In the modern age of advanced architecture, it’s easy to take certain buildings and structures for granted, such as bridges. But the history of the bridge is quite fascinating, and it took us many centuries to refine the design to the point where modern bridges are capable of withstanding thousands of tons of cars at a single given time.
Bridge design has always been something of a fascination to architects, especially when we consider that there was sometimes no other way of getting across a large body of water. Modern bridges are incredibly complex structures, and are usually strong enough to handle many cars, trucks, trains, and people. These are some of the most impressive bridges of the current age.
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway currently holds the world record for having the longest continuous span over a single body of water, which is Lake Pontchartrain. Situated in the US State of Louisiana, the bridge is almost 40 kilometres long, and is a low trestle bridge that sits across the lake and helps connect Mandeville with New Orleans. Not only that, but it allows people to reach the south-eastern United States, saving them the time it would take to get around the lake otherwise. It takes around 20 minutes to cross the bridge, and the construction of the bridge served as a financial boon to those living in the area.
The Millau Viaduct
While most people tend to be impressed with bridges that are long, there are also some bridges that hold records for being incredibly tall, and the Millau Viaduct is one of them. In fact, it holds the record for being the tallest bridge in the world, sitting at around 329.9 metres high at the very top. Widely considered to be one of the most impressive pieces of engineering in the world, the Millau Viaduct is like no other, and makes use of huge pylons that both support the bridge and give it its amazing height.
Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
While the overall design of the suspension bridge is by no means new, it’s only been in the last few decades that engineers have been able to make bridges that span enormous lengths, and the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is the record holder for being the longest suspension bridge in the world right now. Its length, which sits at almost 4 kilometres in total, is enough to dwarf even the Golden Gate Bridge, which is arguably the most well-known bridge on the planet, having featured in movies, TV shows, and even some Canadian casino sites.
It sits over the Akashi Strait and allows for people to travel from the city of Kobe on the Honshu mainland with Awaji Island. Since its opening in 1998, the bridge has carried approximately 23000 cars every single day, and consists of a six-lane highway, giving people on the island the chance to get to the mainland to work, and then back home at the end of the day.