Penang Bridge

Architecture Engineering Marvels: Tallest Bridges in the World

What would it be like to drive high up on a bridge that would almost make you feel you’re touching the sky? Amazing, isn’t it? You can experience it on the tallest bridges in the world. The list of tallest bridges in the world includes some of the great architectural and engineering records that man ever made!

Millau Viaduct
Credit: Pixabay

Tallest Bridges in the World

Let us have a look at the tallest bridges in the world travel.

Millau Viaduct

The Millau Viaduct is a cabled bridge that runs through the valley of Tarn in Southern France. The bridge was designed by French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and English architect Norman Foster as a part of an Anglo-French partnership. It is the tallest bridge in the world, towering at a height of 336.4 meters (1,104 ft). The bridge was built over a period of three years and is an integral part of the A75–A71 autoroute axis from Paris- Béziers – Montpellier. The construction cost stood at an estimate of around € 394 million. Inaugurated in 2004, it opened to traffic in December of that year. Millau Vaiduct is one of the great engineering marvels of all time. It also earned the 2006 Outstanding Structure Award conferred by the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering.

Although the Millau Viaduct focuses primarily on towers, the long cables and the deck, another remarkable construction element are the seven piers that root it to the ground. Below every pier of the bridge there are four big “morocan” wells that dive deep 49 feet into the ground and are 16 feet wide. Also, each of the cables has a triple protection method to prevent it from corrosion. There is a galvanization, a super coating of petroleum wax, and heavy polyethylene sheath.

Pinang Bridges

The Pingtang Bridge is the second tallest bridge in the world, located in Pingtang, China. The Pingtang Luodian Expressway runs through it over the Caodu River valley. Pinang Bridges stands at a towering height of 332 meters (1,089 ft), and opened to traffic in 2019. The bridge is a multi-cabled bridge with a length of 7,000 ft (2,100 m). The tallest tower of the Pinang Bridges stands 15 meters (49 ft) shorter compared to the Millau Viaduct Bridge in France. Pinang Bridge also lists among the 20 tallest bridges in the world, having a road deck of 310 meters (1,020 ft) with a river flowing below. The estimated construction cost of the bridge was 1.5 billion yuan.

Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge

The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is a road-rail bridge over the Bosphorus strait. It was originally named as the Third Bosphorus Bridge (with the towering Bosphorus Bridge being the First Bosphorus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge named the Second Bosphorus Bridge). The bridge stands near the entrance of the Black Sea to the Bosphorus strait, between Garipçe towards the European side and Poyrazköy towards the Asian side. Foundation stone for construction of this bridge was laid in 2013 and it opened to traffic in 2016. The Yavux Sultan Selim Bridge also lists as the world’s widest suspension bridge, at a width of 58.4 meters (192 ft).

Rusky Bridge

The Russky Bridge is a cabled bridge located in Vladivostok in Russia. The bridge is a connecting link between Russky Island and the Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula section across the Eastern Bosphorus Strait. It is the longest cabled bridge, spanning 1,104 meters (3,622 feet). Russky Bridge was originally constructed to serve the 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference that took place on the Far Eastern Federal University campus on Russky Island. Construction of the bridge completed in July 2012 and it officially earned its name in September 2012.

Suntong Yangtze River Bridge

The Sutong Yangtze River Bridge is a cabled bridge spanning the Yangtze River in China between the places of Nantong and Changshu.  It spans a length of 1,088 meters (3,570 ft), and stood as the cabled bridge with the longest span in the world in 2008-2012. The bridge earned the 2010 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award (OCEA), conferred by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Two primary towers of the Suntong Yangtze Bridge stand at 306 meters (1,004 ft) high. The total length of the bridge is 8,206 meters (26,923 ft). The construction of this bridge started in 2003, and opened to traffic in 2008. The construction cost of the bridge was an estimated US$1.7 billion.

Stonecutter's Bridge
Credit: Brand Hong Kong

Tallest Bridges in the World

Stonecutter Bridge

It is a towering cabled bridge that spans the Rambler Channel in Hong Kong and connects Nam Wan Kok to Stonecutters Island. The construction of the bridge was completed and opened to traffic in 2009. During its completion, it stood as the second-longest cabled bridge span in the world. The bridge is an integral part of Route 8 of Hong Kong that connects Sha Tin, Cheung Sha Wan, Tsing Yi Island, Ma Wan, and Lantau Island. It earned the 2010 Supreme Award at the annual Structural Awards conferred by the Institution of Structural Engineers, United Kingdom.

