America’s Most Famous Bridges
By: Good2GoPublished: May 24, 2016
We’ve all seen our fair share of road trips, and have driven over quite a few bridges, but the bridges on this list are special. You’ve probably heard of some, while others may be completely new. If you suffer from gepgyrophobia, or the fear of bridges, turn back now.
Brooklyn Bridge, New York
The Brooklyn Bridge, which was completed in 1883 and connects Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River in New York City, is arguably one of the most famous bridges in the eastern United States. The Brooklyn Bridge is a suspension bridge that measures 5,988 feet long, and its longest span is 1,595 feet.
Golden Gate Bridge, California
The symbol of the West Coast has a main span of 1,280 meters (4,199 ft.) which makes it the 11th longest span in the world. 11th place may not sound impressive, but taking into consideration that the bridge opened in 1937 makes it quite remarkable as the other top 10 were built during the last 20 years. The Golden Gate Bridge is located in San Francisco and is perhaps the city’s most famous attraction. With the view of the bay around it, it is truly a sight to see
George Washington Bridge, New York
Another New York City bridge that is a must-see for all road travelers, the George Washington Bridge spans the Hudson River and connects New Jersey and the borough of Manhattan. This bridge has a total length of 4,757 feet and a maximum single span of 3,609 feet. Originally, when the double-decker suspension bridge opened in 1931, it had just 1 level. However, as the U.S. interstate system was being developed, a second level was added to the George Washington Bridge in 1962 and the bridge became part of Interstate 95, which connects Florida to Maine.
Delaware Memorial Bridge
Crossing the Delaware River and connecting Wilmington, Delaware to south New Jersey, the Delaware Memorial Bridge is another grand bridge that, like the George Washington Bridge, belongs to Interstate 95. The Delaware Memorial Bridge was originally opened in 1951 as a single span, but in 1968 the current westbound span was completed. This steel suspension bridge has a maximum span of 2,150 feet and is 10,796 feet long.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge
This bridge was first built in 1952 and is also called William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge, in honor of the man who served as Maryland’s governor when the span was originally dedicated. The bridge connects the eastern and western shores of Maryland and was expanded in 1973, when the current westbound span was constructed. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which is roughly 5 miles long and 186 feet at its highest point, has long been considered one of the scariest bridges in the world. Why? When it storms there, which isn’t uncommon, it can be nearly impossible to see any land when you’re on top of the bridge. Many people are terrified by this phenomenon.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tampa, Florida
The current Sunshine Skyway Bridge was opened in 1987, but its construction was prompted by tragedy. On May 9, 1980, the Summit Venture freighter crashed into the pylons of the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge, partly destroying the bridge and sending cars, trucks, and even a bus into Tampa Bay waters below. Sadly, 35 people died on that stormy, tragic day. The newer Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a concrete cable-stayed bridge that is 29,040 feet long, has a 1,200-foot main span, and has been considered by the Travel Channel as one of the Top 10 bridges in the world.
The Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado
The Royal Gorge Bridge is a tourist attraction near Cañon City, Colorado, within a 360-acre theme park. The bridge deck hangs 955 feet above the Arkansas River and held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929-2001, when it was surpassed by the Liuguanghe Bridge in China. It is a suspension bridge with a main span of 938 feet. The bridge is 1,260 feet long and 18 feet wide, with a wooden walkway with 1,292 planks. The bridge is suspended from towers that are 150 feet (46 m) high.
The Mackinac Bridge, Michigan
The Mackinac Bridge is currently the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere and third longest in the world. The total length of the Mackinac Bridge is 26,372 feet. The length of the suspension bridge (including anchorages) is 8,614 feet. All suspension bridges are designed to move to accommodate wind, change in temperature, and weight. It is possible that the deck at center span could move as much as 35 feet!
The Claiborne Pell Bridge, Rhode Island
Commonly known as the Newport Bridge, The Claiborne Pell Bridge is a suspension bridge operated by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority that spans the East Passage of the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. The bridge, part of RI 138, connects the City of Newport on Aquidneck Island and the Town of Jamestown on Conanicut Island, which in turn is connected to the mainland by the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge
The Francis Scott Key Bridge, Washington DC
More commonly known as the Key Bridge, it is a six-lane reinforced concrete arch bridge conveying U.S. Route 29 traffic across the Potomac River between the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington County, Virginia and the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Completed in 1923; it is Washington’s oldest surviving bridge across the Potomac River. The bridge is 1,791 ft. long.
Planning a road trip over the summer? If so, check out these bridges if you’re in the area, but before you head out on the road, you better make sure your auto insurance is up to date. Looking to update your policy? Visit us at www.good2go.com to receive a free quote in less than 60 seconds. Think about it – you can get an auto insurance quote in less time than it takes to cross these bridges!