Did you know that Australia has over 50,000 public bridges around the country? Their bridge repair and maintenance is managed by around 800 different state and local council organisations. Not to be outdone, the United States contains well over 500,000 bridges, used by millions of people each day.
Spanning long and short distances, bridges have evolved over time from simple stepping stones and logs to the complex and durable structures we have today. With the use of innovative mechanisms like bridge expansion joints and bridge deck waterproofing, modern bridges are more resilient than ever, standing up to a range of different environmental conditions.
Below, we take an in-depth look at the 5 longest bridges in the world.
Coming in at 79.9km (49.5 miles) is The Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge. Located in China, this lengthy structure was completed in 2008 and officially opened 2 years later. Its construction required over 2.3 million cubic metres of concrete and 45,000 tons of steel. Over its span, the bridge crosses a number of waterways and rivers, including crossing the famous Wei River (a major river in west-central China’s Gansu and Shaanxi provinces) twice. The Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge also forms part of the important Zhengzhou–Xi’an High-Speed Railway, connecting the regions of Zhengzhou and Xi’an.
In the number 4 spot is the Tianjin Grand Bridge. Also located in China, The Tianjin spans 113.7km (70.6 miles) in total. A viaduct bridge, it connects the regions of Langfang and Qingxian in China, also making up part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. Built in 2010 and opened a year later, an elevated design was chosen in order to shorten the construction period and avoid any obstacles.
One of only 2 bridges in our top 5 that aren’t located in China, The Kita-Yaita Viaduct comes in as the third longest bridge in the world. At 114.4km (71 miles) it only just manages to beat out The Tianjin for the prized 3rd spot. Located in Japan, it was completed all the way back in 1982, making it also the oldest bridge on our list. As part of the Tōhoku Shinkansen High-Speed Shinkansen rail line, this long structure helps connect Tokyo with the Aomori Prefecture.
Sitting in second place is The Changhua–Kaohsiung Viaduct. A length of 157.3km (97.7 miles) puts this bridge firmly ahead of the preceding three structures. Completed in 2004 and opened 3 years later, The Changhua–Kaohsiung Viaduct can be found in Taiwan. Beginning in Changhua County and ending in Kaohsiung, it acts as a vital part of the Taiwan High Speed Rail network — used by millions of passengers each day.
Finally, we reach the number 1 spot one. The longest bridge in the world is a title held proudly by The Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge. This grand structure spans 164.8km (102.4 miles) and is located — as you may have guessed by now — in China. Construction on this enormous project started in 2006 and was completed by 2010, with the bridge officially opening the following year. It’s estimated that around 10,000 workers were involved in the creation of The Danyang–Kunshan with a budget exceeding 8 billion dollars.
Australia might not make the top 5, but we still have many impressive bridges located all around the country. From Melbourne to Queensland, Raw Worx have been involved in the restoration and repair of countless bridges and concrete structures. From bridge deck rehabilitation to general bridge remediation, we understand the importance of creating strong, durable bridges that stand the test of time.
For more information on how we can help restore your bridge, contact us today.