Building bridges have often been a major challenge for engineers. However, through the 20th Century and into the 21st, bridge building has become increasingly impressive in terms of scale. Here are five of the biggest bridges in the world, and what they are used for.
5. Bang Na Expressway, Thailand
At over 34 miles long, Bang Na Expressway is the longest bridge concerning an expressway in the world. In the form of a raised highway consisting of six lanes, the bridge connects the Bang Na district of Bangkok with Bang Pakong. As well as going overground, the Bang Na Expressway also goes over the Bang Pakong River.
4. Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, China
The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China is the longest bridge, in terms of aggregate length, over water anywhere in the world. At not far short of 26 miles in length, this bridge was completed in 2011 and is a roadway bridge that is part of a connection project involving the Jiaozhou Bay area.
3. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, United States
This bridge in Louisiana holds the world record for being the longest bridge over a continuous stretch of water. Nearly 24 miles long, the bridge was completed in 1969 and crosses Lake Pontchartrain. The southern end of the bridge is in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, with the northern end being in Mandeville in Louisiana.
2. Tianjin Grand Bridge
Another notable bridge that is part of the Beijing to Shanghai High-Speed Railway, the Tianjin Grand Bridge is 113,700 metres and 70.6 miles long. This viaduct bridge stretches through Langfang and Qingxian, which are both in Hebei province, and it was opened in 2011.
1. Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge, China
The longest bridge in the world (and by a considerable distance) is the Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge in China. Built in 2010, this high-speed rail bridge is 164,800 metres in length, and some 102.4 miles long. The bridge connects Beijing to Nanjing and is a section of the Beijing to Shanghai high-speed railway. It took around 10,000 people, over a period of four years, to build the bridge, while the construction cost was around $8.5 billion.