Does architecture fascinate you? From the Great Pyramids to the Great Wall of China, there are several architectural wonders of the world. It is fascinating to see how structures that are built out of necessity can be evolved to be something truly spectacular. People are constantly trying to outdo each other in terms of innovation, as well as in terms of holding the world title! This often leads to very interesting results.
It is fascinating to see what structures evolve out of need and out of the competition. Holding the world title for something is considered to be quite an honor. Hence, it is no wonder that countries may often try to outdo each other in terms of some structures.
When you see a bride in your everyday life, it may not be interesting. However, if you were to see some of the longest bridges in the world, you would be amazed to see how they work! Making a strong and secure structure is hard work, but making one of the longest structures in the stable world is hard work. A lot of planning needs to go behind building a bridge successfully.
Bridges are often considered to be structures of great convenience and innovation. While you may not have a way to reach the other side of a river or other water bodies or even other land structures, bridges help you connect to points. These structures have helped improve the transportation system all over the world and considered to be a great innovation. We all know that bridges are built to serve a practical purpose. But the design and the purpose that bridges can serve has come a long way.
Building Bridges: What do you need to know?
When looking at a bridge, there is so much to consider, and we must thank engineers and architects alike for designing these useful and grand structures!
While the technical details may elude our understanding, we can still understand the basics of what needs to be considered to ensure that a bridge is built perfectly. In order to build a short or the longest bridge in the world, a lot of details need to be considered.
The requirement of the bridge is the first step. The longest bridge in the world was not built just to hold the Guinness World Record. Rather it was built to serve a specific purpose. Hence, before the bridge’s requirement is understood, it will be difficult to consider the other factors that also affect how the bridge is going to be built. Abridge that is built for road traffic or pedestrians, and one that is built for a train is quite different from each other. Hence, in order to ensure that the bridge serves the right purpose, and is also cost-efficient, the purpose of the bridge will need to be established.
When designing the bridge, three other factors are of great importance. Knowledge of these three factors helps ensure that the bridge is stable and secure. These factors are as follows:
This refers to the weight of the bridge itself. The pillars built to hold up the structure of the bridge need to be stable and stung enough to withstand the weight of the bridge. Any permanent structure affixed on the bridge, such as toll booths, gates, guardrails, highway signs, etc., is also considered when calculating the bridge’s dead weight.
This is the weight of any temporary structure on the bridge. Hence, if the bridge is built for a train, then the train’s wright will be considered when calculating this weight. If the bridge is meant for pedestrians and road traffic, then those weights are considered.
This weight is calculated to account for the temporary weight exerted on the bridge due to the weather or other environmental factors. For example, if the region experiences frequent rain, hurricane, thunderstorms, and more. The temporary weight exerted by these environmental factors on the bridge also needs to be accounted for.
These weights are considered so that a stable and secure structure can be built. As you will see, building a bridge is no easy task. It requires several workers and can take many years.
Well, we know that bridges serve a useful purpose, however, when looking at some of the world’s bridges, it is clear that the project was undertaken to showcase how grand bridges can truly be! The following bridges were not only created to serve a purpose, but they were designed to be a wonder of the world! When learning about the longest bridges in the world, it is important to remember that while these may be the longest bridges, they are not the tallest! But, no worries, what they lack in height, they make up for in terms of their length!
Longest bridge in the world
The following bridges hold the title of the longest bridge in the world in different categories!
The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, China
This bridge is a part of a high-speed railway system. It is built across a river, the Yangtze River delta. It stretches across Danyang to Kunshan. The bridge was built over the course of four years. It started operating officially from 2011. This bridge is 100 feet off the ground and required about 100,000 workers to complete building this bridge in four years. The bridge is 165 kilometers long and stretches across low price paddies and the open water of the Yangcheng river as well. The approximate cost of building this bridge was estimated to be 8.5 billion dollars. As of June 2011, this bridge is the proud Guinness world record holder for the longest bridge. The second-longest bridge of this high-speed railway system is the Langfang–Qingxian viaduct, which is 114 kilometers long.
