Wonders of the architectural world and a need in changing times, bridges of the world are truly spellbinding. Essentially built to save commuter's time, bridges establish better connectivity between distant shores, encouraging trade, shaping social lives, and giving an impetus to the urban life. They help in easing the pressure of traffic by being alternative routes. Amongst all the bridges in the world, there a few that top for their distances they cover and their unique structure.
Top 10 Longest Bridges in the World
Jinghu High-Speed Railway
Jinghu High-Speed Railway bridge is built over its old version. The bridge connects Bohai Sea Rim and the Yangtze River Delta, which happen to be China's economic hubs. This rail project was started in 2008, and was slated to go online by November 2010. However, the completion date is now expected in October 2011. The trains will run at 380km/h on this route, making it the fastest and the longest route of all time.
The Seven Mile Bridge was one the longest bridge when it was built. It connects the Knight's Key, Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. The grand bridge has been an attraction to a score of filmmakers. Up Close & Personal, CrissCross, True Lies, and 2 Fast 2 Furious have been shot on the span of this bridge. The total length of this bridge is 10.93 km. Each year, on one Saturday in April the bridge is closed for 2.5 hours for a traditional Seven Mile Bridge Run.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
With a length of 8.5 km, this bridge connects St. Petersburg and Terra Ceia, as it passes through Hillsborough County waters. It took five years to complete this bridge. This bridge is popular for filming automobile commercials, as the emerald green waters of the Gulf form a marvelous backdrop. In 2005 the bridge was renamed as Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge, after the Florida Governor who presided over the design and construction of its architecture.
Known as Pont de la Confédération in French, this bridge connects Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick, Canada. Colloquially the bridge is known as the 'Fixed Link' by locals of Prince Edward Island. The two way bridge stretches over 12.9 km. Confederation Bridge takes a toll while exiting Prince Edward Island for its maintenance. This construction tremendously increased the tourism activity and aided trade in lot many ways.
San Mateo-Hayward Bridge
This bridge crosses over California's San Francisco Bay to connect it to San Francisco Peninsula with the East Bay. The motto of building this bridge was to connect Interstate 880 to U.S. Route 101. However, the bridge which is 7 miles in length is used by commuters in times of emergencies to avoid traffic.
Vasco da Gama Bridge
Vasco da Gama Bridge is a cable stayed bridge, which spans over Tagus River in Portugal. One of the longest bridges in Europe, this one covers a length of 17.2 km, as it connects with the motorways of Lisbon towards the exit. The bridge has been named Vasco da Gama as it was opened on the 500th anniversary Vasco da Gama's discovery of sea route from Europe to India.
This was the first longest bridge in the world, till Hangzhou Bay Bridge was opened on May 1, 2008. The bridge stretches for 32.5 kilometers to connect with mainland Shanghai and the offshore of Yangshan. The cable stayed sections of this bridge allow large ships to pass without any hassles.
This toll bridge connects Gelugor in Penang and Seberang Prai in Malaysia. The length of the bridge is 13.5 km, which has eased transportation between the islands. The bridge has a capacity to handle a traffic of 85,000 vehicles everyday in its six lanes.
This girder type of bridge connects Rio de Janeiro and Niterói. This bridge has been a great help in establishing connectivity between neighboring towns which were separated by Guanabara Bay. The construction of the Rio-Niteroi Bridge was completed in five years. The bridge has been named President Costa e Silva Bridge, after Artur da Costa e Silva who understood the need to build this bridge.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Chesapeake Bay Bridge connects Maryland's Eastern Shore with its Western Shore. The total length of this bridge is 6.946 km, which is an important link in U.S. Routes 50 and 301. On 18th September 2003, the bridge was closed for the first time due to the high speed winds marking the onset of Hurricane Isabel.
Weihe Grand Bridge (49.5 Miles) in China, Bang Na Expressway (44 miles) in Bangkok, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway (23 miles) in Louisiana and Shanghai Maglev line (19 miles) in China are few more notable bridges in the world. The list of longest bridges will always be subject to change as newer constructions are made every year.