Thursday, May 15, 2008

World’s 10 Largest Bridges

World's Largest Bridges
The first suspension bridges date back to 206 B.C., when the Chinese used vines to carry loads over water. Eventually, vines were replaced by plaited bamboo, and finally, metal. During the late 1800s, the modern version of the suspension bridge developed in both the United States and Britain. Where people and products have to cross water, bridges are built. Not surprisingly, three of the world’s six largest bridges are in China, all of them built during the past decade. What other bridges span the farthest? Here’s a look at the top 10.

World’s 10 Largest Bridges?

Akashi-Kaikyo, Kobe-Naruto, Japan

Year completed: 1998
Span: 1,991 meters (6,529 feet)

World's Largest Bridges

The king of suspension bridges is more than a thousand meters (or 23%) longer than runner-up Great Belt Bridge of Denmark. The bridge replaced ferries that traveled between Kobe and Iwaya. The width of Akashi Strait, an international shipping lane, made it necessary for the Akashi-Kaikyo be at least 1,500 meters wide.

Great Belt, Korsor, Denmark

Year completed: 1998
Span: 1,624 meters (5,328 feet)

World's Largest Bridges

After 100 years, ferry service between the islands of Zealand and Funen were finally rendered obsolete in 1998. The largest construction project in Denmark’s history, the Great Belt has reduced an arduous ferry journey to a 10-minute drive.

Runyang South, China

Year completed: 2005
Span: 1,490 meters (4,888 feet)

World's Largest Bridges

The central structure of a wider bridge and road complex, the Runyang South Bridge crosses the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province. It was completed in just five years, half the time that it took to build Japan’s Akashi-Kaikyo.

Humber Bridge, Kingston-Upon-Hull, U.K.

Year completed: 1981
Span: 1,410 meters (4,626 feet)

World's Largest Bridges

The Humber Bridge spans the Humber estuary formed by the Trent and Ouse rivers. The Humber stood as the world’s largest bridge for 17 years, until the completion of the Great Belt in Denmark.

Jiangyin, Jiangyin, China

Year completed: 1999
Span: 1,385 meters (4,543 feet)

World's Largest Bridges

The Jiangyin Bridge crosses the Yangtze River to connect Jiangyin and Jingjiang. Originally, completion was expected to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution in 1997. It missed by two years, but still gave the country its largest bridge from 1999 to 2005, until the Runyang South surpassed it.

Tsing Ma, Hong Kong, China

Year completed: 1997
Span: 1,377 meters (4,518 feet)

The Tsing Ma Bridge was named after Hong Kong Islands Tsing Yi and Ma Wan. Its main claim to fame is carrying the longest span of rail traffic in the world. The bridge also has five lanes for trucks and cars, two of which are reserved for emergencies.

Verrazano-Narrows, New York City, U.S.

Year completed: 1964
Span: 1,298 meters (4,260 feet)

The majestic Verrazano-Narrows Bridge spans the opening to New York’s harbor, connecting Staten Island to Brooklyn. It’s the main thoroughfare for truckers leaving New York to carry goods to New Jersey and down the East Coast. The Verrazano held the top spot for 17 years, until the Humber Bridge was completed in the U.K. in 1981.

Golden Gate, San Francisco, U.S.

Year completed: 1937
Span: 1,280 meters (4,200 feet)

The Golden Gate Bridge, which achieved longest-span fame seven decades ago, still holds up as one of the world’s 10 largest. As the gateway to west coast cities San Francisco and Oakland, the bridge is still noted as one of the most picturesque in the world.

Högakustenbron, Kramfors, Sweden

Year completed: 1997
Span: 1,210 meters (3,970 feet)

The Högakustenbron (which means “high coast bridge”) spans the Angermanalven River, located about 600 kilometers north of Stockholm. The bridge was modeled after the Golden Gate Bridge.

Mackinac, Mackinaw City, Mich., U.S.

Year completed: 1957
Span: 1,158 meters (3,800 feet)

1 comment:

  1. bridges are one of the biggest engineering feats a man could ever build. Nice blog!


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