Science Technology 15 of the World's Longest Bridges by Category Discover an underwater tunnel bridge to an earthquake-resistant floating bridge. By Matt Hickman Matt Hickman Writer Emerson College The New School Matt Hickman is an associate editor at The Architect’s Newspaper. His writing has been featured in Curbed, Apartment Therapy, URBAN-X, and more. Learn about our editorial process Updated April 4, 2022 The Akashi Kaikyō Bridge in Japan features the world's longest central span of a suspension bridge. Worachat / Shutterstock Share Twitter Pinterest Email Science Space Natural Science Technology Agriculture Energy Over the last century, civil engineers have gone to great lengths to achieve the unachievable in bridge design. Structures like the Øresund Bridge in Europe—which connects Denmark and Sweden via an underground tunnel—would have one day been unimaginable. New York’s Walkway Over the Hudson shows how modern ingenuity can combine with a century-old design to serve a newfound purpose. The mindbogglingly-long Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge in China sets an unparalleled benchmark for what is possible. From the longest covered bridge to the longest continuous bridge over water, here are 16 of the longest bridges in the world. 1 of 15 Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge Edward L. Zhao / Getty Images The longest bridge in the world, in any category, is the mammoth 102.4-mile-long Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge in China. Opened in 2011, the bridge operates as part of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway and connects several major cities within the Yangtze River Delta. The trip from Ningbo to Jiaxing that previously took 4.5 hours has been reduced to two, thanks to this bridge. The $8.5 billion structure was built by a team of 10,000 workers over only four years and can withstand a magnitude 8.0 earthquake, typhoons, and a direct hit from a 300,000-ton naval vessel. 2 of 15 Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge tmlau / Shutterstock Opened in 2018, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is the world's longest steel bridge-tunnel system and, aptly, links the three areas of Hong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macau. The 34-mile bridge, which consists of three cable-stayed bridges connected by an underwater tunnel and two human-made islands, is also the longest sea-crossing in the world. Private use of the bridge is limited to just 10,000 permit holders, with the majority of passengers traveling across on the bridge’s 24-hour public shuttle system. The bridge is hailed as an architectural wonder. It used single column piers buried deep in the seabed to support the structure in a way that minimized interference with water currents and caused the least amount of disturbance to populations of Chinese white dolphins. 3 of 15 Dhola-Sadiya Bridge DHOLA SADIYA RIVER BRIDGE / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0 The 5.69-mile Dhola-Sadiya Bridge in northeast India is the country’s longest bridge over water. Constructed with a beam design, the three-lane structure connects the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh across the Lohit River. It cuts travel time from Rupai, in Assam, to Meka/Roing in Arunachal Pradesh, from six hours to just one hour. The Dhola-Sadiya Bridge was completed in May 2017 and, because of military concerns along the India-China border, was built to withstand the consistent weight of tanks and other heavy vehicles of war. 4 of 15 Akashi Kaikyō Bridge Image Source / Getty Images Opened to traffic in 1998, Japan's Akashi Kaikyō Bridge has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world. The bridge’s main span extends a staggering 6,532 feet, with the structure's total length nearly doubling that at 12,831 feet long. This bustling and often festively illuminated suspension bridge carries the six-lane Honshu-Shikoku Highway across the Akashi Strait, linking the city of Kobe to Awaji Island. In an awe-inspiring feat of earthquake-resistant engineering, the bridge was built to withstand winds of up to 178 miles per hour. This is necessary because the bridge stands in a seismically unstable region that experiences some of Earth's worst storms. The bridge can expand up to 6.5 feet per day, despite the built-in buffers. 5 of 15 Evergreen Point Floating Bridge SounderBruce / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 At 7,710 feet long, the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge in Seattle, Washington is the longest floating bridge (a bridge built upon interlocked pontoons of concrete) in the world. Completed in 2016, the six-lane Evergreen Point Floating Bridge took the place of a floating bridge of the same name that was built in 1963, which was discarded due to concerns over its ability to withstand earthquakes and other extreme weather events. In addition to updated safety standards, the new bridge features shoulder lanes and a 14-foot-wide bicycle-pedestrian path protected from car traffic. It also has the ability to support light rail, should the region choose to fund it in the future. 6 of 15 Hartland Covered Bridge Dennis Jarvis / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 Connecting the town of Hartland to Somerville, New Brunswick, is the Hartland Covered Bridge—the world’s longest covered bridge. The 1,282-foot-long bridge was opened in 1901 and has been on Canada’s list of National Historic Sites since 1980. Although it was originally built without a roof, the bridge was covered with a wooden enclosure during extensive repairs in 1921. The wooden structure sits atop massive concrete piers. 