The longest bridges in the World – 7 are in the same country

The longest bridges in the World – 7 are in the same country

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Bridges come in all shapes and sizes. Some are not much more than a handful of planks spanning a trickling creek, while other titanic engineering projects stretch significantly further than the naked eye can accommodate. Imagine driving for an hour at highway speeds and still being on the same bridge! That is the kind of scale we are talking about when it comes to the longest bridges in the world. While this is a global list, China is the clear king of these mega structures, claiming seven of the top ten spots. With that said, because there are competing ways to measure the exact lengths of these connecting roads and railways, it is worth noting that the rankings can shift slightly across different metrics.

The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, China

Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct, Taiwan

Cangde Grand Bridge, China

Tianjin Grand Bridge, China

Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge, China

Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, China

Bang Na Expressway, Thailand

Beijing Grand Bridge, China

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, United States

Wuhan Metro Bridge, China

1. The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, China

Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge in China. Image credit: Steve Lanni/Flickr.

It makes sense that the nation that built the Great Wall thousands of years ago would excel at building grand bridges in the modern era. China’s Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge stretches for a phenomenal 102 miles (164 kilometers) from Shanghai to Nanjing (in the Jiangsu province) as part of the Jinghu High-Speed Railway, which is also known as the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway. The Danyang-Kunshan has held the Guinness World Record for the longest bridge of any kind since it opened in the summer of 2011. The height of this railway bridge also averages an impressive 328 feet (100 meters), putting it well clear of the rice paddies and wetlands that coincide with the Yangtze River, of which it generally parallels.

2. Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct, Taiwan

Taiwan High-Speed Railway.

Taiwan is close in tow for the runner-up prize. The Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct is a series of smaller bridges that collectively span a whopping 97 miles (157 kilometers) of the Taiwan High-Speed Railway. But this compartmentalization was no cop-out. Rather, it was a strategic move that would allow the massive structure to cope with the earthquakes that periodically slam the island nation (after all, Taiwan sits at the junction of the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate). This mammoth railway bridge was completed in 2007, thereby connecting Kaohsiung City’s Zuoying District with Banguashan in Changhua County.

3. Cangde Grand Bridge, China

The Cangde Grand Bridge claims bronze for China with an impressive length of 72 miles (116 kilometers). This marathon structure (nearly three marathons, actually) was built in 2010 in the nation’s capital, Beijing. It is also part of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, which, as one might suspect, is responsible for rapidly shuttling citizens to and from the capital, and as far South as Shanghai (China’s second-most populous city). To support its girth and fortify it against serious seismic activity, the Cangde Grand Bridge sits atop 3,092 piers.

4. Tianjin Grand Bridge, China

China’s Tianjin Grand Bridge. Image credit: Wuyouyuan, via Wikimedia Commons.

China’s Tianjin Grand Bridge was also built in 2010 (though it opened the following year) and is once again part of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway. The 32 individual sections of this incredible viaduct help transport passengers from the Langfang prefecture in the Hebei Province (just South of Beijing) to the metropolis of Tianjin (or anywhere else en route) – bypassing intensely populated areas, waterways, and other obstacles to one’s daily commute in the process. In total, this railway bridge covers 70 miles (113 kilometers).

5. Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge, China

Weinan North Railway Station, part of the Grand Bridge, China. Image credit: Xinxinworm, via Wikimedia Commons.

At the time of its opening in 2008, the Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge held the world record for the longest bridge. The following few years of epic engineering pushed it down to the fifth spot, but at 49 miles (79 kilometers), this railway bridge is absolutely nothing to sneeze at. The Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge is part of the Zhengzhou-Xi’an High-Speed Railway, thereby gifting commuters enormous time savings as they travel between the cities of Zhengzhou and Xi’an in Eastern China.

6. Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, China

Entrance to the impressive Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, China.

The sixth-longest bridge in the world is also the world’s longest bridge over water (aggregate). In 2018, this 34-mile (55-kilometer) modern megalith supplanted the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge for this specified crown and shares the general category with another upcoming entry, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, which is deemed the longest bridge over water (continuous) by Guinness World Records. The Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao Bridge combines three sections of cable-stayed bridges with an undersea tunnel, as well as four artificial islands – hence the “aggregate” designation. The combined efforts ensure that people can efficiently travel across the South China Sea between the cities of Hong Kong, Zhuai, and Macau.

7. Bang Na Expressway, Thailand

The Bang Na Expressway snaking its way through Bangkok, Thailand.

Shifting over to Thailand, the Bang Na Expressway, which is also known as the Bang Na-Bang Phil-Bang Pakong Expressway, or the Burapha Withi Expressway, cuts across a significant portion of the capital city of Bangkok. Specifically, this six-lane elevated roadway runs for 33.5 miles (54 kilometers) between the Bang Na Interchange and Chon Buro Interchange. In the process, this exclusively-motorist bridge alleviates the dense traffic of the Bang Na-Trat Highway (aka National Highway Route 34) that runs below. The Bang Na Expressway was completed in February of 2000 and has held the Guinness World Record for the longest road bridge ever since.

8. Beijing Grand Bridge, China

Train running on the Beijing Grand Bridge.

China’s Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway system puts one last mega bridge on the world’s top ten list. Located just South of the capital city, the Beijing Grand Bridge was constructed in 2010 and opened in 2011, and stretches a staggering 30 miles (48 kilometers) in length. This portion of the gargantuan rail network connects Beijing South and Langfang and was constructed in order to bridge the gap between the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Economic Rim, with the primary focus being the export of agricultural and natural resources.

9. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, United States

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana.

The ninth-longest bridge in the world is also the longest bridge in North America and holds the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous bridge over water. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway clocks in at 23.8 miles (38.4 kilometers), crossing through the center of the Southeastern Louisiana lake, after which it takes its name. The first of the current two parallel bridges was built in 1956 to facilitate traffic flow around the New Orleans area, with another two-lane bridge being added in 1969. “The Causeway,” as it is more commonly known, skirts along 9,500 concrete pilings between the South shore suburb of Metairie to the Northern shore suburb of Mandeville.

10. Wuhan Metro Bridge, China

Wuhan Metro Line 1 Bridge. Image credit: Howchou via Wikimedia Commons.

Closing out the top ten list of longest bridges of any kind is the Line 1 of the Wuhan Metro. This elevated metro railway is located in the city of Wuhan, which is the capital of the Hubei Province in Central China. The Line 1 section includes two tracks that go for 23.5 miles (38 kilometers) between the Huangpu Lu and Zongguan, with 32 stations in between. The Wuhan Metro Bridge was built in 2004 in an effort to free up the bridges crossing the Yangtze River. It was the first elevated metro line to operate in the Wuhan metropolis.

It would be a cold, distant world without these enormous bridges to connect us across swamps, waterways, and congested cities. Clearly, such colossal projects prioritize pragmatism over spectacle, but it is impossible not to step back and marvel at the final products. These ten bridges set an amazing standard of excellence and show what can be accomplished in other parts of the globe throughout subsequent generations. For now, if you are driving through Southeast Asia or Louisiana, steer towards some of these juggernauts.

The Longest Bridges In The World

Rank Bridge Name Location Length (Miles) Length (Kilometers)

1 The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge China 102 164

2 Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct Taiwan 97 157

3 Cangde Grand Bridge China 72 116

4 Tianjin Grand Bridge China 70 113

5 Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge China 49 79

6 Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao Bridge China 34 55

7 Bang Na Expressway Thailand 33.5 54

8 Beijing Grand Bridge China 30 48

9 Lake Pontchartrain Causeway United States 24 38

10 Wuhan Metro Bridge China 23.5 37.8

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