How many types of bridges are there in the U.S.? The United States has more than 614,387 bridges.
What are the most famous bridges in America?
Brides in the U.S. are famous for many reasons. Some American bridges are famous for their location. Other U.S. bridges may be famous because of their size, age, or design. Some bridges in this country become famous because crazy stories are surrounding them.
The following are the most famous bridges in the U.S.:
- Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California
- Royal Gorge Bridge – Cañon City, Colorado
- Brooklyn Bridge – New York, New York
- Tilikum Crossing – Portland, Oregon
- Bay Bridge, Oakland, California
What are the most beautiful bridges in the United States?
Bridges are generally built to provide a route over other roads, rivers, or a body of water or any other area that would otherwise be impossible to cross in the U.S. In addition to their functionality, bridges can also be breathtakingly beautiful, such as the Golden Gate Bridge.
While there are more than 600,000 thousand bridges in America, some are more famous than others. And a few bridges are iconic landmarks.
Here are the most famous U.S. bridges with some interesting facts you should know about them.
- Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California
- Brooklyn Bridge – New York, New York
- Seven Mile Bridge, Florida Keys, Florida
- London Bridge, Lake Havasu City, Arizona
- New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville, West Virginia
- Benson Bridge, Multnomah Falls, Oregon
- Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tampa, Florida
- Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, New Orleans, Louisiana
- The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Maryland
- Mackinac Bridge, Mackinaw City, Michigan
- What is the highest bridge in the U.S.?
Some of the tallest bridges in the world are in the U.S. We have four bridges in the country that are above 700 feet in height.
The height of a bridge refers to the bridge deck’s distance to the water’s surface or lowest point on the land it crosses. The Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest in the U.S. It spans the Arkansas River with a height of 955 feet. The Royal Gorge Bridge is located in the State of Colorado and was built in 1929.
The top ten highest bridges in America are:
- Royal Gorge Bridge – Colorado – 955 feet
- Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge – Arizona/Nevada – 900 feet
- New River Gorge Bridge – West Virginia – 876 feet
- Foresthill Bridge – California – 730 feet
- Glen Canyon Dam Bridge – Arizona – 700 feet
- Phil G. McDonald Bridge (Glade Creek Bridge) – West Virginia – 700 feet
- Rio Grande Gorge Bridge – New Mexico – 565 feet
- Perrine Bridge – Idaho – 486 feet
- Navajo Bridge (dual spans; the 1929 span is 467 ft high) – Arizona – 470 feet
- Moyie River Canyon Bridge – Idaho – 464 feet
How many types of bridges are there in the U.S.?
The construction of a bridge has everything to do with its purpose, available materials, and terrain.
There are six main types of bridges in America today:
Suspension Bridges in the USA
Spreading cables are dominating features of American suspension bridges. Suspension bridges are popular in the U.S. In ancient times, humans used ropes and vines to build suspension bridges.
Suspension bridges handle vibrations well. They are very flexible and are built to handle vibrations caused by wind or earthquake. The Golden Gate Bridge, in San Francisco, California, is the most famous suspension bridge in America.
What is the longest suspension bridge in the U.S.?
The longest suspension bridge in the United States is located at the mouth of upper New York Bay. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is a double-decker suspension bridge. The bridge is named after Giovanni di Verrazano, the first explorer to sail into the New York Harbor and North America’s east coast in 1524.
The tolled bridge connects Staten Island with Brooklyn with six lanes on each deck. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge has an overall length of 13,700 feet (4,175.8 meters), a central span of 4,259 feet (1,298.4 meters), and a width of 103 feet (31 meters). Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority owns the bridge and MTA Bridges and Tunnels its operator.
The designer of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is Othmar H. Ammann. Construction of the bridge began in 1959 and was completed in 1964. When the bridge opened to the public, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was the world’s longest suspension bridge. The bridge was opened to traffic in 1964. Each main cable is made up of 26,108 wires amounting to a total of 142,520 miles (229,364 kilometers). It has been estimated that about 13,000 people were involved in the construction of the bridge.