Chishi Bridge

It is located in China and carries the G76 Xiamen–Chengdu Expressway. It stands at a towering height of 380 meters (1,250 ft). In 2017, the New York Times highlighted the Chishi Bridge as an exemplary of China’s several troubled bridge projects. According to the New York Times, the construction of this bridge was heavily delayed and also was over the budget by 50%. The total construction cost of the bridge was US$300 million.

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

The Akashi Kaikyō is a high suspension bridge connecting Kobe to Iwaya. The bridge spans the busy Akashi Strait that falls in the Honshu–Shikoku Highway. Construction of the bridge was completed in and, at 1991 meters, it carries the longest central span of any high suspension bridge in the world. The bridge is a major link of the Honshū–Shikoku Bridge Project that includes three routes across the Inland Sea.

Yi Sun-Sin Bridge

It is a high suspension bridge located on the southern coast of South Korea connecting Gwangyang with Myodo-dong. It is an integral part of the Approach Road to the Yeosu Industrial Complex. The Yi Sun-Sin Bridge is the fifth-longest suspension bridge in the world in terms of its primary span length of 1545 meters.  It is named after a Korean Admiral ‘Yi Sun-sin’, who was born in 1545 and constructed the world’s first ironclad warship ‘the Turtle ship’ and defended Korea against the Japanese navy during the Joseon Dynasty. Yooshin Corporation designed the bridge and was constructed by Daelim Industrial Company.

Duge Bridge

The Duge Bridge is a cabled bridge located on the border between Guizhou and Yunnan. It is the highest bridge in the world, having a road deck standing over 565 meters (1,850 feet) above the Beipan River. Duge Bridge is an integral part of the G56 Hangzhou–Ruili Expressway that connects Qujing and Liupanshui. The eastern tower of the bridge is 269 m (883 ft) and stands as the tallest in the world. The bridge reduces travel times between Liupanshui and Xuanwei to approximately two hours instead of the regular five hour journey.

Jingyue Yangtze River Bridge
Credit: Blog

Tallest Bridges in the World

Jingyue Yangtze River Bridge

The Jingyue Yangtze River Bridge is a cabled bridge running over the Yangtze River encompassing Jianli County, Hubei Province, and Yueyang, Hunan Province in China. The bridge opened to traffic in 2010 and is one of the largest cabled bridges in the world.

Nansha Bridge

A suspension bridge in Guangdong, China, it spans the Pearl River and also is the entrance to the Guangzhou–Longchuan Expressway. The Nansha Bridge is an integral part of the Pearl River Delta expressway network and connects Shatian Town to Nansha District in Guangzhou and the Guangzhou Ring Expressway to the Guangshen Yanjiang Expressway. It opened to regular traffic in 2019.

Yachi River Bridge

The Yachi River Bridge is a cabled bridge in Guizhou, China and is one of the longest cabled bridges, having a primary span of 800 m (2600 ft). The western tower of the bridge stands at 258.2 m (847 ft), listing it amongst the tallest bridges in the world. Yachi Bridge covers the Yachi River between Qianxi County and Qingzhen and also the reservoir of Dongfeng Dam at 306m (1004 ft) above sea level. Traffic from Guiyang to Qianxi Expressway passes over this bridge.

 Yangsigang Yangtze River Bridge

The Yangsigang Yangtze River Bridge is a high suspension bridge connecting Hanyang and Wuchang in China. It opened up to traffic in 2019 and stands as the second-longest high suspension bridge in the world. The bridge runs 1700 meters (5,577 feet) across the flowing Yangtze River. It is also the longest double-deck bridge in the world, carrying tons of vehicles and pedestrians on its decks. The upper deck of the Yangsigang Yangtze Bridge houses six lanes for vehicles and 2 m (6.6 ft) width pedestrian walkways on either side. The lower deck of the bridge has four motor lanes, two 2.5 m (8.2 ft) lanes for non-motorized vehicles, and two pedestrian walkways. The total length of the bridge stands at 4.134 kilometers (2.57 miles). The construction cost of the bridge is an estimated ¥8.5 billion (US$1.27 billion).

