Bridges are magnanimous engineering feats that have made lives much easier. They have made sure that we can travel hassle-free to places in trains, cars, and metros. Bridges have also made some places accessible.
From the stepping stones that acted as bridges in the earliest of times, we have sure come a very long way! Boardwalks were one of the earliest forms of bridges, and their construction can be mapped to being completed around 6,000 years ago. These days construction of bridges is not as simple as it is used to be, and it can take years for the design to be finalized, as the construction can pose various complex engineering problems. There are multiple types of bridges, depending on the construction and the principle by which it is held in place.
Also see: Most Famous Bridges in the World
Longest bridges in the world
The length of a bridge is a factor that contributes to the design as much as any other factors. And the longest bridges in the world are now primarily in China.
1. Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, China
This bridge is longest in the world with a length of almost 160.4 kilometers or 102.4 miles. It is a rail flyover, more commonly a viaduct on the Beijing Shanghai High-speed railway. The Danyang-Kunshan Grand lies in the Jiangsu Province of China, passing over the Yangtze River Delta and the Yangcheng Lake in Suzhou. Its construction began in 2006 and was completed in 2010. Finally opened to trains on 30th June in 2011, this bridge holds the Guinness World record for the longest bridge. It was built at a cost of a whopping 8.5 billion US Dollars.
2. Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct, Taiwan
The second longest railway flyover in the world, this bridge serves the Taiwan High-Speed rail. Its length is 157.317 kilometers and was opened in January 2007. Till December 2012, more than two hundred million railway passengers have been carried over it. The Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct begins from Baguashan in Changhua County and ends at Zuoying in Kaohsiung. The bridge is earthquake-resistant, which enables trains to stop over it during earthquakes and also enables it to be easily repaired after an earthquake.
Also see: Longest Suspension Bridges in the world
3. Cangde Grand Bridge, China
This third longest bridge in the world is also a part of the Beijing Shanghai High-speed railway, just like the Danyan-Kunshan. Built on a total of 3092 piers, it was finished in 2010. The bridge has been constructed in a way that it can withstand seismic pressures.
4. Tianjin Grand Bridge, China
The 113,700 meter-long Tianjin viaduct runs between Langfan and Qingxian and was completed in 2010. In 2011, it was also given the Guinness World Record for the second longest bridge. But now, its the fourth longest bridge in the world. This bridge is also a part of the Beijing- Shanghai High-speed Railway.
5. Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge, China
The Weinan Weihe Grand lies in the Zhengzhou- Xi’an High-speed Railway line and is 79.732 kilometers long. This bridge crosses over many rivers, highways and railway lines, including the Wei River, which the bridge crosses over twice. The construction of the bridge was completed in 2008, but the line was opened to rail on February 6, 2010.
6. Bang Na Expressway, Thailand
This six-lane elevated highway in Thailand is fifty-five kilometers long and stands at the sixth place on the list of the world’s longest bridges. This bridge is the world’s longest car bridge and was the longest bridge in the world from 2002 to 2004. This tolled expressway has various entries and exits.
7. Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway, Kuwait
Built at a cost of USD 3 billion, this mega-bridge project spans the entire Bay of Kuwait. This bridge has been named after the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah of Kuwait, who reigned during the Gulf War for his contribution towards the development of Kuwait. This bridge is 48.5 kilometers long and is made of concrete and steel. Inaugurated about two months ago, this bridge connects the Kuwait City with the Silk Road, a place that aims to promote Kuwait as a tourist destination.
8. Beijing Grand Bridge, China
The Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway Line has various, and the Beijing Grand is one of them. It is the eight longest bridge in the world with a length of 48.153 kilometers (29.921 miles). This long railway viaduct was opened in 2011, after its construction completed in 2010.
9. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, United States
This thirty-eight and a half kilometers long bridge has been built across the Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, United States. In reality, this causeway is a fixed link of two parallel bridges, and it was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1969. Now, it has the record of the longest bridge over water. The causeway is made of 9,500 concrete pilings and has its Northern Terminus at Mandeville, Louisiana and the Southern Terminus at Metairie, Louisiana. Having daily traffic of 43,000, this causeway is rare as it has never sustained major damage during any natural occurrences.
10. Line 1, Wuhan Metro Bridge, China
The Wuhan Metro Bridge is a metro viaduct that is the longest continuous metro viaduct in the world with a length of 37,788 meters. This elevated metro line is located in the Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei. The metro line includes thirty-two metro station and has a daily ridership of 404,100.
11. Manchac Swamp Bridge, United States
Built over the Manchac Swamp, this bridge is one of the longest bridges built over water. Located in Louisiana, US, this bridge is the longest on the Interstate Highway System. This 9 meters wide and 36,710 meters long bridge claimed to be the longest toll-free road in the world. The bridge continues to be used since its opening in 1979.
12. Yangcun Bridge, China
The twelfth longest bridge in the world is also a Chinese creation, along with being one of the longest in its home country. The Yangcun Bridge is 35,812 meters long, which is about 22.25 miles and it is a part of the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway line since it’s construction ended in 2007.
Though the commute on many of these bridges is longer than normal travel, they have lessened the travel times by a very large factor. Thanks to bridges we can travel to places very far away!