Bridges are usually constructed to offer a pathway over a water body or road that otherwise would not be possible to cross. The United States of America is renowned for its marvelous engineering and brilliant architecture.
Undoubtedly, there are several beautiful, magnificent, and iconic bridges standing across the country from the Eastern Coast to the Western Coast. In addition to usability, the bridges are incredibly colossal and beautiful. As of today, there are thousands of bridges in the USA, some more popular than others.
Most of them are considered landmarks and are a major infrastructural section of the region. No long road trip in the United States will be complete without crossing these famous bridges.
So, if you are drafting an itinerary, check out the oldest, longest, tallest, and most amazing bridges in the United States of America and see if you want to include them in your road trip to make it an unforgettable experience.
Why Are Bridges So Interesting?
For centuries, bridges have been essential links for the movement of people around the world. In Europe, bridges from Roman and even earlier times are exquisitely preserved and have not only served to bring life to the communities that used them, but also have truly remarkable historical, cultural and scenic value.
In the United States, the situation is not much different. Although it is true that American bridges do not have the antiquity of Roman bridges, they have other characteristics that make them truly unique.
Some of these are the role they played in the development of the great cities of the United States, the fact that they were a great architectural reference for engineers around the world, or, simply, their context in a wonderful scenic environment that will leave you with your mouth open when you contemplate them.
Here Are The Most Famous Bridges In The United States!
Brooklyn Bridge – New York, Ny
Brooklyn Bridge happens to be the biggest of all suspension bridges since way back. Since then, it has been designated as the NYC Landmark by the appropriate bodies. It spans the East River through the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The bridge is 1595 feet long, and 276.5ft above water. You don’t have to pay a toll to cross the bridge, but you definitely can enjoy the scenic views of New York City.
The bridge has six lanes meant for car traffic along with a pedestrian walkway. You’ll need up to an hour to cover the whole of the bridge. This is just to let you know how big the bridge is.
Year of construction: 1883
Type: Suspension / Cable-stay
Famous for: The development of New York. Scenery. Political parades.
Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, Ca
This bridge happens to be the most popular bridge along the West Coast. It is a type of suspension bridge covering a long stretch. The bridge can be accessed from San Francisco in the south to Marin County on the northern side.
The cars, bikes and pedestrians can easily go across the Golden Gate Bridge. There are too many spots to take non-stop pictures of the amazing Golden Gate Bridge such as the Fort Point National Historic Site, Welcome Center, Baker Beach, and Crissy Field. It is a major landmark in San Francisco and California.
Year of construction: 1937
Type: Suspension / Truss arch and Truss causeways
Famous for: The bridge is a famous destruction target in movies such as “X-Men: The Last Stand”, “Godzilla”, “Terminator Genisys”, and “San Andreas”. It has also been featured in animated movies like “Monsters vs. Aliens”. Sadly, it attracts people of all types including those with suicidal tendency making it the most used suicide site in America.
Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge – Niagara Falls, Ny
Renowned as “Rainbow Bridge”, this arch bridge is visited by people from all over the world. It connects regions like Niagara Falls NY and Niagara Falls in Ontario. It is famous for its extremely gigantic views of Niagara Falls.
One of the nearest attractions to see from here is the Carillon Bell Tower. It is an amazing-looking complex where you can hear music from huge bells.
When coming from the American side, make sure you have your ID, passport, and visa prepared to avoid any hindrance in crossing the border. But you do have a pathway where you can have a good view of Niagara Falls from the bridge. For selfies, you can take nice shots of the bridge from different angles.
Year of construction: 1938
Type: Arch Bridge
Famous for: The Niagara Falls Bridge was the first functional railway suspension bridge. It earns its name because you are bound to see a rainbow on a bright sunny day if you stand at the right spot.
Bixby Creek Bridge – Big Sur, Ca
The Big Sur Bridge is one of the most renowned bridges in America and Instagram. It is one of its kind because of its aesthetic design, colossal setting and graceful architecture. It is the gateway to Big Sur and offers an incredibly deep aesthetic experience.
