Bridges make our lives infinitely easier. They allow us to travel over oceans, gorges, and straits. Many of these tall bridges were incredibly costly, but innovation doesn’t come cheap. Governments may have spent millions, and sometimes even billions, to build these bridges. However, the cost is worth it. In the long run, these bridges will end up saving a lot of money. Improved transportation corridors means more cargo can be transported. This, in turn, keeps the economy moving. These are the tallest bridges in the world measured by their tallest points from the ground.
1. Millau Viaduct - 1,104 feet
With a height of 1,104 feet, the Millau Viaduct is the tallest bridge in the world. The Millau Viaduct, which is located in Creissels, France, is such a marvel of engineering that many were skeptical that the bridge could even be built. The multi-span cable-stayed bridge spans the length of the Tarn Valley. Before the bridge was completed, travelers had to drive down into the valley to reach the other side. Traffic in the area was heavily congested and building the Millau Viaduct relieved pressure on local highways. The bridge is part of the A75 to A71 autoroute and was built using mostly concrete and steel. Did you know that the Millau Viaduct is actually 62 feet (19 m) taller than the Eiffel Tower?
2. Pingtang Bridge - 1,089 feet
The Pingtang bridge is the tallest bridge in China. Located in China’s Guizhou Province, the massive cable-supported viaduct spans across a huge canyon and is a major part of the Pingtang-Luodian Highway. The bridge’s center tower is the tallest reinforced bridge tower in the world. Chinese officials spent about $215 Million USD to build the bridge in the hope that it would cut the travel time between Pingtang and Luodian. The bridge opened in 2020, and you can now drive to Pingtang from Luodian in about an hour; before the bridge was built the trip took two and a half hours.
3. Hutong Yangtze River Bridge - 1,066 feet
The Hutong Yangtze River Bridge was built to withstand natural disasters and accidents. The sturdy bridge, which connects Suzhou and Nantong, can withstand collisions from cargo ships, deadly typhoons, and even powerful earthquakes. The top part of the bridge consists of a six-lane highway and the lower part of the bridge has four rail tracks. The towers of the bridge stand 1,082 feet (330 meters) tall, and the bridge was completed in 2020. The Hutong Yangtze River Bridge is a vital part of the Nantong Shanghai railway which opened in July 2020.
4. Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge - 1,056 feet
The ₺4.5 billion TRY Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge caused quite a bit of controversy when it opened in 2016. The bridge is named after Selim I, who was the 9th Ottoman Emperor. Members of the Alevi religious minority protested when the bridge opened because they blame Selim I and his forces for persecuting and slaughtering their people. The suspension bridge stretches across the Bosphorus Strait and connects Europe to Asia. The bridge was designed to handle heavy traffic and has eight lanes for vehicles and two rail lines. Because the bridge is the first in the world to use a hybrid cable system, which is a combination of a cable-stayed bridge and suspension bridge, it is considered an impressive engineering feat.
5. Russky Bridge - 1,053 feet
The Russky bridge stands 1,053 feet tall and was built to promote the 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Community Project. The bridge is considered to be somewhat of a vanity project. The bridge, which cost $1.1 billion USD to build, is not only one of the tallest bridges in the world but also one of the longest. It’s the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world with a length of 3,622 feet (1,104 m). The bridge has colloquially been called the bridge to nowhere because it connects Vladivostok, Russia to the sparsely populated Russky Island. Only about 5,000 people live on Russky Island, so the bridge is barely used.
More Bridges Being Built
New bridges are being built every year, so it is likely that there will be even taller bridges in the future. Construction in China is expanding at a rapid pace, and one day the tallest bridges in the world could all be located in China. Many of these bridges can handle both vehicles and trains, so these bridges are vital for both travelers and workers hauling cargo.