Great Belt Fixed Link

The Great Belt Fixed Link is a fixed link bridge spanning between the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen. The bridge has a road suspension bridge with a railway tunnel between Zealand and Sprogø Island. There is also a box-girder bridge facilitating both road and rail traffic between Sprogø and Funen. The overall length of the bridge is 18 kilometers (11 mi).

Liuguanghe Xiqian Expressway Bridge
Credit: Highest Bridges

Tallest Bridges in the World

Liuguanghe Xiqian Expressway Bridge

The Liuguanghe Xiqian Expressway Bridge is a cabled bridge between Xiuwen, Guiyang and Qianxi. Standing 375 meters high, it carries traffic across Xifeng to Qianxi Expressway. The bridge has a primary span of 580 meters and an overall length of 1280 meters. Its tallest tower stands at 245 meters high. The construction process of the Wujiangdu Dam downstream from the Liuguanghe Xiqian Expressway Bridge created an architectural reservoir extending to under the bridge and reducing its viable height above the water up to 300 meters.

Zhongzhou Yangtze River Bridge

The Zhongzhou Yangtze River Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge over the Yangtze River in Zhong County of Chongqing, China. Completed in 2009, the bridge carries traffic on the G50 Shanghai–Chongqing Expressway.  With a main span of 460 meters (1510 ft), the Zhongzhou Yangtze River Bridge is among the longest cable-stayed spans in the world. The bridge was constructed 134 meters (440 ft) above the original river. The reservoir created by the Three Gorges Dam has increased the height of the water below the bridge and the clearance is reduced to 84 meters (276 ft) when the reservoir depth is at its peak.

Jiujiang Yangtze River Expressway Bridge

The Jiujiang Yangtze River Expressway Bridge, also popular as the Second Jiujiang Bridge, is a cabled bridge spanning across the Yangtze River between Huangmei, Huanggang, and Jiujiang in China. It houses six traffic lanes on the busy G70 Fuzhou–Yinchuan Expressway and is the second viable Yangtze River crossing in Jiujiang province. The construction of the bridge began in 2009 and was completed in 2013. The primary span of the bridge is 818 m (2684 ft) and it lists amongst the longest cabled bridges in the world. The overall length of the Jiujiang Yangtze River Expressway Bridge across the larger Yangtze River is 1405 m (4610 ft). The structure covers 8462 m (27762 ft), and has the primary span, secondary span, along with the northern and southern bridge approaches. The northern approach of the bridge is 2166 m (7106 ft) and houses the Huangguang Levee Bridge, Fen Road Elevated Bridge, and G105 Highway Bridge. The southern approach of the bridge is 3591 m (11781 ft) and houses the Qili Lake Bridge and the Bridge across the Jingjiu Railway.

Edong Yangtze River Bridge

The Edong Yangtze River Bridge is a cabled bridge spanning across the Yangtze River connecting Huangshi and Xishui County. It is an integral part of the G45 Daqing–Guangzhou Expressway and the G50 Shanghai–Chongqing Expressway. The construction of the bridge began in 2008 and was completed in 2010. The bridge has a primary span of 926 m (3,038 ft) and is at present the fourth-longest cabled bridge in the world.

Mezcala Bridge

The Mezcala Bridge, also known as the Mezcala-Solidaridad Bridge, is a cabled bridge in Guerrero, Mexico. Spanning across the Balsas River, it has a total length of 891 m (2923 ft). Construction of the six uneven spans of the bridge was completed in 1993 and it came into service as a toll bridge in 1994.

Mezcala Bridge
Credit: Rlist

Conclusion

Bridges are a convenient way of traveling. They cut down much of the travel time and enable us to travel through gorging rivers and straits. Many of the above-listed bridges are whopping costly, but architecture marvels do cost a fortune! However, the bridges are worth the expenditure, as the bridges save lots of money in the long run.

Visiting the tallest bridges in the world would be an adventurous trip, isn’t it? These bridges not only give the best heights but also mesmerizing sights of nature, the skyline and the far horizon. The bridges are notable examples of engineering marvels and architectural records of the world. Do plan to visit them on your travel trip next time to experience the adrenaline rush of driving high up in the sky!

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