The 10 Longest Bridges in Europe

April 18, 2024

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Vasco da Gama bridge

Bridges are not just functional structures; they are feats of engineering that connect people, regions, and countries. In Europe, where history, geography, and innovation intersect, several bridges stand out for their impressive lengths and stunning designs, but what are Europe’s longest bridges?

In this article, we’ll reveal all.

1. Crimean Bridge

Length: 18.1 km (11.2 miles)
Country: Russia, Ukraine
Completed: 2018

Measuring just over 18 kilometers long, the Crimean Bridge is the longest bridge in Europe. Also known as the ‘Kerch Bridge’ or ‘Kerch Strait Bridge’, it spans the Kerch Strait between Krasnodar Krai in Russia and Crimea in Ukraine.

It is the longest bridge ever constructed by Russia, costing $3.7 billion to build. Construction began in 2016 and was completed two years later. The bridge opened on May 16, 2018, for cars and October 1 for trucks. On December 23, 2019, the rail bridge was inaugurated, and the first train crossed it on December 25.

The bridge has been attacked multiple times since the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine, causing sections of it to collapse. Because of this, some no longer consider the Crimean Bridge to be the longest bridge in Europe.

2. Vasco da Gama Bridge

Length: 17.2 km (10.7 miles)
Country: Portugal
Completed: 1998

Europe’s second-longest bridge is Portugal’s Vasco da Gama Bridge with a length of 17.2 kilometers. Due to missile strikes — which were a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 — it is the longest intact bridge in Europe.

Vasco da Gama Bridge is one of two bridges that span the Tagus River in Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon. The other is the 25 de Abril Bridge, which measures just 2.28 kilometers.

Construction of the Vasco da Gama Bridge began in February 1995, and it was completed in March 1998, costing a total of $1.1 billion to build. It was opened to traffic on March 29, 1998.

The Vasco da Gama Bridge has been designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 155 miles per hour, and it has a life expectancy of 120 years.

3. Emsland Transrapid Test Facility

Length: 12 km (7.5 miles)
Country: Germany
Completed: 1985

Third on the list of the longest bridges in Europe is the Emsland Transrapid Test Facility in Germany, with a length of 12 kilometers. Construction of the facility — which was a testing site for maglev trains — began in 1980 and ended in 1984. However, at the end of 2011, it was closed. 

The Emsland Transrapid Test Facility consists of a single track that runs between the municipalities of Dörpen and Lathen and is elevated for almost its entire length so the land below can continue to be used for farming.

The trains at Emsland Transrapid Test Facility carried paying passengers until 2006, after 23 people died in an accident caused by human failure to check safety protocols.

4. Lezíria Bridge

Length: 11.67 km (7.25 miles)
Country: Portugal
Completed: 2007

The fourth-longest bridge in Europe is the Lezíria Bridge, again in Portugal. It measures 11.67 kilometers in length.

Officially named ‘Ponte de Lezíria’, the bridge spans the Tagus and Sorraia rivers between the towns of Carregado and Benavente, which are located northeast of Lisbon.

The bridge’s construction took 21 months, beginning in 2005 and opening to traffic in July 2007. 

5. Coltano Viaduct

Length: 9.9 km (6.1 miles)
Country: Italy
Completed: 1993

The Coltano Viaduct in Italy has a length of 9.9 kilometers, putting it sixth on the list of Europe’s longest bridges.

Italy’s longest bridge is located on the A12 freeway, near the cities of Livorno and Pisa in the region of Tuscany.

It has been open to traffic since 1993.

6. Western High-Speed Diameter Southern Overpass

Length: 9.4 km (5.8 miles)
Country: Russia
Completed: 2016

With a length of 9.4 kilometers, the southern viaduct over Russia’s Western High-Speed Diameter is the sixth-longest bridge structure in Europe.

The Western High-Speed Diameter is the most popular road in Russia, with more than 380,000 vehicles using it each day. The road is divided into three sections: Northern, Southern, and Central. The Central section consists of many unique bridges, including those on the Southern Overpass, located over the Sea Channel and Korabelny Fairway.

Construction of the Southern Overpass was completed in 2016.

7. Western High-Speed Diameter Northern Overpass

Length: 8.8 km (5.4 miles)
Country: Russia
Completed: 2016

At 8.8 kilometers in length, the Western High-Speed Diameter’s Northern Overpass follows closely behind the Southern Overpass, putting it seventh on this list.

The bridges that make up the Northern Overpass bridge structure can be found over Petrovsky Fairway and Elagin Fairway, and — like the Northern Overpass — construction was completed in 2016.

The Western High-Speed Diameter’s Northern and Southern overpasses are the two longest bridges located entirely in Russia.

8. Øresund Bridge

Length: 7.8 km (4.9 miles)
Country: Denmark, Sweden
Completed: 1999

Taking the eighth spot on this list is the Øresund — or ‘Öresund’ — Bridge, which measures 7.8 kilometers long.

The bridge is located across the Øresund Strait, between Denmark and Sweden, and along with the Great Belt Bridge (which also features on this list), it connects Central and Western Europe to Sweden by road and rail.

The Øresund Bridge cost $4.2 billion to build and took just under five years to complete. Construction started in 1995, and the bridge opened to traffic on July 1, 2000.

It is Europe’s longest combined motorway and railway bridge. 

9. Fichera Viaduct

Length: 7.4 km (4.6 miles)
Country: Italy
Completed: 1975

Length: 7.4 km | 4.6 mi

Country: Italy

Completed: 1975

Italy’s Fichera Viaduct is the ninth-longest bridge in Europe. Measuring 7.4 kilometers in length, it is the second-longest bridge in Italy.

The Fichera Viaduct is located on the A19, near the town of Polizzi Generosa in the Palermo province in Sicily.

The bridge was inaugurated on February 4, 1975.

10. Great Belt Bridge (East Bridge)

Length: 6.8 km (4.2 miles)
Country: Denmark
Completed: 1998

The final bridge to feature on the list of the ten longest bridges in Europe is the Great Belt Bridge in Denmark. Officially called the ‘East Bridge’, it is 6.8 kilometers long. 

As already mentioned, together with the Øresund Bridge (and also the New Little Belt Bridge), it connects Sweden to mainland Europe through Denmark. It is located across the Great Belt strait, between the islands of Funen and Zealand, and consists of a road suspension bridge as well as a railway tunnel.

After debating it for 50 years, the Danish government finally decided to build the bridge in 1986, and it was opened to rail traffic in 1997 and road traffic in 1998. The largest construction project in Denmark’s history, it cost an estimated $3.4 billion to build.

The Great Belt Bridge replaced the Great Belt ferry service, reducing travel time by 50 minutes.

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