Bridges around the world have connected landscapes, countries and villages. Giving people the possibility of experiencing new places and cultures. The first bridges in world were build out of mud but in the last decades the bridges have grown bigger, longer and more graceful. Join us on one.
Jiaozhou Bay Bridge opened in 2011 and is the world’s longest bridge over water. It’s located in Qingdao, Shandong Province in eastern China. The mighty bridge is as long as a marathon court – that is 42 kilometers. 26,7 of those kilometers is above open water. The 35 meters wide bridge runs between the port city of Qingdao to the island of Huangdao.
It took four years to build this impressive bridge consisting of not less than 81 million cubic meters of concrete. The amount of concrete would be enough to fill 3,800 swimming pools of Olympic dimensions. 450,000 tons of steel was also used when Jiaozhou Bay Bridge was built, which corresponds to the amount of 65(!) Eiffel Towers.
The bridge is, according to the guys who built it, both earthquake and hurricane proof and withstand the blast of a 300,000-ton vessel accidentally collide with one of the 5000 bridge piers. Yes it’s that many bridge piers. The gigantic bridge reduces commuting time considerably for the approximately 30,000 commuters that cross the bridge each day.
Enough to Jiaozhou Bay Bridge is long it’s significantly shorter than the world’s longest bridge. Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge crosses the country on the Beijing-Shanghai railway line, and is 164 kilometers long, that is 122 kilometers longer than the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge. But still, 42 kilometers is a pretty long bridge. No argue about that.
The Kosi Barrage is a Nepalese flood control sluice across the Kosi River in Mithila region of Nepal. Kosi River drains the northern slopes of the Himalayas in the Tibet Autonomous Region and the southern slopes in Nepal. Kosi River is 720 kilometers long and drains an area of about 74,500 square kilometers in Tibet, Nepal and Bihar. That is bigger than Sierra Leone in West Africa.
The barrage was built between 1958 and 1962. It has 56 gates which are controlled by Nepal Army and Indian officers. Downstream of the barrage near the border with India, the Indian government has created an embankment which can create floods and other problems in Nepal.
Kosi Barrage, overpriced called Bhimnagar Barrage, and straddles the Indo-Nepal border. It is an irrigation, flood control and hydropower generation project on the Kosi River built under a bilateral agreement between Nepal and India. The entire cost of the project was borne by India.
The catchment area of the river is 61,788 square kilometers in Nepal at the barrage site. The highest peaks lie in its catchment. About 10% is snow-fed. The Western Kosi Canal Provides irrigation to 250 square kilometers in Nepal. A valuable bridge over the barrage opened up the East-West highway in the eastern sector of Nepal.
The Lupu Bridge runs over the Huangpu River in Shanghai, China, connecting the city’s Luwan and Pudong districts. It’s the world’s second longest steel arch bridge. The bridge starts from Luban Road, Puxi in the north, crosses the Huangpu River and ends at Jiyang Road, Pudong in the south. The name, Lupu, is an abbreviation of the two districts of Shanghai which it links, one of which is now defunct.
It was designed by Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute, and built by the local government. Construction began in October 2000 and over 35,000 tonnes of steel were used. It cost US$302 million to build and the cross section of its main arch is the biggest among the bridges in the world, 9 meters high and 5 meters wide. The bridge carries 6 lanes of traffic, while under it a 70,000-ton-class ship can pass through smoothly.
When the bridge was opened in 2003, Yao Ming were the first man to cross it. It has a total length including approach spans of 3,9 kilometers. The main bridge structure is 750 meters long including the two side spans of 100 meters each, and the main span of 550 meters over the Huangpu River is 32 meters longer than the previous record holder, the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia. In 2009, Lupu Bridge lost its title of the world’s longest arch bridge to the Chaotianmen Bridge in Chongqing. The longest span of the Chaotianmen Bridge was only 2 meters longer, but close doesn’t cut it.
Like the Bay Bridge of Sydney in Australia, Lupu Bridge is not only used for transport, but is also an attraction. There’s a 100-meter-high, basketball-sized sightseeing platform, where the beauty of the Huangpu River will fill your eyes.
The bridge carries U.S. Route 11 across Lake Pontchartrain between New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana and has a total length of 7,69 kilometers. Upon completion, it was the longest concrete bridge in the world. The bridge opened on February 18, 1928, as the first permanent crossing of Lake Pontchartrain. It’s 11 meters wide and has two bascule-type draw spans for passing vessels and barges. The bridge was originally a toll facility, costing $1.25 for a vehicle with one driver, plus $0.10 for each additional passenger.
Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long was opposed to toll bridges and offered to have the state purchase the bridge from its private owners. The offer was rejected, so Governor Long constructed two free bridges to the east along U.S. Route 90 across Chef Menteur Pass and the Rigolets Pass. With a free alternative, the toll bridge faced financial ruin and was sold to the state in 1938. Huey Long knew the importance of smooth traffic, during his time as Governor he built 431 bridges, Maestri Bridge was one of them.
Following the purchase, the bridge’s name was changed to the Maestri Bridge, named after Robert Maestri, the mayor of New Orleans. U.S. Route 11, formerly co-signed with U.S. Route 90 across the Chef Menteur and Rigolets Bridges, was re-routed onto the Maestri Bridge around 1941. From start was it known as Pontchartrain Bridge and later on as the Watson-Williams Pontchartrain Bridge, and after that even as the Five Mile Bridge for a while due to parts of it was closed.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina virtually destroyed the I-10 Twin Span Bridge to the east. However, due to its sturdy construction, the Maestri Bridge was largely undamaged and was the only route to New Orleans from the East.
68° 55′ 8″ N, 69° 50′ 24″ E
The Yuribey bridge in northern Siberia is a 3,9 kilometers long railwaybridge on the 525 kilometers long Obskaya–Bovanenkovo line. In 2011 the length of the track increased to 572 kilometers by extending the track to the Karskaya station. The line is not only long, it’s also the northest railway in the world. The whole line, which was built and nowadays owned by the Russian gas company Gazprom, was completed in 2009 and is the longest bridge above the Polar Circle.
The harsh enviroment forced the construction to be innovative. Therefore the bridge is built on the soil which is unsuitable for constructions like this. The length of the bridge is much longer than the width of the river because of the permafrost. When the snow is melting the permafrost makes it impossible for the water to sink into the ground and that makes the spring river quite strong.
The bridge consists of 107 typical spans, each 34.2 meters long, and 2 through trusses, each 110 meters long. The spans and trusses are supported by 110 bridge arms made of metal pipes filled with reinforced concrete. The arms penetrate the permafrost soil to the depth of 20–40 meters. Owing to cutting-edge technologies and a special freezing method, the arms practically freeze into the ice thus giving the bridge additional rigidity.
The weight of the bridge exeedes 30,000 tons which is approximately the same weight as 12,500 large SUV:s. That’s a lot of cars.