15 Bridges With Architecture That Will Awe You
Featured | August 30, 2016
Since the first modern-day bridge was built in 1779, man has been improving and increasing the lengths at which we can link divided locations. This article, full of architectural wonders, proves that water and steep valleys are no obstacle for human engineering and the desire to connect people.
The Octavio Frias de Oliveira in São Paulo functions as a bridge over the Pinheiros River and as slip roads connecting the two perpendicular main roads. The bridge is 138 meters (453 ft) tall and is the only bridge with two curved tracks supported by only one concrete mask.
The Kawazu-Nanadaru Loop Bridge is a double spiral. Its design allows vehicles to scale 45 meters (148 feet) in the tight valley between two mountainsides.
The Hangzhou Bay Bridge is the world’s third longest trans-oceanic bridge. It decreases the distance between Ningbo and Shanghai by over 120 kilometers (about 75 miles). The S-shaped bridge was constructed in a sea environment subject to typhoons, earthquakes and one of the planet’s three biggest tides.
The Millau Viaduct links two limestone plateaus, and it is the world’s highest multi-span bridge. From the deck to the deepest part of the Tarn Valley below is 900 feet. This engineering wonder is the longest suspended bridge in the world.
It is one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world. It’s also one of the most popular photo spots along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. The 1931 architectural aesthetics are still beautiful against the rocky backdrop of Big Sur.
The Magdeburg Water Bridge is an aqueduct that allows ships to cross over the Elbe River, saving 12-kilometers of traveling. Before opening in 1997, fully-loaded cargo barges sometimes had to off-load cargo due to low water levels in the Elbe. The 918 meter long navigable aqueduct eliminated this time killing and money wasting endeavor.
The Golden Gate Bridge in California is possibly the most photographed bridge in the world. It is adjacent to the Pacific and links San Francisco to its neighbors across the Golden Gate Strait. The bridge withstood 1989’s devastating earthquake and was closed to traffic only three times in its first 75 years due to weather conditions. That’s strong construction.
The Akashi Kaikyo Suspension Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world, spanning 3,911 meters, until August, 2016. (See #14 for the new record holder.) That’s an American football field shy of one mile. It took two million workers ten years to construct the bridge. The steel cable used would circle the world seven times.
With the valley below, the Sidu River Bridge is the tallest bridge in the world. It’s 1,550 feet from the bottom of the bridge to the bottom of valley. The 2,952-foot span connects Shanghai and Chenghdu. It cost 720 million yuan (about $100 million) to construct.
Hong Kong boasts the world’s longest suspension bridge containing both rail and road traffic. The Kap Shui Mun Bridge is 2.16 km long and contains six lanes, two rails and two enclosed road lanes below that can operate even in a severe typhoon. It’s beauty has earned it a spot as a sight-seeing favorite.
11. South Korea
The Banpodaegyo Bridge (Banpo for short) is a two-tiered bridge over the Han River in Seoul. It features the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain, with 380 water jets and a spectacular array of multi-colored lights. The water jets can move in time to music creating captivating, dynamic displays.
The 65-meter high pillars of the Landwasser viaduct were considered to be a huge architectural feat in 1902. They were constructed solely with two cranes. No scaffolding. It wasn’t until 2009, 107 years later, that the masonry and track were repaired for the first time. That’s solid construction.
The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883, connecting New York’s Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods. Called the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” it took 14 years and at least 20 lives to build. With a main span of just over 1,595 feet, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1903, when the nearby Williamsburg Bridge overtook it by 4.5 feet.
The Yavuz Sultan Selim bridge, which opened in August 2016, crosses the Bosphorus Strait and connects two continents, Asia and Europe. Spanning 4,620 feet and standing 1,056 feet high, this link now takes over as the longest suspension bridge and could be the tallest, too.
Known as London Bridge, it’s actually called Tower Bridge. Over 40,000 people traverse it each day to cross the Thames. Constructed with a steel frame clad in stone, the Victorian looking structure is similar to modern construction.
[Featured Image Credit: www.wsllpaper.com]