Highest Outdoor Elevator in the World, Hundred Dragons Elevator
Bailong Elevator, also known as the Hundred Dragons Elevator, is a glass elevator built into the side of a rocky mountain range full of thousands of sandstone columns that rise up thousands of feet in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangijiajie, Hunan Province, China. At 1,070 feet (330m) high, construction of the elevator, started in 1999 and was completed in 2002. The project encountered intense opposition from environmental groups who cited the World Heritage Site designation as the main reason for their disagreement. The total investment for the project was 120million yuan, about $20 million.
To build the Hundred Dragon Elevator, tunnels and shafts had to be dug into the quartz sandstone column carefully chosen to house the elevator. With five million visitors to the region each year the area was already suffering from excessive tourism but work went on.
Following completion, this modern day creation, obtained not one but three Guinness Book of World Records awards! First, it’s the tallest full-exposure outdoor elevator, second it’s the world’s tallest double-deck sightseeing elevator, and third it’s the world’s fastest passenger traffic elevator with the biggest carrying capacity.
The project has seen its share of setbacks. After the project was opened to the public in 2002 it was soon temporarily shut down to address safety concerns.
The project was an achievement of a team of many dozens of mostly Chinese contractors and suppliers. For example, Qinhuangdao Photelectric provided the elevator load weighing control system, VIC card management, energy saving devices, an earthquake detector, and the entrance detectors for the elevator and controllers to provide accurate weighing of the elevators and their passengers.