12 Eye-Popping Pedestrian Bridges

The golden Cau Vang bridge appears to be held by a large stone hand near Danang, Vietnam
The golden Cau Vang bridge near Danang, Vietnam was built to appear as if held by large stone hands.

Linh Pham / AFP / Getty Images

While functionality outweighs form in many walkway designs, some pedestrian bridges serve as eye-popping works of art. Architects continue to push the boundaries of the medium with compelling concepts that often become iconic landmarks of the places in which they’re built. From the innovative tilting mechanism of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge to the DNA-inspired design of the Helix Bridge in Singapore, these structures surpass expectations of what a bridge can be.

Here are 12 visually stunning pedestrian bridges from around the world.

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BP Pedestrian Bridge

The winding BP Pedestrian Bridge crosses over a highway in Chicago

Torsodog / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Flashy, fluid, and covered in brushed stainless steel sheets, Chicago's BP Pedestrian Bridge boasts all the hallmarks of famous Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. This wildly meandering, wood-decked footbridge is the only Gehry-designed bridge completed to date. Snaking above Columbus Drive, the 925-foot-long bridge serves as a link between two sections of sprawling Grant Park: Maggie Daley Park and Millennium Park. A huge to-do when it debuted in 2004, the BP Pedestrian Bridge also functions as a sound barrier by blocking much of Columbus Drive’s traffic noise from reaching the parks.

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Bridge of Peace

The Bridge of Peace lit up by blue LED lighting at night

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The Italian-made Bridge of Peace, a bow-shaped bridge that acts as a pedestrian link across the Kura River in the heart of Tbilisi, Georgia, comes alive at night thanks to over 1,000 LEDs integrated into its swooping canopy. What's more, the LED-embedded glass panels that line the full 490-foot length of the walkway are connected to 240 individual motion sensors, illuminating as pedestrians pass by.

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Cau Vang

The gold-painted Cau Vang bridge in Vietnam appears to be held by two giant hands of stone

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The 500-foot-long Cau Vang, or “Golden Bridge,” in Thien Thai Gardens in the Bà Nà Hills resort area of central Vietnam was opened in 2018. The eye-catching bridge is seemingly supported by two giant stone hands (they're actually made of fiberglass) emerging from the mountainous landscape surrounding it. This gold-painted, wood-decked steel bridge acts as a scenic loop connecting two cable car stations. Visitors who cross Cau Vang will likely notice neatly planted rows of purple chrysanthemums lining its latticed sides.

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Circle Bridge

The five circles of the Circle Bridge in Copenhagen from an aerial view

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Copenhagen, the Danish capital where pedestrians and bicyclists rule the road, is no stranger to carless bridges. Based on looks alone, there's no bigger crowd-pleaser than Circle Bridge, designed by lauded Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. Spanning 131 feet across the Christianshavn Canal, Eliasson's bridge consists of five connected circular platforms of different sizes. In a nod to Copenhagen's maritime heritage, each platform is pierced by tall, mastlike posts with thin steel cables connecting them to the bridge's fire engine red railings.

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Esplanade Riel

City skyline with Esplanade Riel bridge and Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Ken Gillespie / Design Pics/Getty Images

The 646-foot-long, cable-stayed Esplanade Riel spans Winnipeg’s Red River, connecting the city’s Anglophone and Francophone communities, and is the only bridge in North America to have a restaurant plopped down in the middle of it. The restaurant is situated on a semi-circular structure at the base of the bridge’s magnificent 187-foot-tall spire.

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Gateshead Millennium Bridge

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is illuminated in pink at dusk

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Opened in 2001, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge in Tyneside, England is a rare type of moveable bridge that tilts to let boat traffic on the River Tyne pass underneath. Often referred to as the “Blinking Eye Bridge” due to the nature of its movement, the bridge opens and closes within four-and-a-half minutes during scheduled tilts. Local residents take particular pride in this 413-foot, curving bridge, as they helped to pick the design from a shortlist of contending submissions.

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Helix Bridge

The Helix Bridge in Singapore illuminated at night

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A tubular stainless steel bridge made to resemble strands of DNA, the Helix Bridge is the longest pedestrian bridge in Singapore at 935 feet long. The unabashedly flashy bridge is fitted with a shade-providing glass and steel-mesh canopy, and contains four viewing platforms for taking in the sights of Marina Bay. LED lights turn on at night, highlighting the curved bridge’s helix design.

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Henderson Waves Bridge

The wooden, wavelike Henderson Waves Bridge in Singapore

Matthew Hine / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

While the Helix Bridge may be the longest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, the undulating Henderson Waves Bridge is the tallest. Rising 120 feet above a six-lane highway, the bridge strings together two large parks set amid lush hills. The nearly 900-foot-long Henderson Waves Bridge is primarily constructed of curved slats of Balau wood built upon arches of steel, the overall impression being that of a twisted, rolling wave.

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Moses Bridge

The Moses Bridge cuts through the water of a moat in the Netherlands

Digital Eye / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Most bridges allow people to walk above water, but the Moses Bridge lets people walk directly through it. Quietly tucked away in the southern Dutch province North Brabant, the Moses Bridge appears to part the waters of an ancient moat encircling Fort de Roovre, a 17th century earthen fortification. Local firm RO&AD Architecten designed the sunken passage, constructed entirely of waterproof timber called Accoya wood, to have minimal impact on the landscape of the historical site.

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Peace Bridge

The red, helical Peace Bridge in Calgary on a sunny day

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Debuted in 2012, the Santiago Calatrava-designed Peace Bridge is a tubular curiosity with a double helix design that stretches 413 feet across the Bow River in downtown Calgary. The glass-encased bridge, built from steel and reinforced concrete, is painted in glossy red as a nod to both the city flag and the Canadian flag. While there are a handful of pedestrian bridges that cross the Bow River in the vicinity, the Peace Bridge is the only one to feature dedicated bike lanes.

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Skydance Bridge

The sculptural, birdlike structure is illuminated atop the Skydance Bridge in Oklahoma City

Christina Woods / Getty Images

The 380-foot-long Skydance Bridge in Oklahoma City, which carries foot traffic over Interstate 40, features a 197-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture meant to represent Oklahoma's state bird—the scissor-tailed flycatcher. Skydance Bridge was embraced by many as a triumphant symbol of 21st century Oklahoma City when it opened in April 2012. Although impressive in daylight, the structure truly soars at night when illuminated by a vivid LED lighting system.

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Webb Bridge

The cocoonlike Webb Bridge in Melbourne, Australia at night

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The most striking aspect of the Webb Bridge, located in a Melbourne, Australia suburb, is no doubt its latticed, serpentine form inspired by aboriginal eel traps. Unbeknownst to many visitors who traverse the Yarra River-spanning bridge by foot or bike, it's also an adaptive reuse project that recycles sections of the defunct Webb Dock Rail Bridge. The newer portion of Webb Bridge, with its curving, cocoonlike ramp, connects seamlessly to the older structure.