Bridges are among the most ancient inventions of humankind. Our distant ancestors could not have traveled long distances without these bridges because rivers and other obstacles separate many kilometers.
At first, they were simple and made from planks and ropes. But over time, people began to construct significant structures of several kilometers long distances.
Many of the longest over water bridges existing today were constructed relatively recently, after the 2000s. Heavy vehicles and people walk through them every day, but they hold on firm and look just terrific.
The longest bridge at present is located in China and is over 164 kilometers long. Let’s find out about the top 20 bridges in the world:
Table of Contents
- 1. Danyang-Kunshan Bridge, China
- 2. Tianjin Bridge, China
- 3. Wei Bridge, China
- 4. Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Bridge
- 5. Jaber Bridge, Kuwait
- 6. Qingdao bridge, China
- 7. Bridge-dam over Pontchartrain
- 8. Manchac Swamp, United States
- 9. Hangzhou Bay Bridge, China
- 10. Runyang bridge, China
- 11. Donghai bridge, China
- 12. Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge, USA
- 13. King Fahd bridge, Saudi Arabia
- 14. Incheon-daegyo, South Korea
- 15. The Sixth of October Bridge, Egypt
- 16. Vasco da Gama Bridge, Portugal
- 17. Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, USA
- 18. Penang Bridge, Malaysia
- 19. Rio Niteroi Bridge, Brazil
- 20. Bhumibol Bridge, Thailand
1. Danyang-Kunshan Bridge, China
Danyang-Kunshan Bridge was constructed in 2010, connecting the two Chinese cities of Shanghai and Nanjing.
Its length is 164.8 kilometers, and today it is the longest bridge in the world. It has registered its name as the longest bridge in the Guinness Book of Records since 2011.
Trains constantly travel across this bridge, and for about 9 kilometers, they cross over the water. So, drivers and passengers can enjoy the fantastic view of Yangchenghu Lake. The lake is the only habitat of the Chinese fur-hand crab, which is considered a delicacy.
The cost estimated for the construction of this bridge ranges from $ 8.5 billion to $ 10 billion. During the construction of the Danyang-Kunshan bridge, 10,000 people worked day and night.
The construction of the bridge required 500,000 tons of steel and 2.5 million cubic meters of concrete.
The continuous operation of 10 factories provided the raw materials used for the construction, and thanks to this, the building progressed at an excellent pace and stably.
The world’s longest bridge has been designed to withstand an 8-magnitude earthquake, but it must also cope with tsunamis and withstand an accidental collision with a container ship.
Incidentally, more than 30,000 rail and road vehicles pass through the world’s largest bridge every day, making it the largest and one of the busiest bridges in the world.
The China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the China Communications Construction Company, is the one who designed and built the bridge.
It is a Chinese government-funded company that was the Ministry of Communications of China at first. This company manages major civil engineering projects in China, including highways, railways, bridges, ports, and tunnels.
2. Tianjin Bridge, China
This bridge was erected in 2010 between the Chinese urban districts of Langfang and Qingxian. This bridge serves as a track for high-speed trains in China, between the Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Tianjin lines.
It is part of the Beijing – Shanghai High-Speed Railway. This bridge is not only traversed by four-wheeled and two-wheeled vehicles but also by trains.
Its length is 113.7 kilometers, and trains also move along it. Since it is located at the point where the five sources of the Hai-he River join, sometimes train passengers can see the fantastic beauty of nature.
This bridge simultaneously solved a big problem in the form of a very long journey between two Chinese districts. Its construction finished in 2010, but the builders didn’t open the bridge until 2011.
3. Wei Bridge, China
The Wei bridge connects the Chinese cities of Zhengzhou and Xi’an. The total length of the bridge is 79.7 kilometers, so it crosses the Wei River 2 times.
Also, the Long over water Bridge crosses many other rivers, roads, and railways. The construction of the railway route was completed in 2008, but it did not open until 2010.
And this is a straightforward route with a minimum of turns, so high-speed trains have no chance of getting off the rails.
It is believed that the invaluable experience gained during the construction of the bridge over the Wei contributed to the development of new grandiose bridge construction projects in China.
The high-speed train ride across the bridge promises to be very exciting. The railway line passes through several beautiful rivers and lakes. The trip will appeal to tourists who are not indifferent to natural beauty.
4. Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Bridge
It just so happens that the longest bridges in the world are mainly located in China. The bridge connecting Hong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macau is vast, including an underwater tunnel.
The bridge’s total length is 55 km, of which 22.9 km lie above the water surface. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge consists of a series of bridges and tunnels that are laid underwater.
Built-in a U shape, it conveniently connects the major cities of Asia and reduces the time of arrival and departure from one point to another to 30 minutes (previously, it took three hours).
According to Discovery China, the maximum permitted speed on the bridge is 100 km/h, and on average, it takes 45 minutes to cross the bridge.
The structure was built by the state-owned China Communications Construction Corporation and opened in 2018. $ 20 billion was spent on construction.
5. Jaber Bridge, Kuwait
The Jaber Bridge (Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah Bridge) is the longest in the Middle East of those erected over water. It is located in Kuwait, crosses the Persian Gulf. Its total length is 48.53 km.
The client was the Ministry of Public Works of Kuwait. It built the bridge within the framework of the project of the Council of Arab States.
Design work began in 2012, and the bridge was completed in 2019. The construction was carried out in a scorching climate; the workers carried out most of the operations in the early morning.
On May 1, 2019, the bridge was officially opened. The construction cost was $ 2.6 billion. The structure connects the city of Al-Shuwayh, the industrial part of Kuwait, with the area of Al-Sabiya.
The bridge did not harm the navigation in this region. The ships can pass through a 340 m long passage made in the form of a suspension bridge.
It can be considered the longest bridge that crosses the body of water without interruption to land. Tens of thousands of motorists pass through it every day, admiring the vastness of the Kuwait Gulf.
6. Qingdao bridge, China
Qingdao Bridge is one of the largest road bridges in the world. Built-in China, it connects Qingdao city with the Huangdao industrial region.
Qingdao Bridge is located above the northern part of Jiaozhou Bay. The total length of the bridge is 42.5 km.
The construction of the crossing began in 2007, and the government opened the bridge in 2011. The total cost of the bridge cost $ 5.5 billion.
Four hundred fifty thousand tons of steel were used during the construction, more than 2 million cubic meters of concrete. More than 5 thousand supporters support the bridge.
The bridge can withstand a maximum load of 300 thousand tons. About 30 thousand cars pass through it every day.
At the same time, the residents criticized the bridge’s construction. It made it possible to shorten the path between the city and the industrial zone by only 30 minutes, which is incomparable with its construction cost.
7. Bridge-dam over Pontchartrain
The dam bridge over Lake Pontchartrain is located in Louisiana (USA). The length of the bridge is 38.42 km.
The structure was erected to connect the small towns of Metairie and Mandeville, located on the opposite shores of Lake Pontchartrain.
The bridge is made of two parallel roads, and 9 thousand concrete piles support its structure. So that the bridge does not interfere with navigation, lifting spans support the bridge. Before the construction of the bridge, the towns were connected by a ferry.
In the middle of the twentieth century, the idea of building a bridge matured, and the state of Louisiana allocated funds. The first bridge was opened in 1956, the second in 1969.
Although the bridges are built in parallel, the difference in length between them is 20 m. The toll-free bridge’s total construction cost was about $ 80 million.
The bridge was damaged several times: Hurricane Katrina (2005), and barges crashed into it (1960, 1964, 1974).
8. Manchac Swamp, United States
Manchac Swamp is located in Louisiana and is about 36.69 kilometers long. The Louisiana state built the bridge to be a link between states, namely the Interstate 55 road.
It is mainly built to get around the swamps at the bottom of the bridge and are crocodile nests. A Louisiana legend also claims that the Cajun Waswolf lives on the bridge, Rougarou or Princess voodoo.
According to 1915 legends, a voodoo cult minister was burned in the territory of the swamps mentioned above.
She possessed tremendous magical powers, which is why she was feared and outright hated. Even though she was not guilty before the locals, they decided to execute her as a witch.
During the execution, the voodoo servant cursed all those present and the area. The swamps were therefore called a haven of ghosts.
After the event, a hurricane wind hit the local settlement, demolishing almost all houses and killing many people.
The most exciting thing is that the corpses of residents who died in 1915 continue to emerge from the swamp to this day.