Here are the ten longest suspension bridges in America:
- Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, New York
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Mackinac Bridge
- George Washington Bridge
- Tacoma Narrows Bridges
- Carquinez Bridge
- San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
- Bronx-Whitestone Bridge
- Delaware Memorial Bridge
- Walt Whitman Bridge
Beam Bridges in the U.S.
Beam bridges or girder bridges are the simplest and most inexpensive types of bridges. In its simplest form, a beam bridge only contains a horizontal beam that is supported at both ends by piers. You could build a simple beam bridge to cross a narrow creek. All you need is a wood plank or a wood beam. Modern beam bridges function the same way, except they use much higher grade materials.
Each beam bridge may contain one or multiple horizontal beams. The beams must be strong enough to support their own weight and the weight of crossing traffic.
Beam bridges are among the oldest bridges built by humans. Many of the earliest beam bridges were imitations of nature. In the past, people dropped logs over ditches, creeks, narrow rivers, and various obstacles. Beam bridges are formed by trusses, I-beams, and box girders.
Beam bridges may be built with pre-stressed concrete beams to endure loads in tension, and concrete strength to support the comprehensive loads. The distance between the piers mainly determines the strength of a beam bridge. Thus, beam bridges are most suitable for shorter lengths. Its span is dependent on material strength and the beam weight.
Arch Bridges in the United States
For thousands of years, humans all over the world have been constructing arch bridges. Ancient civilizations were expert arch bridge builders. The arch bridge is architecturally distinctive.
The arch is the property that makes this kind of bridge strong. To accommodate lateral pressure, an arch bridge is structurally supported by abutments at both ends. The arch is using its shape to push force outward to the end supports of the structure. Every arch bridge needs to have a minimum of one arch. But many arch bridges have multiple arches. This type of bridge is extremely stable, but they are not ideal for connecting long distances.
Here some of the most stunning arch bridges of the U.S.:
- Adams Avenue Bridge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Division Street Bridge in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
- Gilsum Stone Arch Bridge in Gilsum, New Hampshire
- Peacock’s Lock Viaduct in Reading, Pennsylvania
- Barteau Bridge (Shioc Road Bridge) in Bovina, Wisconsin
- Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C.
- East Putney Brook Stone Arch Bridge in Putney, Vermont
- Andrews Street Bridge in Rochester, New York
- Farmington River Railroad Bridge in Windsor, Connecticut
- Horse Valley Bridge in Franklin County, Pennsylvania
Tied Arch Bridges, also called bowstring bridges, have a similar look to arch bridges. A tied-arch bridge has an arch rib on each side of the deck, and one tie beam on every arch, supporting the deck. The vertical ties linked to the arches support the side of the roadway (deck) from above. Tied arch bridges are among the most stunning looking. A major disadvantage of tied-arch bridges is the cost of repair and maintenance.
Examples of tied-arch bridges in the United States:
- The Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge – The bridge was completed in 1977, and it carries six lanes or road traffic over its length of 10,032 feet (3,057.8 meters). The Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge crosses the Milwaukee River in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- Lake Champlain Bridge has 670 m of total length and the longest span of 492 feet (150 meters). It is located on Vermont, over the Lake Champlain between Crown Point, New York and Chimney Point. Construction of the bridge was completed in 2011. Lake Champlain Bridge carries road traffic.
- The Lowry Avenue Bridge was built in 2012. The bridge carries road traffic over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Lowry Avenue Bridge is 1,574 feet (480 meters) long.
- The Fort Pitt Bridge is 1,207 feet (368 meters) long. The bridge first opened in 1959. Its longest span has 754 feet (230 meters). The Fort Pitt Bridge is the first computer designed tied-arch bridge globally, and the first double-decked tied-arch bridge.
Cantilever Bridges in America
Cantilever bridges look somewhat similar to arch bridges. But cantilever bridges are constructed leveraging a different technology. A basic cantilever bridge is equipped with two cantilever arms—the cantilever arms extending from opposite sides of an obstacle connecting at the center of the bridge. One of the advantages of a cantilever bridge is that it can be constructed without temporary cables above and supporting towers.
