A structure spanning the English Channel wouldn’t come close to the 10 lengthiest bridges.
Many have floated the idea of a bridge between England and mainland Europe. This Channel-spanning bridge would need to be 35km long, a distance that would make it the lengthiest bridge in Europe – well beyond Portugal’s 17km Vasco da Gama Bridge.
Meanwhile, plans have recently been scrapped for a bridge connecting Northern Ireland with Scotland due to forecasted costs and engineering challenges. Although no plans were formally laid out, at their closest point, Scotland and Northern Ireland are around 19km apart.
However, such a construction wouldn’t even break into the world’s top 10 longest bridges.
10. Manchac Swamp Bridge, USA
Connects: Over the Lake Maurepas, Louisana, USA
The Manchac Swamp Bridge is a twin concrete trestle bridge comprising two bridges, one for National Highway 51 and the other for Interstate 55. It extends over a supposedly haunted swamp, but even if the ghosts turn out to be nothing more than legends, the alligators are very real.
9. Wuhan Metro Bridge, China
Connects: Huangpulu and Zongguan Station, Wuhan, China
The Wuhan Metro Bridge is the first elevated Metro line in Wuhan. As a Metro viaduct, it’s been operational since 2004, and was designed to ease traffic congestion on bridges over the Yangtze River.
8. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, USA
Connects: Metairie, Louisiana and Mandeville, Louisiana, USA
Otherwise known as ‘The Causeway’, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway opened back in 1956 and is comprised of parallel twin bridges. It’s touted to be one of the scariest bridges in the world, which is thanks to the fact you can’t see land – at either end – when you’re in the middle, and it looks as though the bridge is stretching off forever.
7. Beijing Grand Bridge, China
Connects: Beijing South and Langfang, Beijing, China
The Beijing Grand Bridge is a railway viaduct and is the first of several bridges in this list that is part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. China itself, at last count in 2021, has a whopping 961,100 road bridges, and that’s not including other types of transport.
6. Bang Na Expressway, Thailand
Connects: Bang Na Interchange and Chon Buri Interchange, Bangkok, Thailand
Also known as the Burapha Withi Expressway, the Bang Na Expressway is a box-girder viaduct bridge and six-lane elevated highway and toll road in Thailand. It was constructed at a cost of $1bn, and up until 2008 it held the record for the longest bridge in the world.
5. Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge, China
Connects: Zhengzhou and Xi’an, Weinan, China
The Weinan Weihe Grande Bridge crosses the Wei River, China’s “natural gateway to the west” and the viaduct is part of the Zhengzhou–Xi’an High-Speed Railway. It was completed in 2008, with the rail line opening in 2010.
4. Tianjin Grand Bridge, China
Connects: Langfang and Qingxia, Beijing, China
Completed in 2010 and opened in 2011, the Tianjin Grand Bridge is another bridge that forms part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. The viaduct carries high-speed trains over heavily populated areas and includes 32 individual sections, each built and installed separately.
3. Cangde Grand Bridge, China
Connects: On route between Beijing and Shanghai, China
Like the Tianjin Grand Bridge, the Cangde Grande Bridge is also part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. It has a total of 3,092 piers and was built to withstand seismic activity like earthquakes.
2. Changhua–Kaohsiung Viaduct, Taiwan
Connects: Baguashan, Changhua County and Zuoying, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct is part of the Taiwan High-Speed Railway. Like the Cangde Grande Bridge, the viaduct was built to be able to withstand seismic activity, as Taiwan is seismically active thanks to the country’s position near the junction of two tectonic plates.
1. The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, China
Connects: Shanghai and Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China
The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge in China currently holds the record for the longest bridge in the world, coming in at a whopping 164km (104 miles) long. Like three others in this list, it’s also part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway, and was built at a cost of around $8.5bn – that’s $51m for each mile of the bridge. The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge was not only built to withstand seismic activity, but also extreme weather (such as typhoons), and even a hit from a 300,000-ton naval vessel.