10 of the most amazing bridges in the world
1. Golden Gate Bridge , California
The Golden Gate Bridge is such an iconic symbol of San Francisco (and of suspension bridge in general) that it’s hard to imagine a time when it didn’t exist. But before it was built, most people thought it was an impossible task.
In 1916, the idea of a bridge to cross the Golden Gate, a narrow strait that separated San Francisco Peninsula and the Marin Headlands, was conceived. Though it was almost immediately dismissed as the cost was estimated to be $100 million (astronomical for the time), a veteran bridge builder named Joseph Strauss lobbied for more than two decades to have it built.
The Golden Gate Bridge faced tough opposition: the Department of War thought it would interfere with ship traffic and the Southern Pacific Railroad opposed it as competition to its ferry service. At first, even the public didn’t like the bridge … because Strauss’ original design was deemed too ugly! But Strauss finally won, and after 22-years of drumming up support, the bridge was built.
Strauss insisted that the project take worker’s safety seriously. It was the first major bridge project that used hard hats and a safety net. During the course of construction, 19 people were saved by the net to become members of the Halfway to Hell Club.
2. The Brooklyn Bridge NewYork
The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge started in 1869 and took 14 years to complete.
circa 1955: Brooklyn Bridge, New York, USA. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images) Getty Images
At the time many saw the construction of such a large bridge as a folly.
The driving force behind the whole project, John Roebling, was a German immigrant who had worked for the Prussian government as a bridge and road builder. He launched the idea of building a bridge across the East River after he had taken a ferry across the river that ended up stuck in the ice.
John Roebling would never get to see the bridge he had designed: he died after crushing his foot in an accident. He wasn't the only one to lose his life during the construction: 20 of the in total 600 workers died while working on the bridge. The son of John Roebling, Washington Roebling, took over the leadership of the project but he suffered from the caisson-disease as a result of the works on the pillars of the bridge and was on his deathbed during the inauguration.
Brooklyn Bridge Tower
That day, May 24, 1883, about 150,000 people crossed the bridge.
Roebling had not just made a bridge that looked incredibly strong, it also turned out to be just as strong in reality. A mesh of cables of which the four strongest have a diameter of 11 inches are anchored in the ground and keep the bridge from collapsing. But even if the four strongest cables would snap, the other cables would still be sufficient to support the bridge. Roebling even claimed that the bridge wouldn't collapse without any cables, it would merely sag.
But even after the inauguration, many New Yorkers were not convinced the bridge was safe. So as to prove the doubters wrong, P.T. Barnum led a caravan of circus animals - including a herd of 21 elephants - across the bridge in 1884.
Brooklyn Bridge Tower
The Brooklyn Bridge ranks as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 19th century and remains one of New York's most popular and well known landmarks.
The impressive bridge spans the East river between Brooklyn and Manhattan and stretches for a length of 5989 ft, about 1.8 km. The length between the large towers is 1595.5 ft (486 meter). This made the Brooklyn bridge the world's largest suspension bridge.
3.Boston Zakim Bridge
The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge (or Zakim Bridge) is a cable-stayed bridge across the Charles River in Boston,Massachusetts. It is a replacement for the Charlestown High Bridge, an older truss bridge constructed in the 1950s, and is the world's widest cable-stayed bridge
The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, part of The Big Dig Project in Boston, is one of the widest cable-stayed bridges in the world. The Bridge serves as the northern entrance to and exit from Boston. The Bridge is named after civil rights activist Lenny Zakim and the American colonists who fought the British in the Battle of Bunker Hill.
The Travel Channel ranked the Zakim Bridge 9th in their list of the World's Top Ten Bridges.
4.The Wind and Rain Bridge
In Guangxi Province, there are several different ethnic minorities, including the Miao, Zhuang, Dong and Yao. Each lives in a different area of Guangxi. Sanjiang County in particular is famous for the stockade villages built by the Dong ethnic minority. The Dong people also erect covered bridges with porches and pavilions which provide shelter even when it rains. The local people call these types of bridges by a beautiful name - 'Wind and Rain' bridges. Of them, the Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge is the most famous.
Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge, also called Yongji Bridge or Panlong Bridge, spans the Linxi River of Sanjiang County. Built in 1916, it is 64.4 meters (73.43 yards) long, 3.4 metes (3.72 yards) wide and 10.6 meters (34.78 feet) high. Constructed with wood and stones, the surface of the bridge is paved with wooden boards and both sides are inlayed with railings. On the bridge itself, there are five tower-like kiosks with 'horns' and eaves which resemble the flapping wings of birds.
Dong Village near the bridge To one's surprise, the builders of this bridge did not use any nails or rivets. Instead, talented Dong people dove-tailed many pieces of wood. Though several decades old, the bridge is still very sturdy. In a word, it is grand and looks like a brilliant rainbow crossing over the river.
Walking out onto the bridge, you can sit on the bench and appreciate the picturesque scenery. Looking far ahead, you will be intoxicated with what you see: the Linxi River meandering from the horizon; tea trees growing on the hills; local peasants working hard in the fields; and waterwheels turning, sending water cascading down the river.
Many visitors like to spend time here enjoying the perfect pastoral life and to experience the customs of the Dong people. There are eight famous stockade villages here that offer a peek into the Dong's life and customs. They are Ma'an, Pingzhai, Yanzhai, Chengyang-Dazhai, Pingpu, Pingtan, Jichang and Guandong.
Accommodation: Near the bridge, there are several hostels. If you want to have a spectacular view of the charming scenery, you may want to stay in the Drum Tower Folk Hostel built on the hill.