Tourists from different parts of the globe take tons of pictures here. Right from the picturesque views of the Central Coast of California to the scenic backdrop of the bridge, the options to take pictures are limitless.
The bridge links multiple routes. You have pullouts sited at both ends of the bridge to get down and praise its beauty.it adds to the scenic beauty of the highway from Cambria to Carmel.
Year of construction: 1931
Type: Concrete open-spandrel arch
Famous for: The bridge has been featured in movies “Basic Instinct” and “Escape to Witch Mountain”.
London Bridge – Lake Havasu City, Az
This bridge is so popular that it has been used in a poem for kids. In 1961, businessmen Robert McCulloch purchased the bridge at an auction and transported it through the Panama Canal to Long Beach then 300 miles by lands before re-establishing at Lake Havasu and opening it in 1971. It took 120 years for the English artisans to craft the bridge, dismantle it and then ship to the USA and reset it.
It is one of the most amazing destinations in Arizona for tourists and should be experienced by everyone. It is a National Historic Landmark, which makes it one of the most renowned bridges in the United States. The arch bridge is 930 feet in length crossing the Bridgewater Channel Canal.
Year of construction: 1831 (London), rebuilt in 1971 (Lake Havasu)
Famous for: The London Bridge is Hollywood’s favorite and is seen in multiple horror movies such as “Day of the Wolves”, “Bridge Across Time aka Terror on the London Bridge”.
Glen Canyon Dam Bridge – Page, Az
Sited in Arizona’s Coconino County, just out of Page, close to the Utah Border, the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge is 1271 ft. long and stands around 700ft. above the water. Being a desert area, there aren’t any other attractions, but if you want to go on a trip to the Grand Canyon North Rim, Lake Powell, Monument Valley, or Antelope Canyon, then this bridge is an amazing stopover for you.
The bridge was built to make travelling easier for the workers constructing the Glen Canyon Dam and for easy material transportation. The steel arch bridge has a pedestrian walkway along with two lanes for cars.
The passing by is free, whether you walk or drive, however, you do have to pay for the dam tour.
Year of construction: 1957
Type: Steel open-spandrel arch
Famous for: It is the 10th highest bridge in the world and offers some amazing picturesque sites. If you love to take pictures, then just park at the Carl B. Hayden and take pictures of the bridge at the Visitor Center. When going on trails around Page, you can catch several awe-inspiring sites such as Dam Overlook Trail and snap pictures. Some of the other attractions include Horseshoe Bend, Lower Antelope Canyon, Rainbow Bridge National Monument, and The Toadstools. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Valley of the Fire State Park, which is fairly close to it.
Skydance Bridge – Oklahoma City, Ok
Constructed after the state bird, the flycatcher’s scissor tail offers an amazing shape to the bridge. This pedestrian-only bridge spans 380 ft. with a 197-ft. height. If you are in Oklahoma for your vacations, then don’t miss visiting this bridge.
The design of the bridge achieves several objectives: a shortly relocated highway linking the northern and southern halves of the city and serving as a landmark for Oklahoma City. The distinctive hybrid architecture of the bridge includes a soaring, vertically cantilevered, triple-cord truss segregated into parts called wings, tail, legs, etc., and a normal span truss bridge. The wings work as the house for over 600 angled steel feathers giving the structure its unique textured design.
The unique shape is lit in the night with color-changing LED lights that brighten up the features with appealing and saturated colors.
Year of construction: 2012
Type: Truss bridge
Famous for: The bridge is known for its appealing architecture with uniquely lit lights illuminating it with solid colors.
Delaware Memorial Bridge – New Castle, De
Allowing you to cross the Delaware River, this twin-suspension bridge links Delaware and New Jersey!
It looks like a simple long bridge, but once the LED Lights are switched on, the Delaware Memorial Bridge transforms into phenomenally, jaw-dropping architecture. This bridge has dual lanes for vehicles and is a landmark of the state.
Every year, the Delaware Authority along with Bay Authority Police takes around 450 drivers with acrophobia across it.
