Humans and bridges have long back history. Most of the bridges are designed exclusively for people on bike or foot, while some are used by boats, cars and trains. Some of the bridges are known to connect continents, while others have epic history and cultural interest they get to inspire. These days, bridges don’t just symbolize the advancement of engineering in the world, but also showcase their unique design and architecture as well. Both engineers and architects can merge technology and style together to make bridges which are better, larger and truly spectacular than before.
Here’s the list of 10 most significant bridges compiled from different parts of the world.
10. Pont Du Gard Aqueduct, Gard, France
No list of most astonishing bridges is complete without adding at least one channel built by Roman Empire. It is supposed to have long back history dates back around 19 BC to 150 AD, crossing the Gardon River flowing in Vers Pont Du Gard in Southern France. It is the highest bridge of all Roman aqueducts and it is preserved at its best with the Aqueduct of Segovia. Its historical importance led this bridge to be listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Currently, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in France and it has become the significant attraction of the evolution of artistic and literary visitors.
9. Tsing Ma Bridge, Hong Kong, China
It is the ninth longest span suspension bridge in the world. When it comes to time taken for completion, it was once the second longest bridge worldwide. It has two decks to carry both rail and road traffic. Hence, it is the largest suspension bridge of its kind. The bridge has two walkways. It has automobile traffic with six lanes in 41m wide deck, with three lanes in both directions. There are two sheltered carriageways and rail tracks in lower level for maintenance access. When severe typhoons strike the city, the government closes the bridge deck for public use.
8. Nanpu Bridge, Shanghai, China
Known for its innovative and cool spiral design, Nanpu Bridge of Shanghai has been designed with revolutionary concept to be space efficient. It spans around 428 meters. It is world 57th longest cable bridge, opened in 1991. It is Yangpu Bridge’s sister bridge and one of the major bridges in Shanghai. Designed with the help of Holger S. Svensson by the Shanghai Urban Construction College, Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute and Shanghai Urban Constructino Design Institute, this cable styled bridge is 1388 ft. high, but shorter than sister bridge.
7. Pearl Bridge (Akashi-Kaikyō), Kobe-Naruto, Japan
Akashi Kaikyō Bridge or Pearl Bridge is a suspension bridge connecting Kobe city on mainland Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island of Japan. It crosses Akashi Strait through Honshu-Shikoku Highway. Completed in the year 1998 and has longest span of suspension bridge worldwide, at around 1991m. It is among the major links created 3 routes in Inland Sea under Honshu Shikoku Bridge Project.
With such a height, the Pearl Bridge has longest span in the center of any suspension bridge worldwide. It stood the strength test before being opened by surviving the Kobe Earthquake strikes January 1995.
6. Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Gateshead, England
The tilting method and shape led it to be called as the ‘Winking Eye Bridge’ or ‘Blinking Eye Bridge’. It is the first and only tilting bridge in the world. The most unique fact is that this bikers and pedestrian crossing bridge over the Tyne River seems like an eye winking whenever it is lowered or raised. On September 2001, it was opened and its unique and creative design has won a lot of accolades since it was officially opened in 2002 by Queen Elizabeth.
It spans between Quayside, Newcastle on Tyne on northern bank and Quays arts quarter of Gateshead on south bank. In 2001, this award-winning bridge was opened for public use and designed and conceived by Wilkinson Eyre who was an architect and Gifford, structural engineer.
5. Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
It is the segmental arch closed-spandrel bridge made of medieval stones over the Arno River. The Ponte Vecchio Bridge is located in Florence, France. It is known commonly for art dealers, jewelry shops and souvenir shops. This beautiful and well crafted bridge has long back and rich history dates back to the era of Roman Empire. Unlike other bridges in Europe, this bridge was not destroyed by Nazis during World War II, under the order from Adolf Hitler.
4. Tower Bridge, London, England
It is a combined suspension and bascule bridge crossing the River Thames in London. It is closely located to the Tower of London, which this bridge is named after. It is the iconic symbol of the city. On June 30, 1894, the bridge was opened by the Prince of Wales. One of the final shots of “Sherlock Holmes”, a Hollywood blockbuster, on its climax was played on the bridge.
3. Brooklyn Bridge, New York City
Brooklyn Bridge is among the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in the year 1883, Brooklyn Bridge is world’s longest suspension bridge since it opened in the year 1903, with the span of over 486m and first suspension bridge supported by steel wire. It has become the iconic bridge in New York City since its opening and designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and National Historic Landmark.
2. Sydney Harbor Bridge, Sydney, Australia
Also called as The Coathanger by locals in Sydney due to its arch design, the Sydney Harbor Bridge has the panoramic view of the Sydney Opera House, which is also the iconic landmark of Sydney, Australia and New South Wales. In 1932, the bridge was opened and a focal point of celebrations and pride of the Aussies. It is world’s sixth longest spanning arch bridge and the tallest long-span and steel arch bridge and it is 160 ft. (48.8m) wide. For New Year’s Eve, the bridge complements fireworks displays every year and creates different effects like disco ball and smiley faces.
1. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, United States
It is one of the world renowned icons of San Francisco, California as well as the whole US. It is in arguably the most popular bridge in the world and the American Society of Civil Engineers declared it as one of the Wonders of Modern World. It is probably the most photographed and most beautiful bridge in the world according to the Frommers Travel Guide. Opened in the year 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge span across the world until 1964, at 4200 ft. (1280m).