World’s longest bridges over water – The art of engineering

Bridges can be as simple as a log dropped across a small stream or as complicated as long structures that span part of a sea. For this list, we chose to include bridges over water. There are some long bridges above land that might have qualified, but where they stop being roads and start being bridges can be tricky to define. So here we have the longest bridges over water, enjoy the view!

top 10 longest bridges in the world

10. Vasco de Gama Bridge (17.2 KM)

World's longest bridges over water

The capital city of Lisbon is split by the huge mouth of the Tagus River. To connect the two parts of the city, this bridge opened in 1998. It is so long that engineers had to compensate for how the Earth curves while building it!

9. Jintang Bridge, China (26.4 KM)

Jintang Bridge, China - 10 Longest bridges over water

A group of large islands, including the largest, Zhousan, lies off the east-central coast of China. This mighty
bridge is the longest in a series that connects the islands to the mainland.

8. Chesapeake Bay Bridge-tunnel, Virginia, USA (28.3 KM)

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-tunnel, Virginia, USA

The eastern part of Maryland is split by the famous Chesapeake Bay. This bridge travels across that body of water to connect the two parts of Maryland, and also allows you to reach Delaware a bit further on.

7. Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, Louisiana, USA (29.2KM)

Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, Louisiana, USA

While most bridges over water soar high above a river or a lake, this roadway is only a few metres above a vast swamp. Drivers can look down at the dark green water and the many plants that grow there.

6. Donghai Bridge, China (32.5 KM)

longest bridges on water

The port of the large city of Shanghai is on Yangshan Island. Until this longest bridge opened in 2008, the only way to reach the port was drivers across the East China Sea between city and port.

5. Runyang Bridge, China (35.5 KM)

Runyang Bridge, China - Longest Bridges - The Art of engineering

Spanning the Yangtze River, near the major city of Nanjing, this bridge is one of two that travel between Yangzhou to the north and Zhenjiang to the south. They are part of a major north-south route in eastern China.

4. Hangzhou Bay Bridge, China (36 KM)

Hangzhou Bay Bridge, China - longest bridges over water

Shanghai is one of the world’s largest cities. To reach its southern suburbs, this bridge was built in 2005 across Hangzhou Bay where the Qiantang River has its mouth. It is so long that it has an island near the middle with services for travelers. Some people call it the longest cross-ocean bridge in the world.

3. Manchac Bridge, Louisiana, USA (36.7 Km)

Manchac Bridge, Louisiana, USA - Longest bridges in the world

Leaving New Orleans from the south and heading west, you either need this bridge or a boat! The large Manchac swamp lies over most of the land to the city’s southwest, but this bridge provides safe passage.

2. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway bridge, Louisiana, USA (38.4 KM)

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway bridge, Louisiana, USA

So is a causeway a bridge? That’s a point some experts debate. Officially, this super-long structure is called a causeway as it spans Lake Ponchartrain near New Orleans. But it is a single structure that goes over water, so we’re going to leave it on this list thanks to its worldwide fame.

1. Qingdao Haiwan Bridge, China (42 KM)

Qingdao Haiwan Bridge, China - top 10 longest bridges in the world

The bridge on Lake Ponchartrain lost its top spot in 2011, when this engineering marvel opened for traffic. Crossing Jiaozhou Bay in northeast China, the Qingdao set a new world record for length. How long is it? If they got all the cars out of the way and ran a race there … it would be as long as a marathon! Building began from each side in
2007. Engineers had to calculate where the two sides would meet. If they were wrong by just a few inches, it would have been a disaster. Tens of thousands of cars make the long drive every day to reach the busy city of Qingdao.

Stay Tuned!

Look for this list to change. Construction is underway on a bridge that will connect the Chinese islands of Hong
Kong and Macau and the city of Zhuhai. The bridge is planned to span 29.6 km. Since Hong Kong and
Macau have some separate government functions from China, there will also be a border crossing built into the bridge.

Famous Bridges

Several of the world’s most famous bridges aren’t on the list of longest, but they’re worth taking a look at.

1. The Golden Gate Bridge is painted bright orange, spans the entry into San Francisco Bay, and connects the city to Marin County in the north.

2. The Brooklyn Bridge in New York is made from stone and opened in 1883. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world at that time, more than a kilometer long.

3. Tower Bridge is one of London’s most famous landmarks, Its centre section can be raised and lowered to let ships pass through underneath.

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