Here are some examples of cantilever bridges in the United States:
- Innerbelt Bridge in Cleveland, Ohio
- Agate Pass Bridge in Suquamish, Washington
- Simeon Willis Memorial Bridge crossing the Ohio River between Ohio and Kentucky.
- The Krotz Springs Bridge is a dual cantilever bridge in the state of Lousiana.
- Walkway over the Hudson in Highland, New York
- Cairo Ohio River Bridge in Cairo, Illinois
- Tobin Bridge in Chelsea, Massachusetts
- Julia Butler Hansen Bridge in Wahkiakum County, Washington
- Beaver Bridge in Beaver, Pennsylvania
- George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge crossing the Ohio River between Jeffersonville, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky.
Cable-Stayed Bridges in the U.S.A
Cable-stayed bridges are similar to suspended bridges. This type of bridge uses deck cables that are connected to pylons. Cable-stayed bridges are ideal for connecting medium and long distances. Common build materials of this type of bridge are steel rope, concrete or steel pylons, post-tensioned concrete, and box girders. The Brooklyn Bridge includes cable-stayed bridge design elements. Fausto Veranzio was the inventor of cable-stayed bridges in 16th century Venice, Italy.
Here are some examples of cable-stayed bridges in the U.S.:
- Goethals Bridge connecting Elizabeth, New Jersey to Staten Island, New York.
- Christopher S. Bond Bridge in Kansas City, Missouri
- Greenville Bridge over the Mississippi River between Shives, Arkansas and Refuge, Mississippi.
- Abraham Lincoln Bridge spanning the Ohio River between Louisville, Kentucky and Jeffersonville, Indiana.
- Rainbow Bridge in Southeast Texas
Truss Bridges in the U.S.
The main element of a truss bridge is the truss. The truss is a structure of assembled elements that form triangular units. This type of bridge is a very rigid structure and often built with a diagonal mesh. Due to its construction truss bridges can endure heavy loads and stronger forces than other types of bridges. Truss bridges use materials efficiently, which made them a popular choice around the U.S.A. There are more than 17,000 truss bridges in America.
There are several different types of truss bridges. A truss bridge can have a deck on top, at the bottom, or in the middle. A pony truss has the sides of the truss extend above the roadbed but are not linked.
Here are some examples of truss bridges in America:
- Freemont Mill Bridge near Anamosa, Iowa
- Newark Bay Bridge in Newark, New Jersey
- Bowstring Truss Bridge in Ironto, Virginia
- Hale Bridge located south of Anamosa, Iowa
- Betsy Ross Bridge in the City of Pennsylvania
- Dinkey Creek Bridge in Fresno County, California
- Corbett’s/Eby’s Mill Bridge in Scotch Grove, Iowa
- Bridge No.4 near La Crosse, Wisconsin
- Glen Hope Covered Bridge in Chester County, Pennsylvania
- Springfield Bridge in Conway, Arkansas
Viaduct Bridges in the U.S.
A viaduct is a special type of bridge ideal for connecting two points together that are of the same elevation. Viaducts are constructed over canyons, gorges, water, and valleys. Viaducts are popular in railroad hubs such as Atlanta, Chicago, and London.
What is the longest floating bridge in America?
The longest floating bridge in America is in Seattle. The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge is connecting Seattle with Bellevue across Lake Washington. The bridge is 7709 feet (2,350 meters) long.
What is the longest pedestrian bridge in the United States?
The longest pedestrian bridge, the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, is in Tennessee. The Gatlinburg SkyBridge is 680 feet (207 meters) long.
What is the most expensive toll bridge in the United States to cross?
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in Virginia costs a whopping $30 round trip.
What is the longest bridge in the U.S.?
Currently, the longest bridge in the U.S. is Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana. The bridge consists of two parallel bridges crossing Lake Pontchartrain. The longer of the two is 23.8 miles (38.35 kilometers) long.
What are some fascinating facts about American bridges?
There are more than 600,000 bridges in America. Many bridges in the United States have never been completed. Stone bridges can be just as stable as steel bridges. Most bridges are constructed of concrete and steel. Some bridges are made of glass. The average age of American bridges is 40 years old. Unfortunately, some U.S. bridges are structurally outdated or obsolete.