Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Longest Bridges In The World 2017. It is a well known historical phenomenon that when a bridge is built between two parts of a city, or two countries or two different groups of people, then a large number of things will happen. Firstly, trade will become much more significant and with this, communities will begin to mix. They will become far more trusting of each other and willing to work together, live together and marry each other. Socially, culturally, economically and politically, bridges seem to be a great way of improving people’s lives. It is therefore no wonder that, throughout history, people have made a special effort to build bridges between different places. Sometimes, and in fact most often, this is between two sides of a river.
Many cities will have a south bank and a north bank. However, bridges also connect places across wider bodies of water, and even connect countries across the sea. This list takes a look at the top ten longest bridges in the world. Often these are connecting far off places that are major population centres. You will notice that many of them are in Asia. There has been huge amounts of economic growth across the continent in recent years and this has led to some enormous infrastructure projects, including the building of bridges. So, without further ado, let’s begin with number 10.
List of Top 10 Longest Bridges In The World 2017
10. Runyang Bridge, China
China is home to some of the longest bridges in the world 2017, as you will see as you read your way through this list. Runyang is the first of several. It can be found crossing the Yangtze River in Jiangsu Province. It links Zhenjiang on the south bank with Yangzhou which can be found on the north bank. Construction of the bridge began in early 2000 and it took almost 5 years to finish construction, finishing in early 2005. It was not a cheap project, costing about $700 million. It takes almost 40 minutes to cross the 35.66 km distance.
9. Hangzhou Bay Bridge
The next bridge on the list and this one can also be found in China. It is only a little bit longer than Runyang, running to 35.68 km in distance. It connects the municipalities of Jiaxing and Ningbo in Zheijiang province. The bridge was officially opened at a ceremony in 2007 but it took another year for it to be opened to the public. When it did open it cut journey times in half, from four to just two hours. Previously the journey between Ningbo and Shanghai was 400km and this was cut to just 180km.
8. Yangcun Bridge
Also located in China this is the first bridge on the list to be for a high speed train. It was opened in August 2008 and soon after set the record as making possible the fastest train track in the world. Trains reach speeds of up to 350km per hour. The bridge was completed in two stages and has recently been completed. The total distance is 35.8 km.
7. Manchac Swamp Bridge
The first bridge from North America to feature on the list, the Manchac Swamp Bridge, made of concrete, is part of highway Interstate 55, and makes up over a third of the road. It is about 36.69 km in distance and is the longest toll free bridge in the world. It was opened in Louisiana way back in 1979. It takes about 40 minutes to drive the full distance.
6. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
Located in southern Louisiana, United States, this bridge is actually two bridges running parallel to each other. They cross Lake Pontchartrain in the south of the state. It was commissioned in the early twentieth century and finally completed in the 1960s. It is about 38.35 km in length. This is one of the Top 10 Longest Bridges In The World 2017.
5. Beijing Grand Bridge
This famous bridge was made for the high speed train network It was completed in 2010 and opened to the public in 2011. It measures 48 km in length, significantly longer than the previous bridge on the list. It is recognisable as a viaduct design.
4. Bang Na Expressway
This is the longest bridge in Thailand and it holds the Burapha Withi Expressway which is a 55km six lane elevated highway. It is 27 metres wide and 55 km in length. It was completed in 2000 and at the time was the longest bridge in the world. This was not to last when China started building its bridges. There are two toll stations for the bridge and it seems to be constantly covered in engineers doing works.
3. Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge
This incredible bridge was made for the Zhengdhou-Xi’an High Speed Railway which connects Zhengdhou and Xi’an in China. It was completed in 2008 and opened to the public in 2010. Crossing the River Wei not just once but twice, this bridge is 79.7 km in length.
2. Tianjin Grand Bridge
At a whopping 113 km this is one of only two bridges in the world that are longer than 100 km. It was completed in 2010 as part of the grand infrastructure works that are going on in China and opened to the public in 2011. It is used to host a high speed rail network. It is a viaduct bridge that connects Langfang and Qingxian.
1. Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge
The top spot goes to the Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge. It is located between Shanghai and Nanjing and crosses a large number of lakes, canals and rivers. There is even a nine km section of the bridge over open water. It carries a railway line and seemingly floats it huge distances. Like many of the other bridges on this list it was completed in 2010 but was not opened to the public until 2011. It took 10,000 people over four years to build it. It now stands at an incredible 164 km. There are not any further bridges in the planning at the moment so it looks as if it will be the longest for a while to come. The bridge begins in Danyang before moving through a number of towns and cities including Changzhou, Wuxi, Suzhou and ends in Kunshan. From the air, this bridge looks simply incredible.
So, that is the list of the ten longest bridges in the world 2017. As you can see, the vast majority of them are in China which, as its economy grows, it is likely to invest further in public infrastructure. Its railway network is already extensive but is likely to increase in size in the coming years. The difficult geography of parts of China means that bridges are often a good way of ensuring a steady and safe journey when planning a route. Planning a bridge as part of the route adds time to the build duration itself but in the long run it often saves people in their journey time and they also sometimes attract people who just want to have the experience of driving over the enormous bridge. Some people wonder whether ina few years time China will have all of the top ten bridges in the world. This is unlikely, given the existence of the Bang Na Express Highway bridge in Thailand. However, it is still perfectly possible!