Over the years constructors have built bridges in all shapes, sizes and heights. Here are some of the most breath-taking bridges, from remote places around the world – guaranteed to get your heart racing.
If you’re afraid of heights, don’t have a sense of adventure, and you don’t scoff in the face of danger then you may not want to check out these scary bridges. From sky-high suspension bridges to dilapidated rope bridges, these crossings aren’t for the meek. Engineers and designers spend their working lives ensuring that bridges are safe. Your brain doesn’t always appreciate this, however, and sometimes for very good reasons.
Gephyrophobia is the fear of bridges. And Acrophobia is an extreme fear of heights. Both are estimated to affect up to 5 percent of the general population. And both happen to lots of people who cross these scary bridges. Bridges provide safe passage for people and vehicles over bodies of water, valleys and roads, but even the safest and most solid-seeming bridge can seem a little scary. The structures on this list—some of the world’s most terrifying bridges—are bridges that few would probably cross without suffering a panic attack. In other words: you couldn’t pay us to cross them.
Royal Gorge Bridge, USA
Located in Cañon City, Colorado, it’s actually a tourist attraction. It was built in 1929 and was, until 2003, the highest bridge in the world, with a height of 1,053 feet. In 2013, a wildfire destroyed much of the theme park. The bridge didn’t have stabilizing wind cables until 1982. The structure is 291m-high. The bridge was constructed in six months, between June 5, 1929, and late November 1929, at a cost of $350,000. It’s one of the world’s highest suspension bridges – hanging 956 feet above the Arkansas River, and one of the most cheaply built given its vertigo-inducing size. Various thrillists have also made use of the bridge for bungie jumping and other aerial acts including a man in a wingsuit who attempted to fly over the bridge in 2003 but ran into a pylon, and was instantly killed.
Mackinac Bridge, USA
The Mackinac Bridge divides the Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan. It was built in 1957, is 26,372 feet long and ascends to a height of 200 feet above water. Some drivers get so nervous about crossing the bridge that they don’t even go. And this happens so often that the Mackinac Bridge Authority will drive your car or motorcycle for you (and for free). The biggest fear is the wind, which often exceeds 30 miles per hour on the bridge. While the heights of the grand bridge are enough to scare some people from crossing the bridge, so, too, is the depth of the water – which is some 250 feet deep at the center of the straits. It’s the one of the world’s most beautiful bridges and the longest suspension bridge in the Americas. The Mackinac Bridge is currently the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world. To accommodate temperature changes, high winds and changes of weight, the deck can move right or left as much as 35 feet at the center span. Normal movement is much less, and not obvious to vehicles crossing the bridge. 31 expansion joints allow movement at the length as segments change with the temperature.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge, USA
The William Preston Lane,Jr. Memorial Bridge is located in the U.S. state of Maryland spanning the Chesapeake Bay. It opened in 1952 and has taxed the nerves of more than a few motorists. Imposing with its dual-span 200-foot-high road deck and 22,790-foot length, the bridge becomes a a truly treacherous drive during storms. The Maryland Transportation Authority offers arrangements through private companies to help anxious motorists drive over the bridge for a fee. Drivers are notoriously afraid of this bridge, as it’s subjected to frequent—and often violent—storms. And when the bad weather hits, forget about visibility: get to the middle of this five-mile-long bridge and you can barely see land. The structure is regularly subject to violent storms and instills fear in thousands of Baltimore and Washington residents every time they cross it.
Lake Ponchartrain Causeway Bridge, USA
Lake Ponchartrain Causeway Bridge is 24 mile-long and links New Orleans to Mandeville, in Louisiana, crossing the Lake Ponchartrain. Land can’t be seen by motorists who are crossing the middle 8 miles of the bridge, making this one of the scariest bridges in the U.S. Police who patrol the bridge have reported having to rescue anxious drivers who become scared while crossing the bridge and literally stop their cars on the middle of the roadway. These panic-stricken motorists have to be driven across the bridge by police officers. This scary bridge opened in 1956 and rises just 16 feet above the waters of Lake Pontchartrain, but the real fear factor is that it never seems to end—it spans nearly 24 miles from Metairie to Mandeville, LA. It is the longest overwater highway bridge. Fog procedures: When fog procedures are in effect, stay in the right lane only and do not pass. Form a single line in the right lane.Put on your headlights. (do not use brights or emergency lights). Stay close enough to the vehicle in front of you to see its taillights, but don’t follow too closely.
Sidu River Bridge, China
Sidu River Bridge is located in Badong County of the Hubei Province of China. It opened in November 2009 and was the world’s highest bridge, rising more than 1,500 feet in the air. This suspension bridge is 1,222 m-long (4,009 ft) and the span is so high that Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower could fit underneath it. This highest bridge in the world spans such a great chasm that it had to be established using rockets. The Sidu River Bridge is the tallest bridge in the world, standing around 1,500 ft tall.
