The 10 Longest Bridges in the World

March 4, 2024

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Aerial view of Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

Some bridges are modest wooden planks that span a few meters from one river bank to another. Others, such as Tower Bridge in London, have become cultural icons due to their striking architecture.

Several bridges have drawn worldwide attention due to their sheer size. These bridges are a testament to the amazing power of human innovation and engineering.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the ten longest bridges in the world, from the record-breaking bridges along the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway in China to the picturesque Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana.

1. Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge

Length: 164.8 km | 102.4 mi
Location: China
Opened: 2011

The world’s longest bridge is the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, which measures an incredible 164.8 kilometers (102.4 miles). It’s found on the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway in China, between Shanghai and Nanjing in the Jiangsu province.

It took 10,000 workers, four years, and an estimated cost of $8.5 billion for the bridge to be built. Construction began in early 2006 and finished in November 2010. However, the grand opening of the bridge wasn’t held until June 2011, when the first public transport first crossed the bridge. Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge has held the Guinness World Record for the longest bridge (in any category) since it opened in 2011.

Most of the bridge’s route runs parallel to the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia. The bridge is 8 to 80 km (5 to 50 miles) south of the river at various points. The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge also crosses the open waters of Yangcheng Lake in Suzhou for 9 km (5.6 miles).

Length: 164.8 km | 102.4 mi

Location: China

Opened: 2011

2. Changhua–Kaohsiung Viaduct

Length: 157.3 km | 97.7 mi
Location: Taiwan
Opened: 2007

The Changhua–Kaohsiung Viaduct measures 157.3 kilometers (97.7 miles). The viaduct – a specific type of bridge that features columns, arches, or piers – begins at Baguashan in Changhua County and runs through to Zuoying in Kaohsiung.

The world’s second-longest bridge runs along a section of the Taiwan High-Speed Rail network. It was opened in 2007, although the construction was completed in 2004. The entire rain network covers 350 kilometers (220 miles).

In an attempt to be earthquake-resistant, the Taiwan High-Speed Rail network was built on a series of viaducts. The bridge is designed to allow trains to stop safely during an earthquake.

3. Kita-Yaita Viaduct

Length: 114.4 km | 71 mi
Location: Japan
Opened: 1982

Kita-Yaita Viaduct ranks in third place, with a total length of 114.4 kilometers (71 miles). Construction on the bridge was completed in 1982 and opened in June of that year. The bridge is on the high-speed Shinkansen rail line in Japan, which connects Tokyo with Aomori in Aomori Prefecture.

The TĹŤhoku Shinkansen high-speed railway line has a total length of 674.9 kilometers (419.4 miles). It’s Japan’s longest Shinkansen line, a network type famous worldwide for its bullet trains.

4. Tianjin Grand Bridge

Length: 113.7 km| 70.6 mi
Location: China
Opened: 2011

With a length of 113.7 kilometers (70.6 miles), Tianjin Grand Bridge is the fourth-longest bridge in the world. It’s part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway in China and runs between Langfang and Qingxian.

Construction began in 2006 and was finished in 2010. When the bridge was opened in 2011, it was considered the second-longest bridge in the world. The bridge’s construction was difficult, as the bridge is set in a densely populated urban area. The viaducts were designed in 32 sections and installed at different points to minimize disruption.

The bridge has 32-meter-long box girders, which is a girder in an enclosed tube that helps support the bridge. Each girder weighs 860 tonnes. The girders were brought to constructed sections of the bridge and put in place with a special crane.

5. Cangde Grand Bridge

Length: 105.9 km | 65.8 mi
Location: China
Opened: 2010

The Cangde Grand Bridge forms part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway in China, which also includes the Danyang-Kunshan and Tianjin Grand bridges.

As with other bridges on the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway, the Cangde Grand Bridge was designed to be earthquake-resistant. It was built to allow cars to pass over the bridge during seismic events safely.

6. Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge

Length: 79.7 km | 49.5 mi
Location: China
Opened: 2008

The world’s sixth-longest bridge is the Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge, which measures 79.7 kilometers (49.5 miles). When it was opened in 2008, it was briefly the world’s longest bridge before it was surpassed by the bridges on the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway in 2010.

Although the bridge was completed in 2008, it wasn’t opened until 2010. It forms part of the Zhengzhou–Xi’an High-Speed Railway, which runs between the cities of Zhengzhou and Xi’an in China.

It took approximately 10,000 workers to construct the bridge. They used 2,300,000 cubic meters of concrete and 45,000 tons of steel during the construction.

7. Bang Na Expressway

Length: 54 km | 33.5 mi
Location: Thailand
Opened: 2000

Officially called the Burapha Withi Expressway, the Bang Na Expressway is a 54 kilometers (33.5 miles) elevated highway in Thailand. The highway is the world’s longest car bridge and held the title of the world’s longest bridge between 2000 (when it was built) and 2008.

The highway is elevated on a viaduct with an average span of 42 m (138 ft). It has an average height of 49 m (161 ft) and a width of 27 m (89 ft). The Bang Na Expressway has six lanes and has a toll.

The highway was built as part of a multi-national effort. American engineer  Louis Berger designed the highway before he passed away in 1996. The project was built as part of a joint venture between German and Thai companies.

8. Beijing Grand Bridge

Length: 48.2 km | 29.9 mi
Location: China
Opened: 2011

Beijing Grand Bridge is yet another part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway in China. It runs 48.2 kilometers (29.9 miles) and connects Beijing South and Langfang in China’s capital. Construction of the bridge ended in 2010 and officially opened in 2011.

The bridge is a railway viaduct. It crosses open water where it connects the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Economic Rim. This is where the rail network largely transports agricultural and natural resources.

9. Metro Manila Skyway System

Length: 39.2 km | 24.3 mi
Location: Philippines
Opened: 1999

The Metro Manila Skyway is a 39.2 kilometers (24.3 miles) long elevated highway in the Philippines. It connects the North and South Luzon Expressways of Metro Manila. The skyway stretches above the San Juan River. It also runs above several other major highways in Metro Manila and is connected to them via entry and exit ramps.

Construction on the skyway began in 1998, and the highway was opened in 1999. It cost an estimated $514m to construct the first stage of the bridge. The second stage of the bridge began in 2009 and was completed in 2011. A third stage of construction began in 2014 and was completed in late 2020. It was due to be completed in 2017, but a number of delays (including the COVID-19 pandemic) delayed the project. A fourth stage of construction was scheduled to be completed in 2022, but the project has been put on hold indefinitely.

Class 2 and public utility vehicles (such as buses and trucks) were temporarily banned from the skyway during the SLEX Elevated Extension Project construction in Muntinlupa. The ban was lifted after construction was complete.

10. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

Length: 38.4 km | 23.8 mi
Location: United States
Opened: 1956

The final bridge on the list is Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, which measures 38.4 kilometers (23.8 mi). The causeway consists of two parallel bridges that cross Lake Pontchartrain in southeastern Louisiana. It begins in Metairie, Louisiana, and ends in Mandeville, Louisiana.

Built in 1956, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway was considered the longest bridge over water from 1969 to 2011. After this, the causeway was deemed the longest bridge over water (continuous), while the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China was considered the longest bridge over water (aggregate).

It cost $46 million (equivalent to $360 million in 2021 dollars) to build the causeway in 1956. it originally spanned 38.40 kilometers (23.86 mi) before a 16 m (0.01 mi) extension was added for $30 million (equivalent to $170 million in 2021 dollars) in 1969. Since it opened, the causeway has operated as a toll bridge.

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