7 of 15 Quebec Bridge grap0885 / Getty Images An advancement in early 20th century bridge design, a cantilever bridge is one that features rigid horizontal structures, known as cantilevers, that are supported on only one end. Completed in 1917 after two disastrous life-claiming construction failures, the Quebec Bridge remains the longest cantilever bridge in the world with a total length of 3,238 feet and a central span of 1,801 feet. It was considered such an accomplishment that the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII of England) was present at its inauguration in 1919. The bridge, which connects suburban Quebec City to the city of Lévis, was originally designed as a rail-only bridge but now also accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, and motor vehicles. At one point in its long history, the Canadian National Railway-owned structure supported a streetcar line as well. 8 of 15 Ikitsuki Bridge MIXA / Getty Images Not to be confused with similar-looking cantilever bridges, continuous truss bridges are a type of truss bridge in which a roadway or railway extends across three or more supports without hinges or joints. Like with most "world's longest" bridge rankings, the length of a continuous truss bridge is predominately based on the length of the main span and not the combined total length of each continuous span. Judging by these criteria, the Ikitsuki Bridge in Japan is the world's longest continuous truss bridge at just over 1,300 feet. Painted in an eye-pleasing baby blue, the all-steel structure connects the scenic island of Ikitsuku with the much larger neighboring island of Hirado in Japan's Nagasaki Prefecture. Prior to the bridge's construction, the trip had to be made by ferry. 9 of 15 Lake Pontchartrain Causeway glennaa / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 The world’s longest continuous bridge over water is Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge in Louisiana. Stretching nearly 24 miles between the towns of Metairie and Mandeville, the structure’s southbound portion was opened in 1956, whereas its northbound portion was opened 13 years later in May of 1969. It's been described as "scary" for drivers who cannot see land for most of the trip: "Police who patrol the bridge have reported having to rescue anxious drivers who become scared while crossing the bridge and literally stop their cars on the middle of the roadway. These panic-stricken motorists have to be driven across the bridge by police officers." A controversy began in 2011 when the newly-built Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China was named “world’s longest bridge over water” by Guinness Book of World Records, a title previously held by Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge. The dispute was settled when the title of “longest continuous bridge over water” was given to the causeway, with Jiaozhou Bay Bridge receiving the title of “longest bridge over water (aggregate).” 10 of 15 Øresund Bridge News Oresund / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 At five miles in length, Øresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden is Europe’s longest combined rail and road bridge. Opened in July 2000, the Øresund Bridge runs from the coast of Sweden to an artificial island in the Øresund strait, called Peberholm, before going underground through the Drogden Tunnel to Amager island in Denmark. The bridge accounts for half the trip, spanning nearly five miles, and the entire trip takes only ten minutes by car. The engineering marvel took four years to complete and receives tens of thousands of cars in daily traffic. 11 of 15 Russky Bridge Martin Boswell / Flickr / CC0 1.0 The world’s longest cable-stayed bridge (a bridge supported by cables connected to pylons) stretches 10,200 feet across the Eastern Bosphorus strait from the city of Vladivostok, Russia, to a largely wooded island called Russky Island that has less than 20 miles of paved roads. The four-lane Russky Bridge was built to serve the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference that took place on the island in 2012. It features bridge towers over one thousand feet tall. Impressively, the bridge's central span (the section between the pylon towers) covers a length of 3,622 feet. There were plans to develop the island further with luxury resorts, as well as a business and academic zone, but apparently development has stalled in the decade since. 12 of 15 Rio-Niterói Bridge J. Castro / Getty Images The Rio-Niterói Bridge in Brazil is the second-longest bridge in all of Latin America at 8.26 miles long. Completed in 1974 (only 99 years after the idea for it was first conceived), the eight-lane structure connects the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói across the Guanabara Bay. The Rio-Niterói Bridge is technically known as a "box-girder" bridge, made of pre-stressed concrete. It receives a stunning 140,000 vehicles per day. 13 of 15 Vasco da Gama Bridge F Mira / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 Lisbon, Portugal’s Vasco da Gama Bridge is the longest bridge in the European Union at 7.61 miles. Opened in 1998 for the Expo 98 World’s Fair, the cable-stayed bridge was named after explorer Vasco da Gama upon the 500th anniversary of his discovery of a water route between India and Europe. The six-lane bridge was built to last 120 years and withstand powerful 155-mile-per-hour winds. It took 3,300 workers 18 months to complete the bridge. 14 of 15 Walkway Over the Hudson Shinya Suzuki / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0 As the world's longest elevated pedestrian bridge at 6,768 feet long, Walkway Over the Hudson in New York is a stellar example of adaptive reuse. Constructed in 1898, the historic span was shuttered in 1974 following a fire and, before that, experienced an extended period of decline. But thanks to the tireless efforts of local activists, followed by an extensive $38.8 million restoration, this once-abandoned bridge was reborn as a linear park in 2009. The Walkway received 600,000 visitors a year who appreciate the scenic views of the Catskill Mountains to the north and the Hudson Highlands to the south. 15 of 15 6th October Bridge Christopher S. Rose / Getty Images Named in commemoration of the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Egypt, the 6th October Bridge in Cairo is the longest bridge in Africa. The 12.7-mile concrete structure took almost 30 years to build, with construction beginning in 1969 and finishing in 1996. Sometimes referred to as “the spinal cord of Cairo,” the 6th October Bridge carries 500,000 people daily across the Nile River and connects the city’s west bank suburbs, downtown, and international airport. In 2021 the president of Egypt ordered for the bridge to be expanded and upgraded. View Article Sources "Designing the world's longest sea crossing." ARUP, no. 1, 2019. "Akashi Kaikyo Bridge," Britannica. "SR520 Evergreen Point Floating Bridge," WSP. 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