If one starts thinking, we will be amazed to realize that we have reached a stage where connecting any land masses or crossing a physical obstacle is no more a big deal. This advancement of technology has connected people all across the world which supposedly could not have been possible back in those days when it could have been detrimental to cross otherwise. Now, it’s no more a limitation – the construction of bridges has made things accessible and possible. And of course, the journey is now a lot more pleasant, relaxing and affordable. Here I present the top 10 longest bridges in the USA,
Longest Bridges In The USA
1. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway – 24 Miles (38.5 km)
Located in Louisiana and is 38.35 km long. Until July 2011, Causeway was named as the longest bridge over water in the world as listed by Guinness World Records but later was overtook by Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China. Causeway composed of two parallel bridges connecting the southern terminus ‘Metairie’ to the northern terminus at ‘Mandeville’ crossing over Lake Pontchartrain in southern Louisiana. It is also one of the seven highway spans in Louisiana and is interestingly supported by 9,500 concrete pilings.
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2. Manchac Swamp Bridge- 23 Miles (37 KM)
This bridge is also located in southern Louisiana with a total length of 36.69 km. This overpass was constructed back in 1979 over the Manchac Swamp with twin concrete trestle foundation to support the bridge. These piles are almost 76m beneath the swamp. Some also claim that it’s the longest toll-free road bridge in the world and the swamp is supposedly haunted with a Rougarou and a voodoo princess.
3. Atchafalaya Basin Bridge- 18 Miles (29 KM)
It is the third largest bridge in the United States and is also known as the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge. It’s a twin bridge (i.e. parallel bridges running side by side) and is a major highway between Baton Rouge and Lafayette. It is said that the construction of this bridge started somewhere in 1971 and was available for public use in 1973. The basic foundation of this bridge is based on the Stringer Design (parallel beams supporting the concrete deck) and is stretched over 29.29 km.
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4. Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel- 17.6 Miles (28 KM)
As the name suggests, it acts both as a bridge and a tunnel. In a worldwide competition, it was selected as ‘One of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World’ and was further distinguished as “The Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement” by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Being a $200 million based project, it was completed in 1964 and offers a magnificent view of Chesapeake Bay as you travel from Virginia Eastern Shore to Virginia Beach (or vice-versa). Apart from providing the basic transportation facility, it also acts as a major tourist destination in itself.
5. Bonnet Carré Spillway Bridge- 11 Miles (18KM)
Among one of the longest bridges in the world – opened back in 1972 and is based on the twin concrete trestle foundation. The total length of the bridge is 17.702 km and it crosses over the Bonnet Carre Spillway, Lake Pontchartrain and LaBranche Wetlands. It’s a four-lane interstate bridge and is a major transcontinental Interstate Highway in the southern part of Louisiana. The Bonnet Carre Spillway structure was built as a part of the flood control plan which results due to a dynamic change in the water volume of the Mississippi River.
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6. Louisiana Highway 1 Bridge- 8 Miles (13 KM)
The Louisiana Highway 1 Bridge is 13.300 km in length and was opened in 2009 to connect Leeville to Port Fourchon. This bridge is further planned to expand in the northward to Golden Meadow. It is also known as the ‘Gateway to the Gulf Expressway’ and is a concrete trestle toll bridge. Whereas, here the Louisiana Highway 1 is the longest state highway (approx. 695.04 km) in Louisiana runs diagonally across the state.
7. San Mateo–Hayward Bridge- 7 Miles (11 KM)
This bridge is owned by the State of California and maintained by Caltrans and BATA. It is 11.3 km long and is the longest bridge in all of California and also the 25th longest bridge in the world. It links the San Francisco Peninsula with the East Bay with its two lanes going in each direction. Its construction started in 1961 and was completed later in 1967. It is essentially a Girder Bridge i.e. the flat deck is supported in piers and notably is one of the engineerings marvels the world has ever seen.
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8. Seven Mile Bridge- 6 Miles (10 KM)
The Seven Mile Bridge is located in the Florida Keys which is a string of tropical islands stretched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a new bridge whose construction started in 1978 when the old bridge began to erode and was badly damaged due to constant tropical storms and hurricanes. This new Seven Mile Bridge is 10.887 km long and is built considerably high above the water level to give passage to boats and ships to pass underneath.
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9. General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge- 6 Miles (10 KM)
One of the longest bridges in the USA, also known as the Dolly Parton Bridge and was built from 1978 to 1980. It’s a four-lane interstate bridge cross over the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta spanning a distance of 10 km. This bridge was named in honor of W. K. Wilson who was a Chief of Engineers in the US Army Corps. Apart from being distinguished with many medals and public service awards, Wilson is also credited for being the first one to recognize the need for construction of a high-level bridge on Interstate 65 over the delta.
10. Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge- 5 Miles (8 KM)
This four-lane automobile bridge can be located in Dare Country of North Carolina. It is 8.406 km in length and 20.1 m in width. It was built in 2002 and it carries the US Highway 64 bypass from Manns Harbor to Roanoke Island. This bridge was named after and to the memory of Virginia Dare, who was the first English child born in America back in 1587. This bridge is supported by more than 2000 pilings which extend 30 m below the water. It is one of the longest bridges in the USA.
These are the 10 longest bridges in the USA. Kindly share and do post your comments.