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Puhua Dragon Bridge – the historic wind and rain bridge built by Glulam

Dora Xue

By Dora Xue

September 11, 2017

Zhuoshui Town

Zhuoshui Town is a famous town of cultural and historical significance; it has been recognized as a 4A class scenic spot by the Chinese government. The town is located in the South-East corner of Qianjiang District of Chongqing, 26 kilometers away from the main town of Qianjiang, next to the Apeng River which is the main tributary of Wujiang River. There are stilted building groups built by the Tujia Minority, including piers and markets in the town that date back thousands of years.

The old Zhuoshui Wind and Rain Bridge was burning (photo source: https://baijiahao.baidu.com/s?id=1574191229584568&wfr=spider&for=pc )

Before 2013, Zhuoshui Wind and Rain Bridge crossed the Apeng River. The former bridge was more than 300 meters long and was known as ‘Asia No.1 Wind and Rain Bridge without any nail. Unfortunately, it was burned down in 2013.

Wind and Rain Bridge is a bridge style which is built by the Dong Minority of China with their unique carpentry skills. The pavilions built on “Wind and Rain Bridges” provided shelter to people from the wind and rain. A Wind and Rain Bridge is normally composed of the bridge, a tower and a pavilion, with wood being the main building material. These bridges are considered one of the main scenic spots in Zhuoshui. The local government decided to re-build not only a new one, but also a “world longest Wind and Rain bridge”, which will consist of three sections and reach to 600 meters length.

Puhua bridge under construction.

Puhua Dragon Bridge is one of the three sections which expands the western side of the Wind and Rain Bridge to connect the banks of Puhua River. Puhua Dragon Bridge has two levels on the ground. The structure is mainly based on wood framing construction and supplemented by steel construction. The foundation is pad footing and the whole bridge is divided into three spans. The total length of the bridge is 92.8 meters and the height is 12 meters high. There are the towers on the bridge and the height is 14.3 meters. The building area of Puhua Dragon Bridge is 1294.4 m2 in total. Douglas Fir has been used for all Glulam beams and posts.

Puhua Dragon Bridge under construction

Once it finished, it will be open to tourists and benefits to Zhuoshui Town – one of four characteristic towns in Chongqing issued by China. From this project, we can tell a potential usage for Canadian lumber in resort sector, especially with projects using traditional Chinese construction methods. For Canada Wood, we will explore more opportunities to use wood as a building materials.