Bridges are typically designed to provide a route over a body of water, another road, or any other area that would otherwise be impossible to cross. In addition to their functionality, bridges can also be incredibly beautiful, such as the Golden Gate Bridge.
While there are thousands of bridges in the United States of different sizes, some are more famous than others. Here are the most famous within the country as well as everything you need to know about them.
When the Brooklyn Bridge first opened up in 1883, it was the longest of all suspension bridges. Since then, the Landmarks Preservation Commission named it a New York City Landmark and the National Park Service designated it a National Historic Landmark.
The bridge spans 1,595 feet, reaching 276.5 feet above the water. There is no toll for crossing the bridge in either direction, but you do get beautiful views of New York City.
The bridge features six lanes of traffic for cars, although it used to also have train tracks. You can also take advantage of the pedestrian walkway if you prefer.
The Golden Gate Bridge is probably one of the most iconic bridges in the world with its beautiful spread across the water. The bridge includes towers measuring 746 feet tall and sweeping main cables along with Art Deco styling and an orange color.
Each year, over 10 million people visit the bridge, so you can expect it to be crowded no matter the time of the year. The bridge is actually designed for tourists, with most visitors stopping by the new Bridge Plaza, along the southeast end.
Keep in mind that the bridge does have a toll, but you can also walk across the bridge or ride your bike, although either option is only available at set times each day, during daylight hours.
The full name of this bridge is the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge and it crosses Tampa Bay in Florida. This cable-stayed bridge covers a length of 4.1 miles and both US 19 and I-275 run across it. This allows the bridge to connect Terra Ceia within Manatee County with St. Petersburg in Pinellas County.
The bridge construction spanned from 1982 to 1987, replacing an older bridge. No matter whether you cross the bridge on foot, by bike, or in your car, it is a gorgeous trip without any worries about collapsing.
The New River Gorge Bridge finished construction in 1977 and it was designed to solve a serious travel problem. Before the bridge, travelers had to spend 40 minutes driving along an old river and narrow mountain roads, but the bridge allowed them to instead take a one minute drive across it.
This bridge has the longest span of steel within the western atmosphere. Due to its scenic location, this bridge has become one of the places in West Virginia that is photographed the most frequently.
There is also an annual Bridge Day which takes place the third Saturday every October. During the celebration, pedestrians can cross the bridge and enjoy music, crafts, food, and more. It is also a major extreme-sports event with BASE jumping and rappelling.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is sometimes referred to simply as the Bay Bridge or the William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge and as the name implies, it crosses Chesapeake Bay. It is only open to automobiles and features US 50 and US 301, with two lanes in each direction and one reversible lane.
When the bridge opened in 1952, its 4.3 mile length made it the longest steel structure in the world that ran continuously over water. Although it is usually closed to pedestrians, the first Sunday during May is the Governor's Bay Bridge Run and the Bay Bridge Walk which let pedestrians enjoy the bridge and its views.
London isn't the only place where you will find the London Bridge. There is also one in Lake Havasu City, Arizona and this is one of the most famous bridges in the country. The name of the bridge comes from the fact that it was originally located in London, spanning the Thames River.
The bridge was originally built in 1831, but was dismantled during 1967. The bridge in Arizona is a new, reinforced concrete structure that is surrounded by the original London Bridge's masonry from the 1830s. Robert P. McCulloch is responsible for bringing the exterior granite blocks from London to Arizona.
This famous Florida Bridge is located in Monroe County in Florida. It is responsible for connecting Knight's Key within the Middle Keys with Little Duck Key, which is part of the Lower Keys.
When it was first built, this was one of the longest bridges and it features two lanes for US 1. Despite only being two lanes, cyclists will find the bridge wide enough to accommodate them as well as cars.
There is also an annual Seven Mile Bridge Run that benefits youth activities in the city of Marathon, Florida.
The Mackinac Bridge claims the title of longest suspension bridge within the western hemisphere, with a total length of 26,372 feet. This bridge connects the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with the Lower Peninsula and it first opened in 1957.
You will also hear it affectionately referred to as Mighty Mac or Big Mac. There are four lanes of I-75 along the bridge as well as part of the Great Lakes Circle Tours.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway stretches over Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans and hosts four lanes of traffic for Causeway Boulevard. The causeway is actually two different bridges, with the longer measuring 23.83 miles.
It connects Metairie in the south to Mandeville in the north. In 1969, the bridge was classified as the longest one over water worldwide, with slight adjustments to this title in 2011 with a new Chinese bridge.