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World's 20 most spectacular bridges

Last updated on: June 15, 2011 10:43 IST

World's 20 most spectacular bridges

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It has taken years of hard work and millions of dollars to build these architectural and infrastructural marvels.

Here's a look at the world's most amazing bridges, which are breathtakingly beautiful and have considerably reduced distances between cities across the globe.

Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, United States)

The Golden Gate Bridge hailed as one of the modern wonders of the world.

A suspension bridge that connects San Francisco to Marin County, it was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1937.

It is now second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States. It took four years to build this stunning bridge. The project cost more than $35 million.

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Image: Golden Gate Bridge.

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Sydney Harbour Bridge (Sydney, Australia)

Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world's largest steel arch bridge.

The bridge across Sydney Harbour carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore.

Nicknamed 'The Coat Hanger' because of its arch-based design, the bridge offers scenic views of the harbour and the Sydney Opera House.

According to the Guinness World Records, it is the world's widest long-span bridge and the fifth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world.

The construction began in 1923 and was completed in 1932. It cost $10 million to build this architectural marvel.

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Image: Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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Ponte Vecchio (Florence, Italy)

The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) is built over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy.

The highlight of this bridge is the presence of shops. Jewellery, art and souvenir shops are the attractions here.

The bridge is one of Europe's oldest wholly stone, segmental arch bridge.

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Image: Ponte Vecchio.

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Brooklyn Bridge (New York City)

The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, which connects Manhattan and Brooklyn across the East River.

Completed in 1883, the bridge cost $15.5 million. Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States.

It was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge.

It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.

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Image: Brooklyn Bridge.

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Gateshead Millenium Bridge (Gateshead, England)

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian and cyclist tilt bridge spanning the River Tyne in England. The award-winning project was designed by architect Wilkinson Eyre and structural engineer Gifford.

The bridge is also referred as 'Blinking Eye Bridge' or the 'Winking Eye Bridge' due to its shape and its tilting method.

The bridge was lifted and place in one piece by the Asian Hercules II, one of the world's largest floating cranes in 2000.

It cost 22 million pounds to build this architectural masterpiece.

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Image: Gateshead Millenium Bridge.

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Tsing Ma Bridge (Hong Kong, China)

The Tsing Ma Bridge is the world's seventh-longest span suspension bridge.

The bridge is named after two of the islands at its ends, Tsing Yi and Ma Wan. It has two decks and carries both road and rail traffic, which also makes it the largest suspension bridge of this type.

The 41 metres (135 ft) wide bridge deck carries six lanes of automobile traffic, with three lanes in each direction.

The lower level contains two rail tracks. The construction began in May 1992. It took five years to complete the bridge, which cost HK$7.2 billion.

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Image: Tsing Ma Bridge.

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Akashi-Kaikyo/Pearl Bridge (Japan)

Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge has the longest central span of any suspension bridge, at 1,991 metres (6,532 ft).

Completed in 1998, bridge links the city of Kobe on the mainland of Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island by crossing the busy Akashi Strait.

The bridge has a total of 1737 illumination lights. A 10,000 square metre service centre called 'Land between the Sea and the Sky' is built in the middle of the bridge.

This centre has a resting area, restaurant, gas station, hotel, conference room, and a lookout tower.

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Image: Pearl Bridge.

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Hangzhou Bay Bridge (Zhejiang, China)

The Hangzhou Bay Trans-sea bridge is world's longest bridge of its kind in east China's Zhejiang province.

It connects the municipalities of Jiaxing and Ningbo in Zhejiang province.

The bridge spans across a distance of 36 kilometres. Built with an investment of $1.5 billion, the distance between Ningbo and Shanghai has been cut short by more than 120 kilometres. The bridge has six lanes in both directions.

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Image: Hangzhou Bay Bridge

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Nanpu Bridge (Shanghai, China)

The Nanpu Bridge is one of the main bridges in Shanghai.

The cable-stayed bridge was designed by the Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute, Shanghai Urban Construction College, and Shanghai Urban Construction Design Institute, with assistance from Holger S Svensson.

It is the 57th longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, inaugurated in 1991. Built at a cost of $227 million, Nanpu Bridge has a main span of 428 meters (1,388 ft).

