Bridges are built for functionality an convenience, but they are often admired for architectural and engineering feats. Here we will look at 15 notable bridges. Some of them are known and recognized around the world while others are not as well known, but still amazing structures.
Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world. It is a suspension bridge that spans the Golden Gate, the area where the San Francisco Bay opens into the Pacific Ocean. It has been declared one of the modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Construction began in 1933 and concluded in 1937.
Photo credit: MachaiMatsuda
Sydney Harbor Bridge
The Sydney Harbor Bridge opened in 1932 and connects the Sydney central business district and the North Shore. The bridge, along with the nearby Sydney Opera House, is an icon of the Sidney skyline. Because of it’s arch shape design the bridge has become known as “The Coathanger”.
Photo credit: Igor Mazic
An iconic symbol of London, the Tower Bridge crosses the River Thames near the Tower of London. The bridge is 800 feet long and was completed in 1894.
Photo credit: Anirudh Koul
Langkawi Sky Bridge
Located at the peak of Gunung Mat Chinchang in Malaysia, Langkawi Sky Bridge is a 400 foot (only six feet wide) curved pedestrian bridge. It opened in 2005 for tourists who want amazing views of the Langkawi islands and the Andaman Sea. It sits 2,000 feet above sea level and is accessible by the Langkawi Cable Car, about a 15 minute ride.
Photo credit: Dylan Walters
Royal Gorge Bridge
A tourist attraction in Colorado, the Royal Gorge Bridge was the highest bridge in the world from 1929 to 2003. Over 1,200 feet long, the bridge is suspended 955 feet above the Arkansas River from 2 towers that are 150 feet high.
Photo credit: LMMercer
Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Gateshead Millennium Bridge is unique because it was the world’s first bridge to use a tilting mechanism to open, allowing for ships to pass below. It is a pedestrian and cyclist bridge that crosses the River Tyne in England. Completed in 2001, the bridge is sometimes compared to a large blinking eye because of the way it tilts when opening and closing.
Photo credit: Ian Britton
Located in southern France, the Millau Viaduct is the world’s tallest bridge (one masts summit is 1,125 feet) and the world’s longest cable-stayed deck. Completed in 2004, it cost around €400 million.
Photo credit: Ludie Cochrane
Hangzhou Bay Bridge
One of the longest ocean-crossing bridge in the world, the Hanzhou Bay Bridge is located in the eastern coastal region of China. The bridge is an amazing 22 miles long and took 5 years to construct. It shortened the highway travel distance between Ningbo and Shanghai by 75 miles and reduced travel time by about an hour and a half.
Photo credit: hto2008
The Bosphorus Bridge
The Bosphorus Bridge is unique because it connects two continents, Europe and Asia. The city of Istanbul, Turkey is located on both continents, separated by the Bosphorus Strait. As early as the 5th century BC a bridge was created in this location using a series of boats. The Bosphorus Bridge construction was completed in 1973, and at the time it was the 4th longest suspension bridge in the world.
Photo credit: kayhanergin
Located in Seville, Spain, the Alamillo bridge spans the Canal de Alfonso XIII, which allows access to the island of La Cartuja between the canal and the Guadalquivir River. It is 820 feet long and 465 feet high, it features a unique design with a large mast leaning at a 58 degree angle. Bridge construction took 3 years and was completed in 1992.
Photo credit: recycleit
The Banpo Bridge spans the Han River in Soul, South Korea. It forms the top of a double deck by laying over top of the Jamsu Bridge, which is sometimes closed due to high water levels. In 2008 a 10,000 nozzle fountain was added to the Banpo Bridge, pumping water from the river below. The fountains have increased popularity of the bridge with tourists.
Photo credit: Linh Hoang Manh
Henderson Waves is a unique 900 foot long pedestrian bridge that crosses Henderson Road and links 2 parks in Singapore. The bridge is lit with LED lamps at night.
Photo credit: Draken413o
The Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge
The Octavio Frias de Oliveira Bridge crosses the Pinheiros River in São Paulo, Brazil. The 450 foot tall bridge was opened in 2008 and features a unique design that uses 2 curved decks that cross through an “x” shaped tower.
Photo credit: Stephen Pace
Magdeburg Water Bridge
The Magdeburg Water Bridge, located in Germany, connects the Elbe-Havel Canal to the Mittellandkanal, crossing over the Elbe River. It is the longest navigable aqueduct in the world at over 3000 feet. Prior to its construction, low levels in the Elbe often prevent ships and barges from crossing in this area.
Photo credit: chris_lori
Ponte Vecchio is a Medieval bridge that crosses over the Arno River in Florence, Italy. It is known for the shops along the bridge. Originally built of wood, it was destroyed by floods in 1333 and 12 years later is was re-built with stone.
Photo credit: Wolfy-san