Although the majority of the longest bridges in the world are located in Asia or the US, Europe is home to many long and beautiful bridges. These bridges have been constructed to address various challenges in the European continent, and the majority are located in Portugal.
Top 4 bridge
Vasco da Gama Bridge
Vasco da Gama bridge is located in the northern region of Lisbon. Its official name is Ponte Vasco da Gama and it is owned by the Portuguese republic. It is the longest bridge in Europe with a total length of 12,345 meters including 0.8km for the main bridge and 11.5km of dedicated access to road. The bridge was built with the purpose of alleviating the congestion on Lisbon’s other bridges and to prevent the traffic between the North and South of the country. The bridge carries six road lanes and has a life expectancy of 120 years. There are many road sections that can be accessed from the bridge including the north access roads, the north viaduct, the expo viaduct, the main bridge, central viaduct the south viaduct and the south access roads.
Emsland Test Facility Bridge
Emsland test facility bridge is located in Emsland, Germany. It has a length of 12km. The facility is a testing site for transrapid maglev trains in Emsland and it runs between Dorpen and Lathen. Elevated to allow continued farming and grazing of the land, the construction of the facility began in 1980 and ended in 1984. The bridge is the second largest bridge in Europe. At the end of 2011, the test track was closed due to the expiration of the operation license. However, in early 2012 the facility was demolished and the tracks and factory were approved.
Leziria Bridge is a box girder bridge and viaduct bridge located in Carregado which is northeast of Libson, Portugal. The bridge has a length of 11,670 metres and it is the third largest bridge in Europe. Leziria’s construction began in 2005 and the bridge was opened in July 2007. The bridge's official name is Ponte de Leziria and it is maintained by Brisa. The bridge spans 972 meters over the Tagus river and the bridge has six road lanes. The bridge was constructed in 21 months using the balanced cantilever method.
Elster Viaduct Bridge
Elster Viaduct is a railway bridge in the German state of Saxony. It is the fourth largest bridge in Europe with a length of 8,678 meters. The bridge was re-opened to traffic in February 1946 and reconstructed after the second World War. It is the second largest brick bridge in the world. Elster Viaduct was built in the course of the construction of the Leipzig-Hof line of the Saxon-Bavarian State Railway.
One undeniable fact about these bridges is the amount of technology involved in the construction. Apart from boosting the overall economic structures of the respective countries, the bridges have also positively contributed to transport systems across the continent.