Dead bodies sometimes float to the surface, after which they remain in this position for a while and sink back, and new ones float to replace them. However, the Manchac Swamp Bridge is the safest in the world because of the sturdy bridge building.
9. Hangzhou Bay Bridge, China
The Hangzhou Bay Bridge is the longest transoceanic bridge in the world. The cable-stayed bridge is located in Zhejiang province in eastern China.
It serves to connect Jiaxing and Ningbo cities. The length of the bridge is 35.7 km. Design and exploration work took ten years. Construction began only after the final approval of the project in 2003.
According to the plan, the construction will be built no earlier than 2010. However, already in 2008, the bridge was officially opened. The construction cost was $ 1.4 billion.
The bridge has helped in improving logistics in the region. Thus, the large city of Ningbo from Shanghai can be reached in three hours, whereas previously, travelers had to detour 160 km.
An artificial island with extensive infrastructure has been built in the middle of the bridge. Drivers and passengers can relax on it.
10. Runyang bridge, China
The Runyang Bridge crosses the longest river in Eurasia, the Yangtze. The government built the bridge in the Chinese province of Jiangsu.
The bridge consists of a complex of bridge structures with a total length of 35.6 km. The size of the main span is 1490 m.
The bridge’s construction began in 2000; On May 1, 2005, the traffic started on it. The total cost of construction is about $ 700 million.
The six-lane crossing is an integral part of the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway. The complex consists of two large bridges connecting Zhenjiang on the south bank and Yangzhou on the north.
11. Donghai bridge, China
The Donghai Bridge is the second-longest transoceanic bridge as it crosses the East China Sea. Its total length is 32.5 km, height – 159 m.
The facility is located in China on the east coast. Its construction began in 2002. The bridge opened to traffic on December 10, 2005.
They spent $ 1.6 billion on the structure’s construction, and the design resembles the letter S in shape. The crossing is six-lane, the total width is 31.5 m, the maximum permitted speed on the bridge is 80 km/h.
The bridge connects Shanghai and Yangshan (port), which are essential for the Chinese economy. Vehicles that are too heavy cannot move on the bridge because the track is too narrow.
12. Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge, USA
The Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge is one of the longest road bridges in America. The total length of the crossing is 29.2 km.
The bridge was opened in 1973, and it is in the form of two parallel roads. The road bridge is part of the I-10 motorway.
It crosses the vast swamp of the Atchafalaya Basin. The bridge connects the cities of Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
Originally the bridge was called The Bridge over Atchafalaya-Basin. In 1942, during World War II, the 82nd US Airborne Division was created.
One of its main tasks was to capture essential bridges and crossings, to hold bridgeheads around them.
Since 1988, veterans of the division have launched a campaign to rename notable bridges in the United States in honor of the paratroopers.
Louisiana veterans succeeded in renaming the bridge in 1989, and they erected a memorial monument near it.
13. King Fahd bridge, Saudi Arabia
King Fahd Bridge is a complex bridge in Saudi Arabia. It was named after King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.
The total length of the structure is 25 km. The bridge connects the Arabian city of Khobar and the island emirate of Bahrain.
Its construction began in 1982 in the King of Saudi Arabia and the Emir of Bahrain. In 1986, the crossing was inaugurated.
The bridge was built with money from Saudi Arabia and cost the kingdom $ 1.2 billion. An artificial island was erected on the border of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Five bridges are part of this structure, called bridge I to Bridge V, respectively 5194 m, 3334 m, 2034 m, 934 m, and 934 m, and several viaducts with a total length of 12 430 meters.
The construction used 350000 m³ of concrete and 147000 tonnes of reinforced steel, which lasted four years.
With a width of 25 meters and four lanes, the road was inaugurated on November 25, 1986. In 2001, traffic on the road reached 2.7 million vehicles, carrying more than 10 million passengers.
14. Incheon-daegyo, South Korea
Incheon-daegyo is a cable-stayed road bridge in South Korea whose total length is 21 km. The structure crosses the Gyeonggi Man Strait in the Yellow Sea.
The bridge is a connecting link between Songdo City and Incheon International Airport.
The construction of the bridge began in 2005 and was completed by 2009. The investor spent $ 2.12 billion on the structure of the bridge and surrounding infrastructure.
The height of the crossing is 74 m, the width of the structure is 33.4 m. The design feature is seismic resistance.
