Generally when people think of the architectural style of a certain geographic region and time period, buildings come to mind. Structures such as churches, capitols, libraries, schools, and houses have shown us the changes in infrastructure aesthetic throughout eras across the world. However, bridges are often overlooked.
To emphasize the importance and influence of bridges from an engineering and cultural standpoint, and to inspire students who are interested in engineering, CarRentals assembled this guide on 10 famous bridges around the world. They highlight noteworthy historical and engineering facts that make these structures iconic.
These illustrious bridges are not only pieces of history but they give us insights into the construction practices and technology of the past. Furthermore, they are reflections of visionaries of the time. For example, the Brooklyn Bridge was so massive that many people believed it wasn’t stable. To prove them otherwise, the showman P.T. Barnum let a parade of elephants and camels across the bridge in 1884.
Architectural phenomenon Eshima Ohashi Bridge in Japan defies orthodox engineering practices. The bridge has a gradient (slope or incline) of 6.1% on side and 5.1% on the other. In fact, the gradient is so steep that the bridge was dubbed the “rollercoaster bridge.” Why would the engineer force drivers to navigate such a radical incline? It allows ships to be able to pass under the bridge.
Another especially remarkable bridge is the Beipanjiang or “Duge” Bridge of China. It hold the title for the world’s largest bridge at 1,800 feet, or 200 stories, above the ground, while spanning the chasm between two mountains. It opened recently in 2016 and cuts traffic time in the local areas by 75 percent. This bridge is a testament to efficient engineering — at only 3 years to build, it breaks two monumental records.
For more famous bridges around the world, scroll to the infographic below.
Have you driven over any of these famous bridges? Which ones? Do you know of another amazing bridge that isn’t listed here? Leave a comment!