Most Incredible Bridges?

Lloyd was always my fave…

wow I never heard of such a thing!

yes! this is one of the most amazing bridges (and tunnels) anywhere. amazing to drive, and also amazing (and weird!) looking from the air.

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In keeping with my tour of the bridges of Washington, DC (which I grew up loving), here’s another bridge there which is absolutely lovely but so understated and refined that it is practically invisible to the locals: The Arlington Memorial Bridge

It leads from the Lincoln Memorial (another reason the bridge doesn’t get attention, it respects the the magnificent memorials it connects) across the Potomac to Arlington National Cemetery. It also hides a wonderful secret, as noted in the Atlas.

It’s design draws inspiration from Napoleon’s “Pont au Change” in Paris, so much so that when I visited Paris I was taken aback when I suddenly saw this bridge:

Notice how Napolean’s massive “N” wreaths are, in the American version, replaced with giant bald eagles, evoking the seal of the United States. It, too, connects to the center of the French government, on the Ile de la Cite. (The designer of Washington was the great Frenchman, Pierre L’Enfant.)

It also bears a strong resemblance to another grand bridge to a national seat of power, The Old London Bridge which… hilariously… now sits astride a desert bound lake in Lake Havasu, Arizona, as told… in the Atlas!

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I have been awed by the New River Gorge Bridge near Fayetteville, West Virginia. It replaced a long switchbacked descent down one side of the gorge, a short, low bridge crossing, then a switchbacked ascent up the other side. It replaced what probably took 15-20 minutes with a few seconds crossing at highway speeds.

And the view from part-way inside of the gorge (you can see the old road climbing up the far side):

This is the crossing it replaced:

And I just realized that the bridge is already on Atlas Obscura: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/new-river-gorge-bridge

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The Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, California, is the closest notable bridge to me at about 15 miles (24km) south of where I live. I gained a new appreciation of it a few months ago when by pure chance I met a man whose grandfather was the construction superintendent on the bridge when it was built in 1932.


(Photo obtained from wallpaperup.com)

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I have an album on my PC filled with nature pics and I think this bridge is in one of them.

Thanks for this post! As a geographer I do love bridges, and have many of them featured on my Our Earth video channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/geographyuberalles/search?query=bridges These include those in NYC, Netherlands, Japan, elsewhere.

But my favorite is probably the Tunkhannock Viaduct in Pennsylvania: https://youtu.be/47yRHgA6jA4

–Joseph Kerski

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The most amazing bridge I have ever been on was the one leading to Civita di Bagnoregio.

I went way before they instituted the fees to get into the city because no one had heard of the town besides my dad & Rick Steves (who he used to get ALL his travel info from). The bridge was empty when my dad, my uncle, and I crossed it. Somewhere, there’s a picture of me standing in the middle of it. While the bridge is crazy, what’s even crazier to me is that they even built the city in the first place, on a crag in the middle of nowhere with only one winding path up the side to get up there.

It was such a quiet place with a beautiful little church we had to ask to be let into. Inside is a crucifix that the sculptor created so that when you look at Jesus’ face from one side, he is smiling, but from the other, he is weeping.

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I always love the tiny, unexpected bridges, like this one at the bottom of a hill in north-central Italy, the Ponte di Olina.

Do watch out, though, because we almost stalled the car getting back up the hill to the main road…

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How could I have forgotten my own city’s Lake Pontchartrain Causeway? It is the longest bridge over water in the world. There’s a point in the middle when you can’t see land on either side that always make me feel a little weird.

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In Brunswick County Va… The Gholston Bridge built in 1884. .It is still in use today.
A simple wrought iron bridge but elegant in
design .

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Undisputed King of all bridges (or Queen?) is in my mind the Puente Nuevo in Ronda, Spain. Aside from its striking scale, the height of the striking white walls of the buildings in the city compared to the countryside full of olive trees and sunflower fields is breathtaking. Bonus waterfall.

image

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How about the most beautiful bridge in the world? Viaduc de Millau!

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Love, love, love this bridge. Saw it in person for the first time this February. How lucky you are to live near it!

Here’s my photo:

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I haven’t been here since I was a kid, but it’s one amazing bridge with one amazing view. The bridge over the Royal Gorge in Colorado.
https://royalgorgebridge.com/

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This is the one that sticks out in all my travels as the most marvelous, but I’ve seen Iron Bridge in england, the New River Gorge, the Lake Pontchaltrain Causeway, the Seven Mile Bridge, the Chesapeake bay bridge river whatever, and I cross the Trenton Makes Bridge daily. They’ve always been one of my favorite parts of roadtrips, and when I cross them, i chant “abridgeabridgeabridgeabridge”. Some bridges I can barely get one “abridge” out, but those seven mile suckers suck the breath out of me.

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Thanks all for the lovely photos! Two of my favorites are the Iron Bridge (Iron Bridge, Shropshire, UK ) which was built in 1779 across the River Severn and is the first cast iron bridge and the Pulaski Skyway (some lovely old photos in this blog post) - readers may remember it from the opening credits of The Sopranos. The Skyway, opened in 1932 and named in honor of a Polish general supporting the American Revolutionary War, is approximately 3.5 miles long and connects Jersey City to Newark, over river and marshes. A steel-truss cantilevered bridge, it replaced an old plank bridge/roadway.

The Iron Bridge

The Pulaski Skyway (photo courtesy of NYTimes)

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Check out the Juscelino Kubitschek bridge in Brasilia/Brasil


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Probably my favorite bridge ever is the Puente de Vizcaya/Puente Colgante/Bizkaiko Zubia that spans the Ibaizabal river/Nervión estuary in the Basque Country of Spain.

It’s actually the oldest transporter bridge in the world and one of the few that’s still functioning and transporting passengers to the other side of the river.

It opened in 1893, designed by Alberto Palacio, along with Ferdinand Amodin, both of whom studied under Gustave Eiffel, in order to connect the baths that were on both sides of the river so that the bourgeois who lived in the Getxo side of the river could also visit the baths on the working class side.

It was built with the transporter cables in the style it is so that ships and boats could pass through, as Bilbao was a capital of European shipbuilding and ironworking industry up until the 1970s or so.

It’s really an incredible monument, and it fascinates me every single time I go back to visit.

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