With the world’s longest bridges, motorists don’t have to make a long detour. This record-breaking bridge crosses not only rivers and lakes but also seas.
The multi-billion dollar investment has paid off thanks to the reduced travel times and economic recovery in the respective regions.
15. The Sixth of October Bridge, Egypt
The Sixth of October Bridge is an elevated highway in central Cairo, Egypt. The 20.5-kilometer-long bridge and dam cross the Nile twice, and from the suburb of Cest Bank, east on Gezira Island, in central Cairo, the bridge connects the city with Cairo International Airport.
Its name is reminiscent of the Crossing date, which began in the war in 1973. During the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, protesters were held on the Bridge in Tahrir Square.
There were battles between the supporters of Mubarak and his opponents. The bridge and sidewalk were completed in 1996, with construction taking nearly 30 years.
It all started in 1969, with the modest, 130-meter (430 ft) long-Stage 1, which only spanned the smaller west branch of the Nile, from Gezira to Agouza (built from May 1969 to August 1972).
The construction of the October 6th bridge and sidewalk was declared a national infrastructure project.
Since the inauguration, the October 6 bridge has been the most critical in the capital and state. It is used by more than half of Cairo’s population every day and is called the spinal cord because of its importance.
It takes more than 45 minutes to get through because it is a fundamental part of Cairo’s traffic, so the traffic is hefty and always crowded, and there is always congestion somewhere during the day.
Although it is a girder bridge, most of them are concrete bridges, and the recent extension part is a continuous girder.
On the way, the part that straddles Ismailia Street in front of Gamla Station on Metro Line 1 is a two-sided concrete cable-stayed bridge with different installation heights on the upper and lower lines.
In addition, the width of the Giza lane between the JNR Ramses station square and the viaduct on May 15 is large, which was added later.
From Giza to Heliopolis, there are ten entrances (including one closed to Zamalek), 12 exits, and from Heliopolis to Giza, nine entrances and 11 exits (1 of which is closed).
From the bridge, the beautiful panoramas open up to the views of Cairo. Tourists have the unique opportunity to see the beautiful mosques and churches from the new vantage point and observe the busy streets of Cairo from above.
16. Vasco da Gama Bridge, Portugal
The Vasco Da Gama Bridge of Portugal is a cable-stayed bridge, framed by the Viaducts, overlooking the Tagus River in the capital of Portugal, Lisbon.
It is the most distant bridge in Europe (including viaducts), totaling 17.2 km. The country inaugurated the bridge in 1998.
It is a landmark in the country because when the World Exhibition (Expo98) took place in Lisbon, the Vasco da Gama Bridge was considered the sixth-longest bridge on the planet, 12 km in length.
Crossing the tranquil waters of the Tagus River, the bridge is located very close to Parque das Nacoes and Torre Vasco da Gama, two of the most visited places in Lisbon.
The Vasco da Gama Bridge connects the regions of Alcochete and Montijo, and you can take a walk along with it.
It was built to withstand wind speeds at the base of 250 km/h and withstand earthquakes almost five times greater than the earthquake of 1755 (which was rated at 8.7 on the Richter scale).
17. Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, USA
The Atchafalaya Basin is one of the significant river marsh systems in the United States.
Located in south-central Louisiana, the basin includes the Atchafalaya River, the Whiskey Basin, and several canals.
The low ground here is prone to seasonal flooding, much of it underwater, and is dotted with cypress trees. The entire area is part of the vast Mississippi River floodplain.
The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is a twin bridge that crosses the basin on I-10, a major highway between Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is also the busiest in Louisiana. It is unclear exactly when the bridge’s construction began, but the authorities built both parts of the structure simultaneously, and the bridge was open to traffic in 1973.
When you drive over it, it seems like it lasts a long time. The bridge is elevated in places, and you may notice that you are going past the treetops.
Several rivers intertwine underneath the bridge, and in some places, it was built high enough to allow barges and tugs to pass underneath.
The bridge is around 29.29 km long and is made of a spar design, meaning that it uses a series of parallel steel girders to support a concrete deck.
It is not a particularly attractive bridge, but it serves an essential purpose for this part of the state.
