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Across the river: the world's largest bridges

People learned how to build bridges in ancient times. The main purpose of engineering structures is the ability to cross water obstacles: swamps, lakes, straits, rivers. The prototype of the bridge in ancient times - a trunk of a tree, which was thrown from one bank to the other to get across.

Modern bridges are strong, reliable and beautiful, although over time the latter quality becomes an exception. Let's look at the record structures of this type and find out what their size is.

Top 5 largest bridges in the world by height

All bridges in the world are divided into several categories depending on their capacity and purpose. In addition to the known railroad, pedestrian, vehicular and combined bridges there are:

  • viaducts (bridges over roads);
  • aqueducts (to carry water from one point to another);
  • viaducts (to move through gorges).

Consider the world's largest bridges in height, their photos and purpose.

Dughe across the Siduhe River

The world's tallest bridge was opened in 2016 in China and was astonished not only by its size, but also by its technical component. The first carrying cables were thrown over the gorge using rockets. It should be noted that the structure is located in a mountainous area, the workers have laid a tunnel through the rock.

Bridge in China

The Duguet Bridge is now the tallest in the world

The roadway is 1.222 kilometers long and 496 meters high and is part of the highway connecting Chongqing and Shanghai.

Car Bridge Bullets

Completed in 2015, the structure crosses the river and canyon of the same name in China. The hanging structure has 4 lanes of traffic. The height of the lane above the cliff is 485 meters. Each tower pylon rises 154 meters above the cliff.

Bridge of Bullets

China surpasses all countries in the world in the number of bridges built annually

Millau Viaduct

The third tallest bridge structure in the world is located on the Tarn River in the south of France. Today the viaduct is passed by all travelers on their way from Basieux to Paris via Clermont-Ferrand. Built in 2004, the architectural design was developed by the British company "Foster & Partners".

Millau Viaduct

The view from here is gorgeous

The bridge is named so because of its proximity to the town of Millau. 343 meters high, it is a structure with eight spans supported by seven columns of steel and concrete. The French viaduct is a cable-stayed bridge, the roadway is held on steel cables. The traffic on the highway is two lanes in each direction. Length of the web - 2.46 kilometers, weight - 36000 tons, it seems to float in the clouds.

Russian Bridge

The cable-stayed structure located in Vladivostok, connecting Russky Island and Nazimov Peninsula. Construction began 4 years before the APEC summit and was timed to coincide with the event.

bridge to Russky Island

Night illumination of the Russian Bridge

Important! The bridge is unique in its technical characteristics and important for the development of eastern Russia. Today its image can be seen on the new bill of 2000 rubles.

The height of the pylons is 324 meters, the length of the roadway is 1885.5 meters. The structure is brightly illuminated at night, the lighting work was performed by MT Electro. The record length of the span is 1.104 km.

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Sutong via the Yangtze

The Chinese Bridge over the Yangtze Delta is one of the largest cable-stayed structures in the world. It is second only to the Russian Bridge in Vladivostok in terms of span length (1.088 km). It is located in Suzhou city district.


One of the largest bridges in the world - Sutun

It has 7 spans connected by pylons, the height of each of them is 306 m. In 2008, the official opening took place.

Top 5 bridges by length

The length of the bridge bed also matters. Nowadays in the world it is possible to build an architectural giant not only across a river, but also across a strait, if the structure of the seabed allows it. Examples of such structures:

  • The Crimean bridge across the Kerch Strait, rail and road length of 19 kilometers allows ships to pass from the Black Sea to the Azov Sea and back (the rail part will be opened in 2019).
  • The 35.67-kilometer-long Hangzhouwan Bay Bridge in China is the longest trans-oceanic architectural project, which shortened the route from Shanghai to Ningbo by 160 kilometers.

The largest trans-oceanic bridge

But there are structures in the world that exceed those listed above in length.

Danyang Kunshan viaduct

This structure is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest bridge of its length in China and in the world. The total length is 164.8 kilometers. The construction took less than three years, which was also a kind of record.

Bridge in China

View of Danyang Kunshan viaduct from the shore

The viaduct is designed for high-speed train traffic. The route connects the cities of Nanjing and Shanghai. The estimated cost of construction was about 10 billion dollars. The longest bridge in the world crosses several reservoirs, ravines, road routes.


