Compendium of US Bridges
Did you know that the U.S. is home to the world’s busiest bridge, several of the world’s longest bridges, and the world’s longest floating bridge, not to mention some of the most iconic and beautiful bridges on the globe? In the U.S., bridges are everywhere and range from beautiful to ugly, from classic to modern, from pushing the engineering envelope to playing it safe. Check out our list of bridges in the U.S. ranked by length to see how they stack up against each other.
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What Is the Tallest Bridge in the United States?
The highest bridge in the U.S. is the Royal Gorge Bridge in Cañon City, Colorado, which spans across the Arkansas River at 955 feet (291 meters). With both sides planted atop a steep gorge, it was the highest suspension bridge in the world until 2003, when Beipan River Guanxing Highway Bridge took that title. On the other hand, the tallest bridge in the USA, taking into account only the bridge structure itself, is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco at 746 feet.
What Is the Busiest Bridge in America?
New York City’s own George Washington Bridge is not only the busiest bridge in the U.S. but the busiest bridge in the world, with more than a quarter of a million motor vehicles passing over the bridge every single day. “The GW,” as locals like to call it, has an upper level of eight lanes and a lower level of six lanes, and it carries about 103 million vehicles across the Hudson River every year. Not bad for a bridge originally built in 1931!
What Is the Longest Bridge in the United States?
The longest bridge in the USA is also one of the longest bridges in the world: the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. At a whopping 23.83 miles, this huge set of parallel bridges was considered to be the longest bridge over water in the world until 2011, when Jiaozhou Bay Bridge opened in China. However, it’s still considered to be the longest continuous bridge over water by Guinness World Records, and of course, it’s the longest bridge in America.
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What Are Some Other Famous Bridges in the U.S.?
Ranked purely by our favorites, here’s our list of the top 10 bridges in the U.S.:
- Brooklyn Bridge — When people think of the USA, the bridge that comes to mind is quite often this 1883 beauty connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn, which also happens to be the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge. If you want to see it in person, check out our sightseeing cruises .
- Golden Gate Bridge — What’s not to love about possibly the most photographed bridge in the United States?
- Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel — Driving on this bridge is a semi-terrifying, semi- wondrous experience as the car dives in and out of the ocean like a dolphin along a 17.6-mile road.
- Seven Mile Bridge — Sure, it might not be the longest among U.S. bridges, but the seven-mile bridge is a little cooler than many of the others because you’re essentially driving out on the open ocean in the Florida Keys.
- London Bridge — The song “London Bridge Is Falling Down” is actually about this famous bridge that was relocated from London to a small community in Arizona.
- Rainbow Bridge — Check out Niagara Falls from this famous bridge that connects U.S. to Canada.
- Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge — Do you want to check out the full scope of the Hoover Dam from a little bit of a distance? This is the bridge for you!
- Sunshine Skyway Bridge — Ride along this Florida landmark and it looks like you’re driving straight into the sky.
- Bixby Creek Bridge — This bridge along the Pacific coast of California is postcard- perfect.
- Evergreen Point Floating Bridge — This Seattle, WA, bridge is also the world’s longest floating bridge!
We all should aim to be a bridge over troubled water, but these geography-spanning engineering wonders are literally that! Compare the size of some of these U.S. bridges to get an idea of the scope of some of this incredible infrastructure.