Tall bridges are very common in today’s world though it was not so even a hundred years before. Some of the engineering marvels that often fail to get the appreciation they richly deserve include bridges.
Bridges are remarkable structures constructed for connecting two points, which are otherwise difficult to access in the shortest and safest possible manner. It also contributes to the development of areas and affects their economy. The list of 10 tallest bridges in the world are described below:
10. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, New York
This 211.3 meters tall bridge with a central span of 1,298 meters connects Staten Island to Brooklyn and has been largely instrumental in developing of the Big Apple Area. It was built in 1964 at the cost of nearly $320 million. Till 1981, it continued to be the largest suspension bridge of the world.
9. The Runyang River Bridge, China
The bridge forms a part of Beijing-Shanghai superhighway and crosses the river Yangtze in Jiangsu district of China, downstream of Nanjing. The main span of this suspension bridge is 1,490 meters and its height is 215 meters. Its 39.2 meter wide deck can accommodate 6 traffic lanes with a narrow walkway on each side for the purpose of maintenance.
8. The Pont de Normandie, France
This is also a cable-stayed bridge that connects the Seine River to Normandy. It’s 215 meters tall and has a length of 2143.21 meters. Built at an expense of $465 million, it was opened on 20th January 1995. It is more than 250 meters long between the piers and was considered to be the longest cable-stayed bridge at the time of its construction till the title was snatched in 2004 by the Rio Antirrio.
7. Tatara Bridge, Japan
Tatara bridge located in Japan is also one of the tallest bridges worldwide. With a central span of 890 meter and steel towers measuring 220 meters, it’s recognized for having the longest span for any cable-stayed bridge worldwide. It connects the Japanese island of Shikoku and Honshu over the Seto Inland Sea. Forming a part of the renowned Mishieto Expressway it was opened in 1999. The entire construction was completed in only 6 years, setting an excellent example of Japanese engineering competence. It has been designed to withstand earthquakes of high intensity.
6. Golden Gate Bridge, USA
Having a height of 227.4 meters, the Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the Golden Gate, meaning the opening of San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. At the time of its completion in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge that became symbolic of California and San Francisco. Its construction started on 5th January and was over by April 1937. At that time its cost exceeded $35 million. The American Society of Civil Engineers acknowledges it as a modern wonder.
5. The Great Belt Fixed Link, Denmark
Constructed at a cost of DKK 21.4 billion this is the costliest bridge of Denmark and expected to justify that expense in due course. This is the tallest bridge in Europe with a height of 254 meters. The two islands of Denmark that it connects are Zealand and Funen and got competed in 1998. Comprising of road-suspension bridge and a railway tunnel it is also considered to be the second largest bridge in the world with respect to its span of 1.6 Km.
4. Stonecutters Bridge, Hong Kong
This suspension bridge from Hong Kong is at the 4th place in the top 10 tallest bridges list. Spanning over Hong Kong’s Rambler Channel this is a high suspension bridge. It connects Nam Wan Kok Island and Stonecutters Island. It is 298 meters tall and the fourth tallest bridge worldwide. The construction was started on 27th April, 2004 and on 20th December, 2009 it was opened to public. The estimated cost is HK 2.76 billion. It was a challenging project that formed a part of Route 8 of Hong Kong. Discovery Channel featured it in its Extreme Engineering series in April 2009.
3. Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, Japan
This high bridge is also known as the Pearl Bridge. Its central span is the longest among suspension bridges. The construction of this bridge with a height of 298.3 meters and central span of 1991 meters was finished in 1998. It connects the city of Kobe located on the mainland of Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island and crosses the busy Akashi Strait. It also contains a part of the Honshu Shkoku Highway.
2. Sutong Yantze River Bridge, China
This bridge over the Yangtze in China is a Cable-stayed bridge and has a span of 1,088 meters 3,570 ft. That was the longest span any bridge had till 2010. It has two side spans of 300 meters each. The bridge has two towers each having a height of 306 meters and is the second tallest bridge worldwide. Its estimated cost is US$1.7 billion. The construction was started in June 2003 and the bridge was thrown open to traffic in May 2008.
1. Millau Viaduct Bridge, France
Located in the south of France this bridge covers the width of river Tam near Millau and hence the name. Its imposing height of 343.0 meters (1,125 ft) makes it the tallest bridge of the world. You would know that makes it slightly shorter than the Empire State building but taller than Eiffel Tower. “Megastructures”, the popular show of National Geographic also featured it. Built at an expense of nearly 400 Million Euros, it was formally opened on December 16, 2004 and in 2006 it was given IABSE Outstanding Structure Award.
With the evolution of new technology, the possible construction height of the bridges is increasing. The Millau Viaduct Bridge that is the tallest bridge now may not be the highest within years.