It is part of the Taiwan railway line, which is used by high-speed trains every day. It is the second longest in the world - 157.3 kilometers. Officially opened in 2007, 5 years later it was used by more than 200 million passengers annually.


The Taiwan viaduct is unremarkable, but it is earthquake-proof and reliable

The island of Taiwan is located in an earthquake-prone zone, so the viaduct is designed so that in case of strong earthquakes the train can stop and wait for further instructions.

Tianjin viaduct

Railroad bridge on the way from Beijing to Shanghai. It meets modern safety requirements, as this section is used by a high-speed train traveling at over 300 kilometers per hour. Opened in 2010, its length is 114 m.


Tianjin viaduct

Changdei viaduct

The high-speed railroad from Beijing to Shanghai required complex projects. One of them is the 105.8-kilometer Changdei Crossing. The design takes into account the seismic hazard in the region. The viaduct can withstand vibrations of up to 9 points.

Chinese Bridge

Changde is one of the most reliable bridges in the world

Akashi Kaikyo

Japan is an island nation, where they know how to build not only strong, but also beautiful crossings. One of them crosses the Akashi Strait between the islands of Honshu and Awaji. It was built in 1998. Akashi Kaikyo is a suspension bridge, for its construction used different technology than the cable-stayed bridge described above.

longest bridge

Akashi is a suspension bridge, its design was revised during construction due to displacement of supports during an earthquake

The Akashi Strait is a difficult area where storms often raged. The construction solved the problem of moving the population by car. Between the two pylons were stretched cables, to which the roadway was attached. Notably, during construction, it suffered a major earthquake.

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The biggest bridges in Russia

The vast territory of Russia is in dire need of bridge constructions. This is especially true for the regions of Siberia and the Far East, where people sometimes have to wait for winter to cross the ice to the other side. Bridge construction is a technically complex and costly task. Let's look at the projects that have been implemented beyond those in the top 10. These bridges are considered the largest in the country.

Presidential (Ulyanovsk)

For the first time the project of the bridge crossing over the Volga was presented during the Soviet Union, in 1986 construction began. During difficult times for the state it was stopped and then resumed. The Presidential bridge was put into operation in autumn 2009.

Bridge Ulyanovsk

Ulyanovsk is proud of its modern bridge over the Volga

Length - 5825, width - 25 meters. It consists of 24 spans and two tiers. The lower was laid for streetcar traffic, but at present the project is not implemented. As the foundation here for the first time were used bored piles.

Low-water through the Amur Bay (Vladivostok)

It has a total length of 4,364 meters and connects Muravyov-Amursky and De-Friz peninsulas. Cars are allowed to drive up to 90 km/h in 4 lanes. The structure was opened in 2012 and was timed for the APEC summit, which took place in Vladivostok.

Amur Bay

Thanks to the APEC summit two modern bridges were built in Vladivostok

It was built at the same time as the Russian Bridge, has 80 spans.

Zheleznodorozhny via Yuribey (YNAO)

In 2009 a unique bridge over the Yuribey River beyond the Arctic Circle was opened. This unique construction has no analogues in the world. The construction took into account the fact that after the snow melts the river overflows. The length of the bridge was 3,893 meters.


Bridge over Yuribey in winter

Standing on tall piles, no backfill method was used in the process, which helped preserve the river ecosystem. Notably, a heavier structure was approved on paper, which had to be lightened to adapt to the risks of the bearing capacity of the ground.

Khabarovsk (Khabarovsk)

A two-tiered complex structure with a rich history. It was opened in 1916. Parts of the "Amur miracle," as it is popularly called, were delivered from Europe via Odessa and Vladivostok. The launch of the traffic completed the construction phase of the Trans-Siberian Railway.


The Khabarovsk bridge is one of the oldest in Russia, it has been completely reconstructed

In the 90's there was a reconstruction, which allowed to use the "Amur miracle" again. It is a combined crossing, which is used by cars and trains, 3,890.5 meters long.

