A record-breaking glass bottomed bridge in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province, has been closed just thirteen days after being officially opened, with a government spokesman telling the media that an “urgent rethink and retooling” was needed due to the idea being “fucking mental”.
Having been unveiled as the world’s longest glass bridge – at 430 metres and connecting two cliffs above a large forest valley – the new structure was reportedly inundated with an untenable number of visitors, making officials reconsider their strategy, though the press have been assured that one of the delicate panes in no way cracked and smashed and sent 37 people to their death.
Fourth Vice Premier Ma Kai has explained that the bridge, which can accommodate 8,000 visitors a day, was mobbed by “ten times that number” after it opened, and that the crowding, strain on local accommodation and the realisation that they’d built a narrow little bridge between two mountains made of a substance that homeless men are paid to eat all contributed to the decision.
Mr Kai said: “For the local governing body, there was a need to rethink the approach when so many people came, and there were questions raised by them all coming too. Sometimes there is the problem that when such a huge number of people want to see something, it is because it is fucking mental, and maybe it should never have existed in the first place, like a circus freak.
“It might be a great testament to the engineering prowess of China, and the work of the Chinese people who find such amazing ways to progress themselves and the Republic, and nobody has died, certainly not 37 of them because of a faulty pane of glass. We just don’t want do it to now.”
A spokesperson for Hunan Province’s ruling council, who have a joint ownership of the structure along with the eccentric company who constructed it after failing to get permission to make the world’s first sky elevator to the moon, said that “upgrading the local area and making the walls of the hotel thicker, much thicker” was paramount.
The official statement, made through the micro-blogging site Weibo, explained that local facilities at the park were unable to cater to the volume of bemused and suspicious visitors, and added that small pre-planned tours would continue with “discretionary admission” that would end at the halfway point, before the sound of still-echoing screams could be heard due to “technical issues”.
Prior to opening, the 你他媽的嚮導橋 – or ‘Nǐ tā mā de xiàngdǎo qiáo’, which translates from Xiang into ‘The Fuck You Wizard Bridge’ – was the subject of much attention thanks to an advertising campaign which included driving cars over it, and the panes being cracked by a hammer, with the wielder saying: “Look. It breaks but does not smash, like a baby thrown from the window.”
And the sheer volume of interest has now created a perhaps inevitable backlash due to the bridge’s unexpectedly premature closure, with thousands potentially out of pocket after booking trips to the structural anomaly, causing one Twitter user called @BoJoFoCivMish to write: “Bragh, China won’t shatter the glass ceiling – or, gruppa pow, bridge – of world trade by giving in on the old, uh, old silly thing. Best stick to opium, me-says, Wang. #2billionLayabouts.”
The travel company covering visitation to the bridge have stated that it will reopen once upgrades has been completed, which will include the construction of the world’s largest glass hotel on the top of a lake to house tourists and the reinforcement of the bridge with bone, and have also announced that they will build a 70-foot tall golden statue of a dragon with Theresa May’s face as a gesture of good will.