A bridge connects two places separated by a body of water, making it an important infrastructure in any country. This is not its sole function though. A bridge could also serve as a scenic spot, promoting not only trade and commerce, but a country’s tourism as well.
Below is a list of five giant bridges in the world, made famous not only for their size but for their aesthetics as well:
Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge
This bridge in China is the longest bridge in the world, holding the Guinness World Record for the longest bridge in the world in any category as of June 2011. It is part of the High-Speed Railway Network in China, and is a viaduct along the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway. At 102.4 miles, it crosses from Shanghai to Nanjing in the Jiangsu province of East China, and runs parallel above the Yangtze River. Construction began in 2006 and finished in 2010, and consequently, China opened the bridge for public access in 2011.
Crossing the East River in New York City, the Brooklyn Bridge has become one of the icons of the city and received the National Historic Landmark title in 1964. Spanning a total of 1,595.5 feet, with a height of almost 280 feet above sea levels, it carries more than 120,000 motorists every day in six lanes of roadways. This suspension bridge was designed by German immigrant John Agustus Roebling in 1869 and became fully operational by 1883, making it more than a century old.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge that crosses Port Jackson in Australia. It is 3,770 feet in length, 161 feet in width, and 440 feet in height. Nicknamed “The Coathanger” because of its design, this bridge overlooks the famous Sydney Opera House, which makes for a marvelous view especially at night. The bridge carries eight road lanes, two rail tracks, a pedestrian way, and a cycleway.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
Known for being the suspension bridge with the longest central span in the world, this bridge crosses the Akashi Strait and connects Kobe in Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island, carrying part of the Honshu-Shikoku Highway. Also called the Pearl Bridge, this piece of infrastructure was designed by Satoshi Kashima in 1988 and opened to the public after ten years of construction, on April 5, 1998.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the world, and one of the biggest, too. It spans the Golden Gate Strait, which runs for three miles between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay. Road markings on the bridge span a total length of 4,200 feet, while its total length runs at 8,981 feet. The Golden Gate is famous for its orange color, which not only serves to improve the bridge’s aesthetics, but also aids in its visibility against fog, especially in the morning. It was awarded fifth place in the 1999 List of America’s Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.
There are hundreds of other important bridges all over the world, not only for the convenience they provide for motorists, but for their aesthetic value as well. Many more architects and engineers are giving careful thought on the overall design of bridges, which may well result to an increase in giant yet aesthetically-pleasing infrastructures in upcoming years.