The Delaware Memorial Bridge pays an ode to the lives of soldiers who died during World War II, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm and the Korean fight. A lot of people visit the bridge to take pictures, however, people prefer the night views of the bridge more.
Year of construction: 1949
Type: Dual-span suspension
Famous for: It is the southernmost and the biggest fixed vehicular crossing of the River. It stands in the memory of the martyrs of World War II.
Seven Mile Bridge – Florida Keys, Fl
Primarily, a part of the rail line more than 100 years before, the bridge connects the Florida Keys to Miami. It spans 7-mile and sometimes drivers may feel false ocean sickness when passing it.
This bridge should be on your list if you are visiting the Conch Republic. The bridge was reconstructed after it got damaged in 1935. The beautiful bridge attracts millions of visitors every year going from Miami to Key West. It is regarded as a marvel of ingenuity by civil engineers. Sited in Monroe Country in Florida, it connects Knight’s Key with the Little Duck Key (connecting Middle Keys to Lower Keys).
This happens to be the longest bridge as at the time it was newly constructed with two lanes for US 1. The lanes are broad enough for cars and cyclists to pass by. There is a yearly Seven Mile Bridge Run to benefit youth activities in Florida.
Year of construction: 1982
Type: Precast segmented box girder
Famous for: The bridge is the first land route ever constructed from Miami to Key West.
New River Gorge Bridge – Fayetteville, Wv
The New River Gorge Bridge was designed to resolve travel issues. Before the construction of the bridge, travellers spent 40 minutes driving the old river and mountainous roads, but the bridge narrowed the distance to one minute drive.
It has the longest steel span on the western side. Because of its amazing scenic location, the bridge has become one of the most visited places in West Virginia and most photographed too. An annual Bridge Day is held on the third Saturday of October every year where pedestrians cross the bridge, enjoy food, music and art.
When the bridge was constructed, it was the longest single-arch bridge across the globe at 3030ft. Because of its height, the bridge attracts a lot of suicide jumpers.
Year of construction: 1974
Famous for: In 2013, the bridge got listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Though it is not more than 50 years old, it was listed because of its amazing effect on local transportation and brilliant engineering.
Tips For Visiting The Most Famous Bridges In The Us
If you want to get the most out of your experience visiting some of the different famous bridges in the United States, don’t be content to just take a picture of them. Here are some tips that can help you make your experience even more complete.
- Explore the cities nearby. It would be unthinkable to visit the Brooklyn Bridge without spending several days enjoying all the amenities you can find in New York, wouldn’t it? Bridges are essentially gateways to new worlds, and one of the best ways to enjoy them is to visit the places they open their doors to.
- Plan a road trip. If you’re thinking of taking a road trip across the United States, you can map out your route in advance to take in the different bridges you’ll encounter along the way.
A road trip is one of the most delightful ways to get to know different cities and discover all they have to offer, but in order to enjoy it to the fullest you should plan it in advance, book accommodations and calculate the time it will take you to travel each route… always leaving some margin for improvisation.
- Enjoy the gastronomy. Not all travel experiences consist of contemplating landscapes and taking pictures. It is also important to immerse yourself in the day-to-day life of the places you visit, talk to the people and taste their food. Gastronomy can be one of the most exquisite parts of our trip, so remember, don’t just go from McDonald’s to McDonald’s!
- Educate yourself on what you’re seeing. Although all the bridges we have included in our list have a really important scenic and aesthetic value, you will surely enjoy visiting them much more if you have a clearer idea of their history and characteristics. That’s why we have left you some notes about each one so that you know better what their historical, architectural and artistic value consists of.
Are You Ready To Explore The Best Bridges In The Us?
A lot of the famous bridges mentioned above are fully Instagram-worthy. These bridges are extremely famous across the world for their magnificent engineering structures. Most of them have stayed tough through disastrous climatic conditions.
So, if you are planning for a road trip anywhere around the United States of America, then make sure you explore these bridges during your family or adventure road trips and don’t forget to take pictures. The road trips in the United States are incomplete without visiting these bridges.