Also known as the ‘Swamp Highway,’ it includes two exits from the bridge into sparsely populated rural swamp areas. When crossing the Whiskey Bay Pilot Channel, the twin bridges merge, a canal dredged in the 1930s for maritime traffic.
18. Penang Bridge, Malaysia
The Penang Bridge is a 13.5-kilometer long dual carriageway toll bridge. It is also the controlled-access highway in Penang, Malaysia.
The bridge linking Perai is located on the mainland side of the state with Gelugor on the island, crossing the Penang Strait. The bridge was the only road connection between the peninsula and the island until 2014.
The bridge is the second-longest bridge in Malaysia and the fifth-longest Bridge in Southeast Asia by total length, with measurement over the water of 8.4 kilometers.
In 1982, the construction of the Penang Bridge officially began. The bridge was constructed by Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company (Korea) Ltd of South Korea and United Engineers Malaysia Berhad.
They created two artificial islets in the South Channel to construct the cable-stayed bridge. They reclaimed the Gelugor coastline as a headland for the construction of the Gelugor interchange.
The bridge was inaugurated on September 14, 1985. The current concessionaire and maintainer of the Bridge are PLUS Expressways.
This bridge has six lanes and is supported by more than five hundred acres, 192 over the water.
The avenue that runs through this bridge is a little over thirty meters above the water, while the main towers are over a hundred meters high, and walking across this bridge has excellent views of the Penang Canal.
The bridge has an emergency layby equipped with an SOS telephone. Traffic CCTVs and Variable Message Sign (VMS) are installed at all locations along the bridge. The bridge carries a 132kV Tenaga Nasional power cable.
19. Rio Niteroi Bridge, Brazil
Over the waters of Guanabara Bay, connecting the neighborhood of Caju, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, to Avenida do Contorno, in Niteroi, extends one of the most symbolic works in Brazil: the Rio-Niteroi bridge.
It occupies 11th place in the international ranking in this regard. And yet, the Rio-Niteroi bridge is considered the largest in the world in continuous straight beam (the main span of the bridge, in welded steel beam, is 300 meters long).
But it is not just the size of this work that is impressive. Its historical relevance in the development of Brazilian infrastructure also deserves to be highlighted.
In 1968, the then President of the Republic, Costa e Silva signed a decree authorizing a bridge to link the two municipalities, facilitating people, cargo, etc.
The construction began symbolically on November 9, 1968. It had the prominent presence of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The builders delivered the road construction on March 4, 1974. The bridge is 13.29 km long, of which 8.83 km are over water (Guanabara Bay), and its highest point is 72m.
Its original name was Ponte Presidente Costa e Silva in honor of the President who approved the project. However, people started calling it the Rio-Niteroi Bridge.
According to the Ponte S/A concessionaire, the average movement will reach 150 thousand vehicles/day. Rio-Niteroi’s traffic has a considerable increase on the eves and ends of long holidays.
It is the way to go from the city of Rio de Janeiro to the highways that give access to the beaches of Regiao dos Lagos, a tourist region of the state of Rio de Janeiro.
It is part of the BR-101 and is under the 2nd Federal Highway Police Precinct (PRF) jurisdiction. It can be divided into superstructures, mesostructures, and infrastructure ( foundations and crowning blocks).
20. Bhumibol Bridge, Thailand
Known as an industrial ring road bridge, Bhumibol is a 13-kilometer industrial ring road connecting South Bangkok to Samut Prakan Province.
The bridge crosses the Piao Praia River (Chao Phraya) twice, with two ridges, 702 m, and 582 m long, supported by two diamond towers at 173 m and 164 m altitude.
In 2009, the bridge was named after King Bhumibol Adulyadej because, according to tradition, all bridges that run across the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok are named in honor of members of the royal family.
The bridge started functioning on September 20, 2006, before the official opening date on December 5, 2006.
It is constructed to solve transport problems in Bangkok and surrounding areas, especially in the industrial area around Khlong Toei Port, southern Bangkok, and Samut Prakan province.
Discovery Channel featured the bridge. Since November 1, 2018, motorcycles have been banned from driving across the two Bhumibol bridges for safety reasons.
These are the top 20 longest bridges over the water in the world. All these bridges have a remarkable history, and all of them offer incredible views and services to their residents and tourists.
China, a top country on wind energy, has been in the top position for bridge construction, followed by the USA. Middle East nations are not too far away either.