Bolshoi Obukhovsky (St. Petersburg)

We used to think that all bridges in St. Petersburg are drawbridges. This is not true. Obukhovsky - the longest crossing over the Neva, which does not draw. Cable beam structure has a length of 2884 meters (main span - 382 m). It connects the October embankment with the avenue Obukhovskoy Defense.


St. Petersburg's First Undivided Bridge

The Bolshoi Obukhovsky is a modern structure, reminiscent of the Russian in Vladivostok. At night it is beautifully illuminated.

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Moscow's Largest Bridges

Moscow's rivers and canals are the capital's jewel. Dozens of bridges, viaducts and overpasses cross them. All of them are not giants, but they deserve attention.

Luzhnetsky Underground Bridge

An arched double-deck subway bridge crosses the Moskva River and connects two important parts of the capital: Luzhniki and Vorobyovy Gory. Opened in 2002 to replace an old one that had fallen into disrepair.


Vorobyovy Gory Station on the Luzhnetsky Bridge

The main span is 108, the total length is 2030 meters. In the lower tier of the bridge is the station "Vorobyovy Gory", unique in that it is above water.


Combined cable-stayed bridge of pedestrian and vehicular type, the most recognizable in the capital. It crosses the Moskva River, is considered the highest in Europe. The total length of the roadway is 1460, the main span is 410 meters.

Picturesque Bridge

One of the most recognizable bridges in the capital

The building is 105 m high and has a hinged arch, the elements of which are attached to each other rather than to the supports. It has an observation deck.


The 790-meter-long double-arch road type of structure is included in the Third Ring Road. The Smolensk Railroad Bridge used to be in its place. It was built in 1999.

Moscow River

View of the Dorogomilovsky Bridge

The upper tier is a road of 8 lanes, actively used at present. The lower tier was designed for a high-speed road between Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo airports, not opened.

Europe's largest bridges

Europe can boast of large viaduct, bridge-type projects. If you consider that the border between Asia and Europe is commonly divided differently here than in our country, it turns out that Russian river and strait crossings are not accounted for.

Vasco da Gama (Lisbon)

A Portuguese structure across the largest river in the Iberian Peninsula, the Tagus. The cable-stayed structure here turns into a viaduct, the total length of the structure is 12.3 kilometers.


The grand Portuguese project - the Vasco da Gama Bridge

The inauguration took place in 1998 and was timed to coincide with the exhibition in Lisbon "Expo-98". The traffic is carried out on 6 lanes, the width of the main span - 420 meters.

European (Switzerland)

Europe's longest pedestrian bridge opened in the Swiss Alps in 2017. The suspension structure connects the villages of Graechen and Zermatt over the Grabengofer Pass.


The largest pedestrian bridge in the world

The height above the ground - 80 m, those who want to cross to the other side must overcome 494 meters. The view from here is beautiful.

The biggest drawbridges

For the passage of ships in the port built diluter structures. They are unique, graceful. The process of dilution come to watch the tourists from all over the world.

Dvortsovy (St. Petersburg)

It was opened in 1916, taking its name from the nearby Winter Palace. During the establishment of Soviet power in the country was called the Republican Palace.

Bridges of St. Petersburg

The Palace Bridge is featured on most St. Petersburg postcards

The length is 250 meters, previously at this place was erected a wooden float, which had the name of St. Isaac's.

Tower (London)

London's landmark built in 1894, allows for a quick crossing of the Thames. The graceful construction is made in the form of two towers with a central span rising at an angle of 83°. The length from one bank to the other is 244 m.


The most recognizable bridge in the world

After the flaps are opened, pedestrians can continue walking.

Slauerhoff (Leeuwarden)

A unique construction built in 2000 in the Netherlands. It is named after a famous Dutch poet and looks like a catapult. The metal square platform opens and lets the ships through as they approach.


The most unusual drawbridge in the world


  1. The largest bridge by height is located in China on the Siduhe River, by length it is also in China, but connects the cities of Nanjing and Shanghai, it is designed for train traffic (Danyang Kunshan viaduct).
  2. Russia's largest bridges are the Krymsky, Russian and Presidential, all of which are modern structures.
  3. The longest bridge in Europe is located in Lisbon and is named after Vasco da Gama.
  4. The largest bascule bridge in the world is the Palace Bridge.

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