Seven-Mile Bridge, USA
Located in Florida, this 7 miles long and 65 feet high bridge links Knight’s Key to Little Duck Key. It’s a 2-lane bridge causeway — one lane each way — . The bridge itself doesn’t seem that scary. But its position in the Florida Keys makes it a prime target for the region’s many hurricanes. In fact, the current bridge is the second iteration. The newer bridge scrapped the swing span concept of the original in lieu of a sturdier 65-foot-high arch to allow boats to pass by. While it may be sturdier, we still wouldn’t want to be on it during a storm. It’s quite a famous bridge having appeared in a lot of movies. For good reason too, it makes a spectacular landmark as it stretches out over the blue sea below.
Deception Pass Bridge, USA
The Deception Pass Bridge is located in the U.S. state of Washington. It’s a two-lane bridge linking Whidbey Island and Fidalgo in Deception Pass State Park. Combined, the two spans are 1,486 feet in length; 180 feet above the water. The road over the bridge is Washington State Route 20. If the drive over this foggy strait in the Puget Sound isn’t particularly scary to you, try walking over the narrow pedestrian lane at the edge of the bridge. That’s where you’ll find especially hair-raising views of the rushing water directly below. Over 1,500 tons of steel were used to construct the two spans. Roughly 15,000 cars cross the bridge each day.
Confederation Bridge, Canada
Located in Canada, this 12.9-kilometre (8 mi) bridge opened on 31 May 1997. It links Prince Edward Island with mainland New Brunswick. It’s eight miles long and stretches over very, very cold water. The curved bridge is the longest in the world crossing ice-covered water, and more than a decade after its construction, it endures as one of Canada’s top engineering achievements of the 20th century. There is ice covering straits 5 months of the year. A special design was made to accommodate this, the bridge designers developed a 52 degree conical ice shield located on the pier shaft to break up the ice. This ice shield actually lifts the ice flow up so it breaks on its own weight. Designed to last 100 years, it is the longest bridge over ice-covered waters in the world, and at its highest point is tall enough to allow cruise ships to pass underneath it. For user safety, the Confederation Bridge can be restricted to certain classes of vehicles from crossing because the high wind situations.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, USA
Located in Virginia, this bridge is 23-mile (37 km) long. It opened in 1964 and links the Delmarva Peninsula with Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads. Many people have a fear that when they drive over a bridge, they’ll end up in the water. This engineering masterpiece makes sure you do that, if in a controlled and dry manner. Also: twenty-three friggin’ miles. Half a century ago, 2,000 workers crossed 17 miles of water with concrete, steel and rock. Seven would die. The others lived to tell of ferocious storms and hard-charging men.
Captain William Moore Bridge, USA
This unique bridge is located along the South Klondike Highway near Skagway, in Alaska. It was finished in 1976 and spans 110-foot over Moore Creek Gorge. Named for Captain William Moore, a pilot, prospector, packer, trader and riverboat captain, it crosses an active earthquake fault. Engineers, aware of the potential for disaster, anchored only one end of the bridge securely, so when the ground below shifts, the bridge isn’t torn apart. Engineers built with the fact in mind so only one side of the bridge is secured with the hopes that when the ground shifts the bridge remains in tact and is not torn in half.
Volgograd Bridge, Russia
Volgograd Bridge is 7,1km long. It’s located over the Volga River in the southern Russian city of Volgograd. It was inaugurated in 2009. This bridge is practically brand new, but it’s amazing it hasn’t been shut down. During a violent storm in May 2010, the roadway began to shake and oscillate, in a similar manner to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge before it collapsed in 1940. The rippling roadway caused cars to be thrown into the air and careen into the opposite lane. Reports say it bounces by more than three feet during strong winds, with a deafening screech accompanying the movement.
Quepos Bridge, Costa Rica
Known as The Bridge of Death or Oh My God bridge, this extremely narrow bridge is located on the road from Jaco to Quepos on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast. Cars can travel only in one direction. It barely looks like it could hold a bicycle, let alone a 30 tonne lorry. But trucks cross this deathtrap on a regular basis. The Quepos Bridge is here to proudly represent every creaky battered decayed bridge in the Third World that looks incapable of supporting a bicycle. Still, untold thousands of these rickety structures carry traffic every day, doing their part to make a harsh existence more convenient. The bridge looks like it could crumble at any moment, but apparently large trucks drive over it and people survive. The loose slats of the roadway clank loudly while the bridge shakes under the weight of all the vehicles.
