World’s Tallest Bridges

PittsburghbridgesWhen I had an incoming search for “World’s Tallest Bridge” I was excited at the prospect of doing some research on bridges. For years I have been fascinated with all shapes and sizes of bridge, a definite side effect of living in Pittsburgh, PA. There are enough bridges in that city and county that they have a whole website dedicated to them. According to that website:

Pittsburgh has 30 river bridges with an additional 29 river bridges within Allegheny County for a total of 59. Then you may start to add the many others which cross streams, ravines, roads, railroads, etc. The typically cited a figure of over 2,000 in Allegheny County apparently doesn’t include railroad bridges owned by the railroads, and only includes those over 8 feet in length.

By some counts they have the most bridges in the world, but apparently Paris might have more or less depending on how you cont. While I’m still on that topic, here are my Pittsburgh favorites:
Fort Duquesne Bridge, nicknamed “The Bridge to Nowhere” because from 1969 to 1986 one end hung in mid-air due to complexities in attaching it to neighboring expressways and bridges.
Roberto Clemente Memorial Bridge, Seventh Street, and Ninth Street bridges nicknamed the “Three Sisters Bridges” (more pictures)
Smithfield Bridge
Homestead High Level Bridge

OK, moving on from PIttsburgh to the main event, the world’s tallest bridges.

 40628933 Millautown Afp300The world’s tallest bridge is France’s Millau Viaduct spanning the River Tarn. The bridge stands at an impressive 341m tall and 2,460m long. This is in fact 30m taller than the Eiffel Tower. Construction completed in late 2004. Also, the roadway of the bridge is only at 270m, while the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado has a deck at 321m.

Although, it seems this is in fact only the world’s tallest vehicular bridge, I cannot find any sources naming any other sort of bridge that is in fact taller. If someone knows, I’m dying to find out.

More on the Millau Viaduct:
Official Site
BBC: France shows off tallest bridge
MSNBC: World’s Tallest Bridge

Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge2.From Jp Wp.AkadruidAccording to Wikipedia, the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge (1,991m) in Japan is the world’s largest suspension bridge and this is also the longest bridge span. It seems the Millau Viaduct is longer, so I’m not sure why they haven’t updated. The Messina bridge in Italy is supposed to be completed in 2011 and will have a span of 3,300m, blowing this record clean out of the water.

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway-ViBut what about longer bridges that aren’t suspension? Well the Second Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana is 38,422m long and crosses Lake Pontchartrain. That’s a lot longer… but doesn’t have much height.

To add one more level of complexity, the Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong is the bridge with the largest rail carrying span (1,377m). So this one is really big and can handle lots of weight.

Smithbridge105Finally, being from New England I must touch on covered bridges. The longest covered bridge crosses the St. John River in New Brunswick, Canada and is 390m. Plymouth, NH claims to have the world’s strongest bridge, Smith Covered Bridge, but I think they just made the claim and no one has challenged it…

More bridge resources:
The World’s Greatest Bridges
BridgePros “How Bridges Work”

A couple other bridges I can’t resist:
San Diego’s Coronado Bridge – I love it because it is big, high, and has a huge curve in it.
Prince Edward Island’s Confederation Bridge (Official Site)
Boston’s Charles River Bridge
Plymouth, NH’s New Bridge (unnamed to the best of my knowledge) This brige is still under contruction/destruction, but will significantly change the initial view of Plymouth.

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33 thoughts on “World’s Tallest Bridges

  1. Matt

    I _thought_ Plymouth’s bridge claims to be the world’s strongest wooden bridge, not necessarily the world’s strongest bridge in general.

  2. zbtirrell Post author

    yeah, you’re right, the claim was strongest wooden bridge or strongest covered bridge. Somehow I missed that word in my explanation.

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  4. NoPuppet

    Well, I saw this, and wanted to point out a bridge you’re missing ;) I’m from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, and we have the highest and longest steel railway bridge in the world, using a viaduct styling. Here’s a link for some more info

  5. Mathew Parker

    You are all nerds for posting coments about bridges and how they are cool. You would have to be the biggest nerds in the world to like talking about bridges. Also you mom is hot.

  6. Mathew Parker


  7. angry sailor

    i wish you all werent gay. only gay people like bridges. only gay people like to talk about bridges all day

  8. Mr. Belly Button

    Bennett is the angry salor. He just doesnt understand how cool bridges are and how we worship them. Also he is to stupid to realize the beauty of the supports and beams of the bridges and how they are engineered.

  9. The dirty trash bin

    I like strong bridges that don’t collapse when you drive over them because then you don’t die or get hurt.

  10. angry sailor

    Matthew is a kid who likes to take long walks in the park. He likes to sell tamatoe juice to the old man that lives in his tree fort. Sometimes he thinks he can fly and dresses up in his spiderman costume and jumps off a physic book.

  11. Mr. Belly Button

    the cantaloupe bridge is my favorite bridge. it is made of solid fruit ad smells of rotten fish. I love to dream about the bridge in my free time and take trips to visit it often. you should all check it out some time.

  12. The dirty trash bin

    Near the bridge that goes across some bay in NC, there is a sign that read, “The cat in the mat hated every bat that sat by the rat and went down the street to smother the mother of the candle in the northern part of the southern tip of Florida near Bill’s fat toenails. This caused many chipmunks to Americanize their elbows, but elephants can’t bend their eyes.

  13. angry sailor

    some times the dirty trash bin or aka reid (yes his name is a verb) likes to strike little yellow coconuts. But seriously though my favorite bridge is the bridge made out of cheerios. some times in the after noon i like to watch reid pick his nose with his salad fingers. Matt also like to pick his butt with a rusty hammer. sometimes grant has sex with flower box named cherell and she likes it anal style.

  14. Rusty Spoon

    The cantaloupe is bigger than the watermelon because it has more seeds. The cantaloupe is also sweeter and has a better taste because is has less water and more juice. Also the major gas contibuter is the man named Grant. He enjoys eating beens and then watching them come out the other end. Tooth picks taste great all day long, you can eat them like a log.

  15. my little toe nails

    aliens are coming!!!!!!!! beware of the evil lettuce men with their salad fingers. their very frightening

  16. I Like Bridges

    When I look at the Golden Gate bridge, I think of strawberry jam on burnt toast. The reason for this is that the size of the bridge is relatively small compared to the size of a shoelace. Because there is water below the GGB, there must also be strawberry jam. Do you follow me?

  17. the boy who cried pudding

    on saturdays i go to the dessert island and fish for lovely cantaloupe with my wife the russian. sometimes we hold ears together and smell white out markers.

  18. Rusty Spoon


  19. The

    the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the

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  24. captain happy

    I like bridges. I like ice cream. I like puppies. If I had ice cream and a puppy on a bridge it would probably be pretty cool.

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