The ingenuity that goes into constructing a bridge is incredible. People throughout the years have come up with many varieties of the bridge, from the archetypal arch bridge to the tremendous suspension bridge. As our technology has improved our ambition to create longer, taller and more impressive designs has increased also. Here we have put together a list of 5 of the most extraordinary – and long – bridges from around the globe.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
At 23 miles long, this is not nearly the longest bridge to make it onto our list, but it sure is one of the most interesting. Built in the 1960s, the road is the only direct link between Virginia’s Eastern Shore and the Hampton Roads area. What makes this bridge particularly special is that it is interrupted by two one-mile long tunnels in the middle of the sea to allow ships to navigate their way over the stretch of water.
The Xianren Bridge
The world’s longest natural bridge the Xianren Bridge, or as it’s otherwise known, the Fairy Bridge, is in China. It is the largest natural arch with a span measuring 400 feet. Due to its virtual isolation in the depths of the Chinese wilderness, it has been relatively unknown until recently when a geologist found it using Google Earth in 2009. Unfortunately, it is very hard to visit, taking up to a day to travel to from the nearest town.
The Bang Na Expressway
The longest road bridge in the world runs through Bangkok in Thailand. Opened in 2000, it’s 34 miles long and cost $1billion to build. 6 lanes wide, it covers a total surface area of 1.9 million square metres and used 1.8 million cubic meters of concrete to construct.
The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge
The Jiazhou Bay Bridge is the world’s longest sea bridge. At an incredible 26.4 miles long, it is five miles longer than the distance between Dover to Calais. Despite its remarkable length, it only took four years to build at a cost of $1billion. Made up of 5,200 pillars, it has been built to cut commuting time between Qindao and Huangdao, but has only reduced that time by 30 minutes!
The Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge
The winner of the longest bridge in the world is the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge. The 104 mile long viaduct far eclipses any of the other bridges on this list. 10,000 workers took just 4 years to build the entire construction that runs alongside the Yangtze River and lowland rice paddies. Costing a massive $8.5billion, it is a mighty structure that instantly took a Guinness World Record when it opened in 2011. What makes this bridge even more extraordinary is the fact that on this same railway line is the Tianjin Grand Bridge, which is 70.6 miles long and is the world’s second longest bridge.