Top 10 Coolest Bridges

Top 10 Coolest Bridges

Cool Bridges

There is no question that bridges serve a highly practical purpose; they have provided passages for ancient armies and drastically shorten distances that commuters travel, saving not only time but gas and money as well. However, bridges also contribute to the aesthetics of any city, be it metropolitan or countryside. Please enjoy some of our favorite bridges from around the world. Please note, this list is by no means comprehensive. The list is simply an attempt at epitomizing bridges that are aesthetically pleasing and represent some of the many different types of bridges found. There also isn’t any sort of ranking; they are listed in alphabetical order. If you have a bridge that you think should be an addition to a follow up article, feel free to leave a comment. Enjoy! And no, the picture above is not in this list.

Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge

Location: Akashi Strait, Japan
Length: 2.430 miles (3.911 kilometers)
Type of Bridge: Suspension Bridge
Why it’s special: At 1.237 miles (1.991 kilometers), the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge has the longest central span of all suspension bridges. The central span was actually only 1.990 kilometers long, but the Kobe earthquake of 1995 moved the two main towers a whole meter away from each other. However, the bridge was still under construction at the time, and luckily, only the towers had been built. The bridge is estimated to have cost around $5.5 billion to build.

Bloukrans Bridge

Location: Nature’s Valley, South Africa
Length: 0.280 miles (0.451 kilometers)
Type of Bridge: Arch Bridge
Why it’s special: At 708.661 feet above the Bloukrans River, the Bloukrans Bridge is the highest single span arch bridge in the world. Unsurprisingly, it is a favorite for many bungee jumpers, and it is home to the third highest commercially operated bungee jump in the world.

Erasmusbrug

Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Length: 0.498 miles (0.802 kilometers)
Type of Bridge: Cable-Stayed Bridge
Why it’s special: Other than its stunning looks, the bridge actually features a 272 foot long (83 meters) bascule portion, the longest panel of that particular type in the world. Interestingly, the Erasmusbrug is nicknamed “The Swan” because of the shape of its supporting pylon.

Gateshead Millenium Bridge

Location: Gateshead, England
Length: 0.078 miles (0.126 meters)
Type of Bridge: Tilt Bridge
Why it’s special: The Gateshead Millenium Bridge is the first and only tilting bridge in the world. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, the bridge is also highly functional. As you can see, the bridge can rotate to allow boats to travel down the River Tyne.

Golden Gate Bridge

Location: San Francisco, California
Length: 1.700 miles (2.700 kilometers)
Type of Bridge: Suspension Bridge
Why it’s special: The Golden Gate bridge may seem to receive too much attention considering the fact that it doesn’t appear as high-tech as some of the other bridges on this list; regardless, it’s still one of the most gorgeous structures to ever have been built. Not only is it a landmark and icon of San Francisco but also of the U.S. Since its opening in 1937, the bridge has only been closed for weather related reasons three times, which is a hell of a lot better than my beloved Evergreen Point Floating Bridge here in Seattle.

Magdeburg Water Bridge

Location: Magdeburg, Germany
Length: 0.570 miles (0.918 kilometers)
Type of Bridge: Water Bridge
Why it’s special: Does this really need an explanation? It’s a water bridge!…But for all you physics and engineering junkies out there, the bridge only needs to be able to carry the weight of the water it holds because when a ship travels through water, it displaces an amount of weight equivalent to its own weight, regardless of how heavy the ship may be.

Millau Viaduct

Location: Millau, France
Length: 1.53 miles (2.46 kilometers)
Type of Bridge: Cable-Stayed Bridge
Why it’s special: The Millau Viaduct has the distinction of being the tallest bridge in the world. It may not appear so in the pictures (other than the fact that the bridge is surrounded by clouds), but at 343 meters tall, the tallest mast in the viaduct is actually just a bit taller than the Eiffel Tower, which stands 324 meters tall. Not only do the pylons hold the world record for highest height but the road itself is the highest in Europe. Additionally, the Millau Viaduct is highly functional; it’s the newest of the four different routes between Paris and Perpignan, a city in the south of France, all of which have contributed to decreasing the heavy traffic that used to be characteristic to the three older roads.

Oresund Bridge

Location: Oresund Strait
Length: 4.874 miles (7.845 kilometers) – Doesn’t include the artificial islands or tunnel
Type of Bridge: Cable-Stayed Bridge
Why it’s special: What’s not to like here? Part cable-stayed bridge, part underwater tunnel. And did I mention it spans the Oresund Strait (thereby connecting Denmark with Sweden, for those of you who are geographically challenged). But for $5 billion, I guess I would expect something as extraordinary as the Oresund Bridge. While the underwater tunnel may seem rather pointless, it was actually designed as such in order to avoid interfering with airplanes commuting to and from the nearby Copenhagen Airport. Interestingly, sixteen unexploded World War II bombs were found on the seabed during construction. Badass.

Ponte Vecchio

Location: Florence, Italy
Length: 0.052 miles (0.084 kilometers)
Type of Bridge: Arch Bridge
Why it’s special: It’s the only bridge in the world that has shops built along its sides. While it originally featured butcher shops, the bridge is now home to souvenir sellers, jewelers, and art dealers. A medieval bridge believed to have been originally built around 996 AD, Ponte Vecchio has been destroyed twice by floods. Today, the bridge is one of the main attractions of Florence and greatly contributes to the mass tourism that is a feature of the city.

Quebec Bridge

Location: Quebec City, Canada
Length: 0.613 miles (0.987 kilometers)
Type of Bridge: Cantilever Bridge
Why it’s special: The Quebec Bridge features the longest cantilever bridge span in the world. In typical Canadian fashion, the bridge has also collapsed twice (I actually have dual-citizenship, but I felt it was appropriate to take a jab at my native country). Regardless, it’s still a beautiful bridge and is certainly an engineering feat in itself.

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