridge promises to revitalize the local economy by integrating nearby scenic spots, linking surrounding villages and benefiting people living in remote mountain areas.

Upon its completion in 2025, the Huajiang Canyon Bridge will be the world's highest as measured from the water surface — spanning a massive gorge in southwestern China.

"Visitors and vehicles will drive the local economy upward to prosperity," said Yang Xiuyun, deputy director of the Standing Committee of the county's People's Congress and Party secretary of Huajiang town.

Guanling county, with an area of 1,468 square kilometers and a population of 400,000, used to be poor. Rocky desertification — a complex process in which plant life gives way to permeable rocks in a karst landscape — once affected as much as 58 percent of its land. After years of effort, the proportion has dropped to 17 percent, but agricultural and industrial development remain difficult.

While Guanling relies on tourism, limited accessibility has prevented prosperity from arriving in full force. The new bridge brings hope for a reversal of fortune.

Travelers interested in karst landscapes, caves, waterfalls, fossils, ancient trees and ethnic culture will find easy access to a trove of beautiful scenery, inspirational geology and simple silence away from the crowds.

The bridge will provide a major boost. It will help to integrate tourism resources in the region through more convenient traffic and increase the popularity of small attractions that have heretofore been largely out of reach. For example, it will allow for a quick drive between three scenic spots — Huajiang Canyon, Guanling Fossil National Geopark and the Huangguoshu Waterfall, China's largest waterfall.

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