10. Verrazano Narrows Bridge (United States) 211.3m
Upon completion in 1964, the Varrazano Narrows Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world at 2km, with a central span of 1.3km. It connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island and provides an important alternate route into New York City. The New York City marathon starts from the bridge. It is named after Giovanni da Verrazzano, the Italian explorer and the first European to reach the Atlantic coast of North America.
9. Runyang Bridge (China) 215m
The Runyang Bridge was completed in 2005 as part of the highway connecting Beijing and Shanghai. It crosses the Yangtze River downstream of Nanjing. It’s actually two bridges separated by a small island. The northern span is a cable-stayed bridge and the southern span is a suspension bridge. It is the suspension bridge that makes this list. The entire complex is more than 35km long.
8. Pont de Normandie (France) 215m
The Pont de Normandie crosses the River Seine in Normandy. Construction began in 1988 and the bridge was completed in 1995. At 2.1km, it was the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world until 2004.
7. Tatara Bridge (Japan) 220m
The Tatara Bridge is one of three bridges that connect Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands, to Honshu, the largest. It was completed in 1999 and has a total length of 1.5km. At the time of construction, it had the longest single span of any cable-stayed bridge at 890m (replacing the Pont de Normandie), but has since been surpassed.
6. Golden Gate Bridge (United States) 227.4m
The world’s most iconic bridge was completed in 1937, connecting San Francisco with its suburbs and the rest of northern California. Its signature red hue is unmistakable and the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world. At 2.7 km, it was the longest bridge in the world for nearly thirty years, before being overtaken by the Varrazano Narrows Bridge. It has the dubious distinction of being the most popular place in the world for committing suicide.
5. Great Belt Bridge (Denmark) 254m
The Great Belt is the straight between Denmark’s two main islands: Zealand (where the capital Copenhagen is located) and Funen. Prior to the bridge’s completion in 1998, the only way across was by ferry. Travel time was reduced from an hour to 10 minutes. At just over 1.6km, the main span supported by the towers is the longest outside of Asia. The total length of the bridge is 6.8km.
4. Stonecutters Bridge (Hong Kong) 298m
The Stonecutters Bridge crosses the Rambler’s Channel at the entrance to Hong Kong’s port and has three spans with a total length of 1.6km. It opened in 2009 and provides a more direct route from the Hong Kong Island to the airport and Disney Land, both located on Lantau Island in the bay. The bridge is one of several major projects along Hong Kong’s Route 8, which have in total cost around 2 billion USD.
3. Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge (Japan) 298.3m
The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge connects the city of Kobe to Awaji Island across the Akashi Straight. Prior to the bridge’s completion in 1998, the only way to get across the straight was by ferry, which was often dangerous because of the area’s volatile weather. The Akashi Straight is an important shipping lane, necessitating the bridge’s great height. The steel cable used during construction can circle the world more than seven times. At 2km, the central span is the longest single span of any bridge in the world. The total length is 4km and it is the world’s longest suspension bridge.
2. Sutong Bridge (China) 306m
Completed in 2008, the Sutong Bridge crosses the Yangtze River and connects the cities of Nantong and Changshu. Travel time from Shanghai to Nantong was cut from four hours to just one hour. It is a cable-stayed bridge, and the height comes from the massive towers supporting a 1km span in the middle. All told, the bridge is 8.2km long. It received the 2010 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
1. Millau Viaduct (France) 343m
The Millau Viaduct is almost 2.5km long and crosses the valley of the River Tarn in south Central France. France’s A75 passes over the bridge and serves as an important route from Paris to Spain. The world’s tallest pylon can be found supporting this bridge, rising a whopping 245m over the valley below. This will not be the record holder for long, however, as the Baluarte Bridge in Mexico, scheduled for completion in 2012, will reach a height of 390m.