Although they are built with the idea of functionality in mind, bridges can be iconic and awe aspiring. Britain is home to some of the most iconic and longest bridges in the world. Read on as we explore some of the most popular ones.
a) Bromford Viaduct
It stands as the longest bridge in Great Britain. It was built between 1964-1972 and it is 5,600m long. The Bromford Viaduct spans Birmingham and allows M6 traffic to flow between Castle Bromwich and Gravelly Hill.
b) Second Severn Crossing (1996)
It is the second longest bridge in Great Britain. The bridge acts as a connection between England and Wales. It links Severn Beach and Newport, and also acts as an extension of the M4 motorway that now spans from London to Cardiff. The cable bridge is a beautiful sight to behold.
c) Tay Rail Bridge
Also referred to as the Bridge of Tay, it spans almost 3264m in length. It acts as a connection between Dundee and Wormit in Scotland. This current bridge was actually not the original one built in this location. The first bridge built in this same location was inaugurated in 1878, but collapsed in 1879 in what is still considered as one of the greatest engineering disasters. The bridge that is present at the moment was inaugurated in 1887.
d) The QE II Bridge
Also referred to as the Dartford Toll, the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge spans 2872m and was inaugurated in 1991. At the time of its construction, it held the record in Europe as the bridge with the longest cable span. It includes two tunnels and has four lanes. It is estimated that more than 200,000 vehicles use it daily.
e) The Forth Road Bridge
At the time of its opening in 1964, this bridge in Scotland held the record as the largest suspension bridge in Europe, and forth in the world. It was hailed as an engineering marvel when it was opened. Before it was built, cars could only use a ferry to get across the Forth. However, the bridge started deteriorating and it was closed in 2015 and was replaced by a new crossing after suffering from wear and tear over the course of its history.
f) Humber Bridge
As a single suspension bridge, it spans the Humber, an estuary between River Trent and River Ouse. The bridge spans over 2200m in length and is about 28m wide. Its construction started in 1972 and was opened in 1981. Its budget was estimated to be about £100. It is estimated that over 100,000 cars cross the bridge per week.
g) Royal Albert bridge
The Royal Albert Bridge is considered an iconic bridge in Great Britain. It dates more than 150 years ago and it is still considered an engineering marvel. It was built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who is still considered as one of the greatest engineers to have hailed from England. He had envisioned a bridge that would allow Cornwall Railway to cross the majestic River Tamar. The bridge consists of two main spans and 17 shorter spans. It was opened in 1859 by Prince Albert. However, its main engineer Brunel, was unable to attend the event due to ill health. Even after all those years of services, the bridge still acts as a transportation route between Devon and Cornwall.
h) Thelwall Viaduct
The Thelwall Viaduct carries the M6 between junction 20 and 21 above the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal. Since it was opened in 1960, it has served millions of motorists. The bridge has also been altered and fixed many times and a new viaduct was even built as part of plans to widen the M6.
i) Cromarty Bridge
The bridge is located in Scotland and has a length of about 1,464m. It connects Ross and Cromarty. Its construction began in 1976 and it was opened in 1979, before becoming part of the A9 in 1982.
j) Westminster Bridge
It is one of the most iconic bridges in Great Britain. The road and foot traffic bridge links Westminster and Lambeth. It is both a foot and road traffic bridge. The bridge was opened on 1750 and was widened between 1760-1763 to accommodate the growing population. It underwent complete renovation between 2005-2007. Nonetheless, it still retains its iconic nature and is one of the symbols of London.