Humans have been constructing bridges of some sort since ancient times. Bridges are used to cross waterways and valleys in order to shorten distances and to reduce travel time. This article takes a look at some of the longest bridges in the world, the majority of which are found in China.
The 10 Longest Bridges in the World
1. Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, China (164,800 Meters)
The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, on the Beijing-Shanghai high speed railway in China, is the longest bridge in the world. It covers a total distance of 164,800 meters, which is around 102.4 miles. Ten thousand contractors took four years to complete the construction of the Danyang-Kunshan, which was finished in 2010. The railway began operation in 2011. In the same year, this bridge was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records.
2. Changhua-Koahsiung Viaduct, Taiwan (157,317 Meters)
The Changhua-Koahsiung Viaduct is the second largest bridge in the world, spanning 157,317 meters. The bridge 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 already carried over 200 million passengers.
3. Cangde Grand Bridge, China (115,900 Meters)
Like the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, the Cangde Grand Bridge is also a part of the high speed railway between Beijing and Shanghai. The bridge runs for a total of 115,900 meters, or 105 km. It was built with great strength in an effort to withstand earthquake pressure.
4. Tianjin Grand Bridge, China (113,700 Meters)
The Tianjin Grand Bridge is a 70.6-mile long expanse located in China. It is used as part of the country’s railway system, and crosses a viaduct. It formerly held the Guinness record for the world's second longest bridge.
5. Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge, China (79,732 Meters)
The Weinan Weihe Grand is part of the Zhengzhou–Xi’an High-Speed Railway. At 79,732 meters, it is the world's fifth longest bridge. When the construction of the bridge was completed in 2008, it held the title of the world's largest. However, as newer and longer bridges have come into existence, the Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge has slipped to hold the position of the world's fifth longest bridge.
6. Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, China (54,717 Meters)
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge opened in October 2018 becoming the world's sixth longest bridge. The bridge connects Kong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macau spanning the Lingding and Jiuzhou channels. The bridge is 54,717 meters long consisting of three cable-stayed bridges as well as an undersea tunnel. The bridge, under construction since 2009, is now the longest sea crossing in the world.
7. Bang Na Expressway, Thailand (54,000 Meters)
The Bang Na Expressway in Thailand is the world's seventh longest bridge, with a total length of 54,000 meters. Prior to 2010, it was the longest bridge in the world. The bridge does not cross a body of water but instead is an elevated section of the National Highway. At one point the expressway does cross a river. However, for the most part it is a viaduct built above land.
8. Beijing Grand Bridge, China (48,153 Meters)
The Beijing Grand Bridge is another entry on this list that is part of the Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Railway. It reaches for 48,163 meters. The Beijing Grand Bridge has been open to high speed train use since 2011.
9. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, United States (38,442 Meters)
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway (or just the Causeway) was opened in 1956 in the northbound direction in New Orleans, Louisiana. It remains the longest bridge in the United States. The bridge carries traffic across Lake Pontchartrain from the suburbs of New Orleans. Prior to the opening of the Causeway, transportation had only been available via ferry.
10. Line 1, Wuhan Metro Bridge, China (37,788 Meters)
The Wuhan Metro Bridge makes up the entire Line 1 of the metro system of the city of Wuhan in central China. It is a total of 37,788 meters long. Constructed was completed in 2004.
Around the world, bridges are an essential type of construction. 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.