Throughout the ages, man has developed ways to bridge the gaps between physical obstacles. These bridges are a vital part of the infrastructure in different regions worldwide.
In addition to being stunning landmarks, these bridges have also played an important role in spreading knowledge, development, trade, and transportation. Here are some of the most incredible bridges of all time that deserve to be a part of your travel itinerary.
1. Akashi Kaiyko Bridge
The Akashi Kaiyko Bridge is the world’s longest suspension bridge, spanning 12,828 feet across the Akashi Strait to connect Kobe and Awaji Island. It took ten years to build, costing $4.3 billion and on average, 25,000 cars pass through the bridge daily.
Its design enables it to withstand earthquakes and winds up to 180 miles per hour. Engineers used a complex system of counterweights, pendulums and steel-truss girders to withstand these forces. In addition, they used innovations in the wind tunnel and cable fabrication.
2. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most iconic structures in the world. It has captivated both locals and tourists alike since its opening in 1937.
It is a suspension bridge, which relies on cables and suspenders under tension and towers under compression to span long distances.
When the project was first proposed in 1916, many people opposed it for its design. Engineer Joseph Strauss’s initial design was deemed “ugly” by the public, and many architects believed a suspension bridge of this length could be dangerous.
3. Brooklyn Bridge
One of the most incredible bridges of all time is the Brooklyn Bridge, which connects Manhattan and Brooklyn over the East River. It was completed in 1883 and has been a landmark in American engineering since then.
The bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world and was designed by John Augustus Roebling, a pioneer of steel-suspension bridge construction. It took 14 years to complete and cost $15.5 million, resulting in 27 lives lost during construction.
Workers dug into the riverbed to build the bridge’s towers using caissons, giant wooden boxes that sunk in the water and were filled with compressed air. This allowed them to dig deep into the riverbed and create solid foundations for the bridge.
4. Suspension Bridge in Boston
One of the country’s most significant bridges, the Suspension Bridge in Boston, is an iconic structure that symbolicity’se the city’s future and its historical past. Designed by Swiss bridge designer Christian Menn, the Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge is the widest cable-stayed bridge in the world and anBoston’sBoston’s history with its modern city skyline.
With its 270-foot towers, the bridge mimics the shape of the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. It also sports cables that look like the stays of a tall ship.
5. Roebling Suspension Bridge
The Roebling Suspension Bridge is an engineering prototype for the famed Brooklyn Bridge and is an iconic piece of the Cincinnati, Ohio, skyline. It opened in 1866 and is a National Historic Landmark.
It is the longest suspension bridge in the world, spanning 1,057 feet. It was designed by John A. Roebling, who was also the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Roebling was a genius who believed a bridge must be functional and beautiful. He envisioned a suspension bridge that was both strong and beautiful to inspire passengers as well as transport them across the river.
6. Nanpu Bridge in Shanghai
The Nanpu Bridge, which crosses the Huangpu River in Shanghai, is one of the most incredible bridges in the world. This cable-stayed road bridge is a wonder of world bridge construction.
The main structure of the Nanpu Bridge consists of two large H-shaped reinforced towers 150 meters high, each with 22 pairs of steel cables fanned out to support the main girders.
The Nanpu Bridge was opened in 1991, becoming the first bridge over the Huangpu River in central Shanghai and the fourth most significant cable-stayed bridge in the world. It was designed by Holger S. Svensson and was financed by the Asian Development Bank.
7. Tower Bridge in London
London’s most iconic landmark, Tower Bridge, has a rich history and architectural grits. It’s also a popular tourist attraction because of the spectacular views it offers visitors to the city.
The 127-year-old Grade I listed combined bascule and suspension bridge crosses the River Thames, close to the Tower of London. It was designed by Horace Jones and engineered by John Wolfe Barry.