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Image: Nanpu Bridge.

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Tower Bridge (London, England)

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule (moveable) and suspension bridge in London over the River Thames.

An iconic symbol of London, it is close to the Tower of London.

The bridge consists of two towers which are tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways which are designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers.

Built at a cost of 1,184,000 pounds, the bridge was opened in June, 1894.

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Image: Tower Bridge.

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Pont du Gard aqueduct (France)

The Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gard River in southern France. It is the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges.

It is part of a 50 kilometre long aqueduct that runs between Uzes and Nimes in the South of France.

The aqueduct was constructed by the Romans in the 1st century AD. UNESCO added it to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1985.

Built at a cost of 32 million euros, it is one of France's most popular tourist attractions.

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Image: Pont du Gard aqueduct.

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Royal Gorge Bridge (Canon City, Colorado)

An engineering marvel, the Royal Gorge Bridge built in 1929 is a tourist attraction near Canon City, Colorado, within a 360-acre theme park.

Built at a cost of $350,000, it held the record of the highest bridge in the world from 1929 until 2003.

The bridge deck hangs 955 feet (291 metres) above the Arkansas River. From the deck of the world's highest suspension bridge, and special lookout points around the park, guests are treated to a 360 degree view of blue sky and mountains.

An added attraction is the Royal Rush Sky coaster, one of the world's scariest sky coaster.

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Image: Royal Gorge Bridge.

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Sri Wawasan Bridge (Putrajaya, Malaysia)

The Seri Wawasan Bridge is a futuristic cable-stayed bridge which has a sail ship appearance.

The concrete bridge is a combination of cable backstays and structural steel tie back. It has three lane carriageways of 18.6 metre width each.

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Image: Sri Wawasan Bridge.

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Lupu Bridge (Shanghai, China)

The Lupu Bridge in Shanghai, is the world's second longest arch bridge, after Chaotianmen Bridge in Chongqing, China.

The 12,795 ft bridge was opened on June 28, 2003. It cost $302 million to build the Lupu Bridge.

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Image: Lupu Bridge.

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Miliau Bridge (Tran Valley, France)

It is the tallest bridge in the world with one mast's summit at a height of 343.0 metres (1,125 ft).

The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the river Tarn near Millau in southern France.

Built at a cost of 400 million euros, it has been designed by the French engineer Michel Virlogeux and British architect Norman Foster.

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Image: Miliau Bridge.

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Wind and Rain Bridge (Sanjian County, China)

With an exemplary style of Chinese architecture, the Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge, is also called Yongji Bridge or Panlong Bridge. It spans across the Linxi River of Sanjiang county.

Built in 1916, it is built with wood and stones. The surface of the bridge is paved with wooden boards and both sides are inlayed with railings.

There are five tower-like kiosks, which resemble the flapping wings of birds.

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Image: Wind and Rain Bridge.

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Sunniberg Bridge (Klosters, Switzerland)

The Sunniberg Bridge is a cable-stayed road bridge near Klosters in Switzerland.

It has been aesthetically designed by Christian Menn.

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Image: Sunniberg Bridge.

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Stari Most (Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Stari Most is a 16th century Ottoman bridge in the city of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, built across the river Neretva.

In 1566, Mimar Hayruddin, a student of architect Sinan designed Stari Most. The bridge is said to have cost 300,000 dram (silver coins) to build.

The old bridge stood for 427 years, until it was destroyed on November 9, 1993 during the Croat-Bosniak War. It was rebuilt in July, 2004.

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Image: Stari Most bridge.

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Szechenyi Chain Bridge (Budapest, Hungary)

The Szechenyi Chain Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

It was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest, and was opened in 1849.

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Image: Szechenyi Chain Bridge.

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New Brunswick Hartland Bridge (New Brunswick, Canada)

The Hartland Bridge is the world's longest covered bridge, at 1,282 feet (391 metres) long.

It crosses the Saint John River from Hartland to Somerville. The framework consists of seven small Howe Truss bridges joined together on six piers.

The bridge was constructed in 1901 by the Hartland Bridge Company and it cost $33,000.


Image: New Brunswick Hartland Bridge.

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