THE BRIDGES OF THE WORLD

DR. S. M. ALAM
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

Apr 9 - 15, 20
12

Bridge is structure spanning a river, road etc, giving communication across it. Bridges not only symbolize our world's advancement in design, but its advancement in technology as well. Consequently, architects and engineers have been able to merge design and technology together in order to create bridges that are bigger, better and more spectacular than ever before.

With the advancement of industrial revolution, the construction of bridges were progressed and in many parts of the world bridges were constructed over small and big rivers for the betterment of quick transport across the cities. Some important bridges are:

1. GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE: The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, the structure links the city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin county. It is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and of the United States.

It has been declared one of the modern wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. When completed in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge had the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200 feet (1,280.2 m).

Since 1964, its main span length has been surpassed by eight other bridges. However, it still has the second longest main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City.

The total length of the Golden Gate Bridge, including approaches from abutment to abutment, is 8,981 feet (2,737 m). At 692 feet (211m) (above water), the Golden Gate Bridge also had the world's tallest suspension towers when built. It held that status until 1998, with the completion of bridges in Denmark and Japan.

2. TOWER BRIDGE: Tower Bridge (built 1886-1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London. The bridge consists of two towers tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. The bridge's present color scheme dates from 1977, when it was painted red, white, and blue for the Queen Elizabeth II's silver jubilee. Originally, it was painted a mid greenish-blue color.

3. BROOKLYN BRIDGE: The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. With a main span of 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m), it was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge. Originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and as the East River Bridge, it was dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name from an earlier January 25, 1867 letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since its opening, it has become an icon of New York City, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972. The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. It was opened in 1883 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1964. It's 135 feet above the East River at its highest point, and just over a mile long. It is open to both vehicle traffic and pedestrians.

4. CHENGYANG WIND AND RAIN BRIDGE: The Chengyang Wind and Rain Bridge rises majestically from emerald-green rice paddies in northeastern Guangxi, China, a few hours away from Guilin. This elaborate covered bridge is typical of the wind-and-rain bridges built by the Dong people in southwest China. It sits among a cluster of Dong villages, providing a good base for exploring rural China. The bridge boasts five separate pagoda-like structures in its 78-meter span.

5. THE SEVEN MILE BRIDGE - FLORIDA, U.S.: The Seven Mile Bridge to the Florida Keys is not as high, rising only 65 feet above the water, but what it lacks in height it makes up for in length, at nearly seven miles long. The original lanes were built in the early 1900?s, and the now-used parallel section was opened in 1982.

6. THE NEW RIVER GORGE BRIDGE - WEST VIRGINIA, U.S.: The New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia stands 876 feet over the New River. Completed in 1977, it was for many years the longest steel-arch bridge in the world. Until 2004, it was the longest vehicular bridge in the world. It is featured on the West Virginia state quarter that was issued in 2005.

7. THE FORESTHILL BRIDGE - CALIFORNIA, U.S.: The Foresthill Bridge stands 730 feet over the American River in California. It is the tallest bridge in California. Also called the Foresthill-Auburn Bridge or Auburn Bridge, it was opened in 1973. Pedestrians can walk from end to end.

8. THE NAVAJO BRIDGES - ARIZONA, U.S.: The Navajo Bridges are near-twins over the Colorado River's Marble Canyon in Arizona, 464 feet high. The original bridge was completed in 1929 and is open to pedestrian and equestrian traffic, while its newer counterpart was opened in 1995 and carries U.S. Route 89A.

9. THE GLEN CANYON BRIDGE - ARIZONA, U.S.: The Glen Canyon Bridge is just downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, which creates Lake Powell at Page, Arizona. Completed in 1964, it carries U.S. Route, 89 700 feet above the canyon.

10. THE RIO GRANDE GORGE BRIDGE NEW MEXICO, U.S.: The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is a cantilever truss bridge over the Rio Grande, in New Mexico, 650 feet below. It was completed in 1965 and was once named Most Beautiful Steel Bridge in the Long Span category by the American Institute of Steel Construction.

11. THE CROOKED RIVER HIGH BRIDGE - OREGON, U.S.: This bridge was completed in 1926 in Oregon. When the old bridge was unable to keep up with traffic demands, a new bridge was built nearby, but the old bridge remains open to pedestrians, 295 feet above the Crooked River Gorge.

12. THE ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE - COLORADO, U.S.: The Royal Gorge Bridge near Canon City, Colorado, is 1053 feet above the Arkansas River. It was built in 1929 with the intention of being a tourist attraction, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

The wooden walkway of the bridge is made of 1292 planks, and a railroad runs below at the bottom of the Royal Gorge. It is the highest bridge in the world.

13. THE MILLAU VIADUCT - FRANCE: The Millau Viaduct in southern France boasts the highest road deck in the world, at 890 feet over the Tarn River. Built in 2004, its highest mast is taller than the Eiffel Tower.

14. THE PERRINE BRIDGE - TWIN FALLS, IDAHO, U.S.: The only bridge in the United States where BASE Jumping is allowed year-round without a permit. When the original bridge was opened in 1927, it was the highest bridge in the world. The bridge was replaced in 1974 and now stands 486 feet above the Snake River.

15. THE CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE - NORTH VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA: 230 feet above the Capilano river and originally built in 1888, the bridge has been upgraded and replaced several time and now attracts over 800,000 people a year.