Suspension bridges – whether truss, cable or beam – include famous examples such as the Golden Gate and Capillano bridges. However, all details aside, it is amazing to imagine the complexity of the engineering and talent behind them. Take away the math, physics and science of the build, and you are left with a serious cool factor. This pix collection shows some great examples of suspension bridges.
Clifton suspension bridge – Bristol – completed in 1864
Stretching higher than the Eiffel Tower, the Viaduc de Millau Bridge is a marvel of art and architecture. It stretches across the Tarn River Gorge in southern France, measures 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometres) long and 1,132 feet (343 meters) tall at its highest point. This is the tallest bridge in the world. It was built by the firm that also built the Eiffel Tower.
On April 5, 1998, 10 years after construction began, the ribbon was cut to open the world’s longest suspension bridge, the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan. Following a parade of the 1,500 invited guests (including this author) across the bridge, the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan officiated the formal ceremony.
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, also known in Japan as the Pearl Bridge, has a record main span of 1,991 meters. By comparison, the bridge is 366 meters longer than the previous record holder, the StoreBaelt (East Bridge) in Denmark, which was also opened in 1998. The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge is also 580 meters longer than the Humber Bridge in England, constructed in 1981; 692 meters longer than the longest suspension bridge in the United States, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York, built in 1964; and 710 meters longer than the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, constructed in 1937. It cost an estimated 500 billion Japanese yen (U.S. $3.6 billion) to build the bridge. Construction took ten years and involved more than 100 contractors.