Food: You will have a chance to taste the local snacks, such as rice noodles and the fish with sour taste
It’s funny to think about ancient traffic jams, but that was why the Tower Bridge in London, England was built. By the end of the 19th century, the development of the eastern part of London caused such a load on the London Bridge that the city decided to build a new bridge.
Construction of the Tower Bridge started in 1886, led by architect Sir Horace Jones and engineer Sir John Wolfe Barry. The design was a bascule (draw) bridge with two towers built on piers, so the bridge wouldn’t interefere with the port facilities nearby.
A year after construction was started, Jones died and his replacement, George D. Stevenson along with Barry decided to modify the design a little bit. Instead of the original brick facade design, the Tower Bridge had a more ornate Victorian Gothic style meant to harmonize it with the nearby Tower of London.
When the bridge opened in 1894, the public was aghast. H. Heathcote Statham, Fellow of the Royal Insitute of British Architect, wrote the familiar sentiment as thus: "The Tower Bridge … represents the vice of tawdriness and pretentiousness." (Source: Waddell, J., Bridge Engineering
6.Gateshead Millennium Bridge
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian and cyclist tilt bridge spanning the River Tyne in England between Gateshead's ... quarter on the south bank, and the Quayside of Newcastle upon Tyne on the north bank.
The award-winning structure was conceived and designed by architectsWilkinson Eyre and structural engineers Gifford. The bridge is sometimes referred to as the 'Blinking Eye Bridge' or the 'Winking Eye Bridge'due to its shape and its tilting method. In terms of height, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge is slightly shorter than the neighbouring Tyne Bridge, and stands as the sixteenth tallest structure in the city
The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian and cyclist tilt bridge spanning the River Tyne in England between Gateshead's ... quarter on the south bank, and the Quayside of Newcastle upon Tyne on the north bank. The award-winning structure was conceived and designed by architectsWilkinson Eyre and structural engineers Gifford. The bridge is sometimes referred to as the 'Blinking Eye Bridge' or the 'Winking Eye Bridge' due to its shape and its tilting method. In terms of height, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge is slightly shorter than the neighbouring Tyne Bridge, and stands as the sixteenth tallest structure in the city
The Zubizuri , Also called the White bridge is a tied arch footbridge across the Nervion River in Bilbao, Spain. Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, the bridge links the Campo Volantin right bank and Uribitarte left bank of the rive
Opened in 1997, the bridge's unusual design consists of a curved walkway which is supported by steel suspension cables from an overhead arch.
The structure of the bridge is painted white and the bridge deck consists of translucent glass bricks. Access ramps and stairways are located on both banks.
The Zubizuri offers pedestrians a convenient route from hotels to the nearby Bilbao Guggenheim Museum.
8.Tianjin Eye Bridge
The Tianjin Eye,is a gigantic ferris wheel constructed on Yongle Bridge over the Haihe River.
The 110 meter diameter ferris wheel will lift people 120 meters up into the air, as high as one 35-storey building, and promise a grand view of around 40 square kilometers over the surrounding city.
At the time of completion, only the 135 m (443 ft) London Eye, 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchang, and 165 m (541 ft) Singapore Flyer were taller.
Tianjin Eye is one of four 120 m Ferris wheels in China, the other three being Changsha Ferris Wheel (completed 2004), Suzhou Ferris Wheel(completed 2009), and Zhengzhou Ferris Wheel (completed 2003). The only Chinese Ferris wheel with a greater height is the 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchang, which opened in 2006. The 208 m (682 ft) Beijing Great Wheel, under construction since 2007 and originally planned to open in 2008,has been delayed until 2010.
Tianjin Eye is electrically powered and has 48 passenger capsules, each able to carry 8 passengers, and takes 30 minutes to complete a rotation, giving a maximum capacity of 768 passengers per hour.
9.Pont du Gard
The aqueduct was constructed by the Romans in the 1st century BC
Pont du Gard, an aqueduct spanning the Gard River in southern France, is a masterpiece of Roman engineering. It wasn’t built to transport people (though there is a pedestrian footbridge on it) – instead, it was part of a complex aqueduct system that carried water over 30 miles (about 50 km) to the ancient Roman city of Nemausus (now Nîmes).
The Pont du Gard was built by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa (63 – 12 BC), the son-in-law of Caesar Augustus. The bridge’s stones, some of which weigh up to 6 tons, were cut perfectly to fit together without any mortar.
The wedge-shaped stones, known as voussoirs, were arranged in three levels, the top-most being the water conduit. So precise was the engineering that the entire system descends only 56 ft. (17 m) vertically – over 30 miles! – to deliver 5 million gallons (20,00 m3) of water to the city.
10.Millau Bridge (Southern France)
This is the tallest bridge in the world, with a mast summit reaching 343 meters. Construction of this bridge started on October 10, 2001 and it was finally opened to the public on December 14, 2004. This is interesting because unlike most bridges, this very tall bridge crosses land. Specifically, it spans the Tarn river valley near Millau. Owing to its height, you will feel that you’re driving along the roads of heaven if you cross during a very foggy day. This bridge broke 3 world records: highest pylons in the world, highest bridge tower in the world, highest road bridge deck in Europe
The bridge took only three years to complete with new engineering techniques being employed. The traditional method of building a cable stay bridge involves building sections of the deck (roadway) and using cranes to put them in position. Because of its height, 900 feet above the valley floor, a new technique had to be developed.
First, the towers were built in the usual way, with steel reinforced concrete.
The road way was built on either side of the valley and rolled into position, until it met with precision in the centre. This technique had never been tried before and it carried engineering risks. However, it proved to be an efficient method of deploying the roadway.
The central pillar is higher than the famous French icon, the Eiffel Tower. The Bridge opened in December 2004 and is possibly one of the most breath taking bridges ever built.
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