Germany Builds Longest Suspension Bridge

November 30, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. unveil / ʌnˈveɪl / (v.) – to show or to be open to the public
Example: The country finally unveiled its newest and longest bridge.

2. dizzying / ˈdɪz i ɪŋ / (adj.) – referring to something that causes dizziness or light-headedness
Example: The view from the top of the building is dizzying.  

3. firm / fɜrm / (adj.) – describing something that will not easily be moved or destroyed
Example: The old bridge was firm enough to hold the truck.

4. rush / rʌʃ / (v.) – to move with speed
Example: Everyone rushed to see the celebrity.

5. evacuate / ɪˈvæk yuˌeɪt / (v.) – to remove a person or a group from a place
Example: The police evacuated the people to safety.


Read the text below.
Thrill-seekers everywhere can now enjoy the longest suspension bridge in Germany.

The bridge, located between Morsdorf and Sosberg, was unveiled in September. It is 1,200 feet long and is located across the Geierlay [gah-yuh-lahy] canyon.  Tourism officials hope that the new bridge will aid in promoting hiking trails in the area. Their target is to have 180,000 people visit the place every year, which will boost the local economy by €2.5 million (£1.8 million).

The bridge, suspended at a dizzying 300 feet above a valley, was constructed in only 130 days. It contains steel ropes on its left and right side. Since it opened, thousands of tourists have already visited the bridge.

But while Germany prides itself for the longest suspension bridge, China went in a different direction and created a bridge with a glass floor.

Measuring 180 meters above a valley in the Shiniuzhai National Geological Park in Hunan province, the Brave Men’s Bridge has a walkway made of glass panes that are 24 millimeters thick and are 25 times stronger than other kinds of glass. One of the workers of the bridge says that this allows the walkway to stay firm, even when people start jumping on the bridge.

However, according to a recent report, tourists on social media said that they heard something crack on the bridge, which led to people rushing to get out. The Yuntaishan resort staff confirmed this story, saying that the crack was caused by a thermos that was dropped on the walkway. Tourists were evacuated, but no one was reported to have been hurt.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Based on the description, do you think Germany’s longest suspension bridge is safe? Why or why not?
·         Would you want to cross this bridge? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think this bridge would attract visitors?
·         How else do you think a place can attract tourists?

November 30, 2015