Bang Na Expressway, Thailand
This bridge is considered to be the world’s longest bridge on land. The structure is mainly built on land, with only a small part of it spanning across the Bang Pakong River. This bridge was designed by a US architect Jean Miller. This structure is 27 meters wide, and it is open to road traffic. It is estimated that the cubic meters of concrete required to build the bridge is approximately 1,800,000.
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
This bridge is considered to be the longest bridge in the world over water. This structure consists of two parallel bridges; the longer of the two is 38 kilometers long. The bridge held the Guinness World Record title of the longest bridge over water for ten years. However, in 2011, this title was challenged by the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China. While there was some controversy when the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge took on the title of the longest bridge on water, the Guinness Book of World Records solved this issue easily. They divided the title into two categories, and the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway holds the world title for the longest continuous bridge over water. In contrast, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge holds the title for the longest aggregate bridge over water.
Notable Mentions: Here are some bridges you should know about! While the following bridges do not hold the world title, they are still worth knowing about. Let’s take a look at some other famous bridges of the world:
The Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge, China
This bridge was considered to be the longest bridge since it was finished in 2008. However, the glory was short-lived as it was surpassed in 2010. The length of the bridge is 79.7 kilometers. It is built as a part of the Zhengzhou-Xi’an high-speed railway. This bridge spans across the Wei River twice, as well as crosses other rivers and transport structures.
Manchac Swamp Bridge
It is situated in Louisiana, USA. It is also located on Lake Pontchartrain and is a structure that consists of concrete twin trestle bridges. When driving on this bridge, you need to be careful about not getting too close to the alligators which live in the water below this bridge. This bridge is an architectural marvel and is worth mentioning due to its beauty.
Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct holds the title for the 2nd longest bridge in our world. It is located in Taiwan and is only about 7 kilometers shorter than the longest bridge in the world. It is 147.3 kilometers long is a part of Taiwan’s high-speed railway line. This bridge was completed in 2007. This bridge is located between the area of Baguazhang and Zuoying, which is prone to seismic interruptions. Hence, it was built based on strong anti-seismic criteria to ensure a safe and stable structure.
Cangde Grand Bridge
This is the 3rd longest bridge in our world and is also a part of the Beijing to Shanghai high-speed railway line. It is approximately 115.9 kilometers long. It was completed in the same years as the longest bridge in the world and is supported by a sum of 3092 pillars.
Wuhan Metro Bridge
This is only the tenth longest bridge in our world, and it holds the name of the longest continuous viaduct in the world. It is 37.8 kilometers long and was ended in 2004. With this structure, Wuhan became the fifth city in China to have a subway.
Jiaozhou Bay Bridge
Located in the Shandong province in China, it is 26.7 kilometers long. It is part of the Jiaozhou Bay Connection, which is 41.58 kilometers long and is mainly a road bridge, but the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge part of this bridge is a large part of the bridge it spans across the water. Hence, it holds the title of the longest aggregate bridge over water.
When it comes to bridges, it is not hard to see that China may be leading in some of the world’s longest structures! It is home to four of the longest bridges in the world! The viaducts and bridges in China can be long, and a wonder to look at!
What should you know about the length of the bridges?
When calculating the length of the different bridges around the world, there is no single standard that is followed. Hence, there are different titles, such as the longest continuous bridge over land, the longest continuous bridge over water, and so on. Hence, when you are marveling at the length of the different bridges around the world, their lengths should not be considered to be absolute. Some bridges are measured from the starting point to the endpoint, while others may be measured from shoreline to shoreline. At the same time, the Guinness Book of World Record awards particular titles to the structures based on some pre-determined criteria. The length of the bridges should not be considered absolute unless mentioned how the length of the bridge was measured. Generally, the bridge’s longest span is considered to be the span of the bridge, which is without any ground support.
The world is a truly marvelous place, and it is exciting to know what the world’s record-holding structures are. When you look at the numbers on a page, it can be hard to know just how long or tall a particular bridge is. Looking at the structures in real life is a different feeling altogether. However, learning about these architectural wonders of the world helps you understand how far humankind has come. There is innovation in everything that we do, and these structures are living proof! It is also important to note that these structures may either continue to hold the title or lose it. New structures are being built every year, and there may be a new structure that may challenge the current title-holder! So, make sure that you keep yourself updated regarding these interesting facets of the world!