Vitim River Bridge, Russia
Located in Siberia, the Vitim River Bridge is one of the scariest bridges in the world. It’s an old train bridge crossing the Vitim River, a major tributary of the Lena River, part of the famous BAM road adventure. During the Siberian winter, the bridge becomes even more challenging as the wood turns into an ice slick that provides no traction. Surviving this bridge crossing is considered such an accomplishment that the 34 people who have done it created their own Facebook page. The old railway bridge is 570 meters (1870 feet) long and only 50 feet above the water. It’s barely wide enough for one car, and it’s iced over for much of the year. Isn’t wide enough for a car and has no railings. It’s made of wood and not in a very good condition. It will take a good 3 minutes to drive across it if you’re a skilled driver.
Millau Viaduct, France
Millau Viaduct is the tallest bridge in the world. It’s located in southern France and crosses the River Tarn in the Massif Central mountains. Its mast summit is at 343.0 metres (1,125 ft) above the base of the structure. The bridge it was inaugurated on 17 December 2004. The bridge is part of the A75-A71 autoroute from Paris to Béziers and Montpellier. This is not a route for cars towing heavy caravans, as there are several long and steep climbs and descents. It can get quickly blocked in winter, in the event of sudden heavy snowfalls which are not uncommon on the high ground.
Gandy Bridge, USA
Located in Florida, USA, the bridge, also known as Friendship Trail Bridge is 14,859 feet (4,529 m) long over the sea. The bridge links Old Tampa Bay from St. Petersburg and Tampa. The bridge opened in 1924. If you fear being on a small road close to the water, don’t ever drive from Tampa to Clearwater. You think there are times that you are almost in the water. Many people have a fear that when they drive over a bridge, they’ll end up in the water.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge, USA.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a 6.7km-long (4.14 miles) bridge built over Tampa Bay, Florida, in USA. Its height is 430 feet (131 m) and is said to be the longest cable stayed concrete bridge in the world. It is part of I-275 (SR 93) and US 19 (SR 55) roads. It links St. Petersburg in Pinellas County and Terra Ceia in Manatee County. An estimated 52,000 vehicles use the bridge. Don’t be fooled by its sunny name, the history alone makes going over “Sunshine Skyway Bridge” scary. In 1980, the freighter MV Summit Venture collided with a support column during a blinding thunderstorm causing the bridge to collapse. The collision caused six cars, a truck, and a Greyhound bus to fall 150 feet (46 m) into the water, killing 35 people. On top of this, 207 people have committed suicided by jumping off the center span into the Tampa Bay waters since 1987 when the new bridge was reconstructed. Prior to that, another 51 people have jumped to their deaths before the older bridge collapsed. There are now 6 suicide hotlines placed along the bridge as a safety precaution and a constant reminder to its past. To add to the dark history of the bridge, during periods of severe thunderstorms and hurricanes, it is often shut down due to high wind advisories.
Eshima Ohashi Bridge
Located in Western Japan, the Eshima Ohashi Bridge looks more like a roller coaster than a road. It links the the city of Matsue in Shimane Prefecture to Sakaiminato in Tottori Prefecture and is basically a highway to outer space, a shortcut to vomiting from nausea, making driving over this thing one seriously thrilling car ride. The bridge is a two-lane concrete road. It rises so sharply it gives the bravest drivers the fear, featuring a ridiculously steep slope that allows ships to pass underneath it.
Located in Kampong Cham, a city in the East part of Cambodia, by Mekong’s bank, it’s a little bamboo one way bridge which connects the city with an island where there are some villages and several rice fields. It is surrounded by sand beaches and it is very nice.During the rainy season you can only access the island by boat but, in the dry season, when Mekong’s flow goes down, you can reach the island crossing the bamboo bridge. It is awesome that is handmade every year, as this is the way it is rebuilt year after year. The irregular ground moves under the wheels, it oscillates and adapts according to the vehicles which are passing by at each moment. The bridge has a framework made of bamboo sticks and a carpet of several layers of canes cut in halves extends over it, absorbing the impact of the vehicles. At the beginning, going through the bridge next to a car is pretty scary, because the floor bends with the weight of the car, but, after a couple of times, you relax once you realize the bridge is strong enough. As it is a one way bridge, there is a person in each side controlling the traffic with walkie-talkies; they let the cars pass from each shore acting as a traffic light.
Located in the Deosai Park Road in Skardu Gilgit-Baltistan province, in northern Pakistan, the road has a length of 82.4 km. It includes gravel, asphalt, river crossing and one of the scariest wood bridges in the world. The road runs at an average altitude of 4,114 meters (13,497 feet) above the sea level. It’s located in the Deosai Plains, the second highest plateau in the world, after the adjoining Tibetan Plateau, between the ridge of the Himalayas and Karakoram.