China's record-breaking bridge shut down due to excessive demand

The structure is suspended between cliffs in Zhangjiajie National Park. Photo / Getty Images
The structure is suspended between cliffs in Zhangjiajie National Park. Photo / Getty Images

China's record-breaking glass bridge has been forced to close, just 13 days after opening.

The structure stretches 430 metres over Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, with 99 triple-glazed panels providing breathtaking views of the 300 metre drop below.

However, after opening on August 20, it simply couldn't stand up to the hype - with demand estimated at 10 times its load capacity of 8000 people per day.

"We're overwhelmed by the volume of visitors," a spokesman told CNN.

A woman poses on the bridge before it was forced to close. Photo / Getty Images
A woman poses on the bridge before it was forced to close. Photo / Getty Images

The famous bridge also sparked renewed interest in the stunning national park, located in China's central Hunan province. Its pillar-like formations are thought to be the inspiration behind the spectacular landmarks in the film Avatar.

The closure was announced on Chinese microblogging site Weibo, officials assuring the public that "there was no problem" and that there had been no accidents.

According to Xinhua, China's state-run news service, the bridge will now undergo an "internal system upgrade", to update "software and hardware" related to managing visitors.

The disappointed public took to social media to air their frustration.

"I'm on the train right now. I can't change my travel plans or get a refund. You have made the world lose hope. I see you are the world's number one cheat," one upset user wrote.

"I have booked everything and now you are saying you are closed ... Are you kidding me?" said another.

The famous bridge sparked renewed interest in the stunning national park. Photo / Getty Images
The famous bridge sparked renewed interest in the stunning national park. Photo / Getty Images

It follows an alarming incident in 2015, when a glass bridge cracked at a mountain in Henan.

Eager to prove the safety of the structure in Zhangjiajie, authorities planned a series of colourful media events - driving a vehicle across it, and even encouraging visitors to try and smash the glass panels with a sledge hammer.

Park officials will use the closure to improve car parks, booking system and customer service.

It's not yet clear when the bridge will reopen to visitors.

- news.com.au

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