Humans have been using bridges to facilitate mobility since ancient times. These structures cross waterways and valleys to shorten distances and to reduce travel time. People build bridges of varying designs, materials, and lengths. This article takes a look at some of the longest bridges in the world. In a list of 20 bridges, the majority are in China.
Asia Has The Longest Bridges In The World
Shockingly, the longest bridge in the world is 102.4 miles! Curious individuals can find this architectural wonder in China, the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge. This $8.5 million bridge carries trains between Nanjing and Shanghai. Ten thousand contractors took four years to complete the construction, and they finished in 2010; the railway began operation in 2011. In the same year, this bridge made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
The second longest bridge in the world is also a railway bridge, however, located in Taiwan. The Changhua-Kaohsiung measures 97.8 miles long. It comprises a portion of Taiwan’s high-speed railway system which runs along the west coast of the island. It opened for service in January of 2007. By December 2012, the system had carried over 200 million passengers. The Tianjin Grand Bridge is a 70.6-mile long expanse also located in China and used as part of the country’s railway system.
This structure makes up part of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway. Along with the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, this bridge was also completed in 2010 and opened in 2011. Also on the list is the Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge. With this bridge, the lengths begin to diminish significantly; this structure measures in at 49.5 miles and like several others, is located in China. The Weinan Weihe Grand is part of the Zhengzhou–Xi’an High-Speed Railway. At 33.5 miles, the Bang Na bridge in Thailand is next in length. This particular listing is unique as it is the first that makes up part of a highway system. The roadway has six lanes and runs above another national highway. The construction crew completed the bridge in January of 2000 and used an amazing 63,566,400 cubic feet of concrete. It crosses the Bang Pakong River. Returning to railway bridges, the Beijing Grand runs for 29.9 miles. Construction finished in 2010, and the bridge opened for use in 2011.
Longest Bridges In The United States Are Located In Louisana
Lake Pontchartrain Bridge is the first on the list to be located outside of Asia. This 23.9-mile bridge connects highway commuters in Louisiana, the US and relies on 9,500 concrete pilings for support. The Guinness Book of World Records has mentioned Causeway as the longest bridge over water in the world. Before its construction, people had to cross the lake by ferry. The second longest bridge in the United States is 22.8 miles long and is also located in Louisiana, US.The Manchac Swamp bridge cost taxpayers $7 million per mile to complete. It opened in 1979 and comprises 33% of the section of Interstate 55 that runs through the state. The last American bridge to make our list at 18.2 miles, the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge also located in Louisiana, US. It contributes to Interstate 10 and carries over 24,000 vehicles daily over the swamp.
China's Other Long Bridges
The Yangcun bridge is 22.3 miles and supports trains that travel at 217 miles per hour. The next two bridges are the same length, 22.2 miles. The first of these is the Hangzhou Bay Bridge and is the first highway bridge in China on the list. The public began using it in May 2008. The bridge is responsible for shortening travel between Ningbo and Shanghai by 137 miles and cutting travel time in half. The second 22.2 miles bridge is the Runyang in China. This bridge crosses the famous Yangtze river. Construction cost nearly $200 million, and it was open for public use in April 2005. Continuing down the list, the Donghai is another highway bridge in China and is 20.2 miles long. Completed in December 2005, some sections of the Donghai are cable-stayed to allow large ships to pass below. This bridge has a strict weight limit for vehicles. The Shanghai Maglev, located in China, is an interesting addition to the list. This bridge transports the Shanghai Transrapid line which is a magnetic levitation train.
The Transrapid line is the first high-speed magnetic levitation train in the world and runs 18.6 miles. Public service began in January 2004. Railway bridge Wuhan Line 1 is 17.9 miles and serves a metro line in China. The bridge has been in use since 2009, but the metro has been running since 2004. The Yanshi is another high-speed rail bridge located in China and is 17.7 miles long. Like the Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge, the Yanshi is also part of the Zhengzhou–Xi’an High-Speed Railway. Towards the end of the list is the 16.6 mile Jiaozhou Bay bridge is useful to highway travelers in China every day. The Jintang is another highway bridge in China and measures 16.5 miles, similar to the Jiaozhou Bay. This bridge is part of a viaduct on the Zhoushan Archipelago, the largest island group in the country, and has been in use since 2009. Last on the list at exactly 16 miles is the Jinbin Number 1. This bridge is a rail bridge located in China. It has been part of the Tianjin Binhai Mass Transit system since 2003.
Around the world, bridges are a constant find. Humans cannot live without them, and these structures have connected terrains and people for thousands of years. With the amazing feats of architecture that people have accomplished over time, it will be interesting to see how this list changes as bridges become longer and even more astounding.
20 Longest Bridges In The World
|Rank||Bridge, Type, Country||Length|
|1||Danyang-Kunshan Grand, Rail, China||102.4 miles|
|2||Changhua-Kaohsiung, Rail, Taiwan||97.8 miles|
|3||Tianjin Grand, Rail, China||70.6 miles|
|4||Weinan Weihe Grand, Rail, China||49.5 miles|
|5||Bang Na, Highway, Thailand||33.5 miles|
|6||Beijing Grand, Rail, China||29.9 miles|
|7||Lake Pontchartrain, Highway, Louisiana, U.S.A.||23.9 miles|
|8||Manchac Swamp, Highway, Louisiana, U.S.A.||22.8 miles|
|9||Yangcun, Rail, China||22.3 miles|
|10||Hangzhou Bay, Highway, China||22.2 miles|
|11||Runyang, Highway, China||22.2 miles|
|12||Donghai. Highway, China||20.2 miles|
|13||Shanghai Maglev, Magnetic Levitation, China||18.6 miles|
|14||Dwarka Sector 8, Rail, India||18.5 miles|
|15||Atchafalaya Basin, Highway, Louisiana, U.S.A.||18.2 miles|
|16||Wuhan Line 1, Rail, China||17.9 miles|
|17||Yanshi, Rail, China||17.7 miles|
|18||Jiaozhou Bay, Highway, China||16.6 miles|
|19||Jintang, Highway, China||16.5 miles|
|20||Jinbin Number 1, Rail China||16.0 miles|