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The 11 Longest Bridges in the World

Tantalizing to some, terrifying to others, a long bridge over water is undoubtedly an engineering marvel.

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Vasco da Gama Bridge at sunrise in Lisbon, Portugal
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Feats of human wonder

While most of the longest bridges in the world exist in Asia and the United States, engineering marvels that allow travelers to pass over large bodies of water and/or miles of tricky terrain, on a train or in a car, exist across the globe. These 25 tallest skyscrapers in the world are also pretty impressive.

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supertrain on Concrete Bridge,at The southeast coast of China

The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge

At 102 miles in length, China’s Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge is the world’s longest bridge. Built at a cost of approximately $8.5 billion dollars, per Britannica, this link between Shanghai and Nanjing opened to as a viaduct on the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway in June 2011. As of publication, this bridge remains in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest bridge in the world. Find out 16 of the most outrageous world bridges ever broken.

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Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge
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Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

Also in China is the longest bridge in the world made of glass where pedestrians pay high prices for what Business Insider calls a “colossal waste of time.” That’s thanks to a sea of people and their shoes which scuff the glass beneath feet, despite the fact that booties are mandatory to, in theory, protect the 99 panels of nearly 24-inch thick glass. Tourists flock to walk the 1,400-foot long glass bridge that sits 980 feet above China’s Grand Canyon.

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Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
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Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

Per the Telegraph, “Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in southern Louisiana is an epic structure that crosses one of the most famous bodies of water in the United States; a lake that has inspired literature, music, and film.” This nearly 24 mile-long bridge is the longest bridge in the world that’s not in Asia. It’ll cost you $5 to go southbound on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway which makes it a bargain.

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Vasco da Gama Bridge over the River Tagus
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The Vasco da Gama Bridge

The longest bridge in Europe, found east of Lisbon, Portugal, took more than 3,000 workers 18 months to build. Heavy cloud cover on its inauguration day during the 1998 Lisbon World Exposition meant that travelers couldn’t see the other side. Spanning an impressive 10.7 miles over the Tagus River, “the Vasco da Game was named after the famous Portuguese explorer to commemorate the fifth centenary of his arrival from India in 1498. Gama was the first European to reach India by sea, from the Atlantic Ocean,” reports Civitatis’ Lisbon travel guide.

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Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge with no people

Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, Switzerland

In Switzerland, you’ll find a 1,620-foot suspension bridge that is the longest bridge in the world exclusively for pedestrian use. According to the Telegraph, the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge crosses, “A valley between Grächen and Zermatt, and offers scenic views of some of Switzerland’s highest peaks, including the famed Matterhorn.”

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Millau Viaduct
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Millau Viaduct, France

At 8,071-feet, the Millau Viaduct is not even close to being one of the longest bridges in the world. Instead, this engineering marvel often seen cutting through the clouds on the A75 highway between Paris and Barcelona is the tallest bridge and, remarkably, is even higher than the Eiffel Tower. You’ll likely travel on the Millau Viaduct during a grand European road trip through France and Spain.

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Chesapeake Bay Bridge - Virginia Beach side

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Part bridge, part tunnel, this 17.6-mile marvel of engineering opened for automotive traffic way back in 1964. By the following year, it had been designated as “One of Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World,” according to Travel Trivia. The site goes on to explain that the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, “connects the Delmarva Peninsula with southeastern Virginia, spanning across open waters around the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.” The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in the country but these are America’s most beautiful lesser-known bridges.

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Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, also called the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge, stretches over the water of Atchafalaya Basin and runs from Lafayette to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Atchafalaya Basin Bridge

The twin bridge that spans the largest river swamp in the country opened in 1973 and at the time, “Was the longest bridge in the United States,” reports the Advertiser. Drivers and passengers alike are afforded stellar views of Louisiana’s wetlands from Interstate 10 during the 18-mile stretch.

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bang na thailand bridge

Bang Na to Bangpakong Expressway

Is a bridge still a bridge if it doesn’t cross over water? The six lanes of The Bang Na in Thailand span a whopping 33.5 miles, including a run through Bangkok, with only a relative drop of the Bang Pakong River flowing beneath. Structurally this bridge, which ranks as the longest road bridge in the world, was made with over a million cubic meters of concrete, according to Road Traffic Technology, and instead of a sea or lake, rises nearly 100 feet above another stretch of road, National Highway Route 34. You may want to take a detour away from some of these scariest roads in the world.

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Akashi Kaikyo Bridge

Rising high above the Akashi Strait, and connecting the city of Kobe with Awaji Island in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, is the longest spanning suspension bridge in the world. At nearly 13,000 feet in length, it is longer than four Brooklyn Bridges but its length is only part of the story. According to PBS, the two towers of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, rising 928 feet, “are higher than any other bridge towers in the world.” If that makes you nervous, don’t worry.

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The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge
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Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge

What does $20 billion get you in the 21st-century bridge market? A huge 34-mile bridge connecting Hong Kong and Zhuhai/Macau. Commuting between those cities would previously have required an hour-long ferry ride, according to CNN. The newest world’s largest sea-crossing bridge, with immigration offices and border control at either end (because Hong Kong and Macau are governed under different laws), took nine years to build and opened in the fall of 2018.

Jeff Bogle
Jeff is a freelance writer who specializes in travel, cars and parenting. In addition to contributing to numerous publications, including the Washington Post, Esquire, Travel + Leisure and Fodor’s, he has written two parenting books. An award-winning photographer, he lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his wife, cats and an adorable dog named Ollie.