At one point, man needed a bridge only to connect two lands separated by water. As time passed, design was given as much importance as function. These days, we have engineers who not only aim to make transportation easier with the construction of bridges but also to win awards for the most innovative designs. The following 10 are just some of the most interesting we have in the world today. This number is bound to increase in time but for now, let’s admire these:
1. Magdeburg Water Bridge (Germany)
Most bridges have water underneath. This interesting structure, however, also allows boats to pass on top. This bridge measures 918 meters, making it the longest aqueduct in the world that is navigable. The Magdeburg Water bridge connects the Havel Canal to the Mittelland Canal and crosses the Elbe River. The construction of this bridge resulted to boats saving traveling time. If you wish to see this wonder for yourself, it will not be a problem. This also features bicycle and pedestrian paths.
2. The Rolling Bridge (London)
This one is truly unique, being the only one of its kind in the world. From this photo, it looks like an interesting sculpture by the water. But this un-curls into a, you guessed it…bridge. This is found in Paddington Basin, London and is 12 meters long. This is composed of 8 sections shaped like a triangle. These sections are hinged and connected by links. The whole bridge can be uncurled towards the deck using hydraulic cylinders. If you want to see this bridge in action, visit every Friday at noon. That is when The Rolling Bridge is curled up.
3. Gateshead Millennium Bridge (Gateshead and Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
This is an award-winning bridge that combines both engineering genius and jaw-dropping beauty. This is also known as the Blinking Eye Bridge or the Winking Eye bridge because of the way it looks. When viewed from certain angles, the tilting parts also give a heart shape. Built in late 2000 and opened to the public on the 17th of September, 2001, this bridge cost 22 million pounds to build. Since then, its creators have received numerous awards. The bridge itself has been awarded the Outstanding Structure Award in 2005 by the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering.
4. Ponte Vecchio (Florence, Italy)
Ponte Vecchio means “old bridge” in Italian. From a tourist’s point of view, this old bridge is most certainly interesting. Built in medieval times, this bridge has withstood the changes that have gripped Florence, Italy. Records of the bridge appear as early as 996. From these early times, the bridge played hosts to many shop-owners selling their goods. These days, there are still businesses along the bridge. Another interesting fact about this bridge is that it was not destroyed by the Germans when they retreated in 1944 as ordered by Adolf Hitler.
5. Nanpu Bridge (Shanghai, China)
This is a cable-stayed bridge and considered the fourth longest of its kind in the world. Its total length is 8,346 meters and its center has a span of 423 meters. The design was an answer for the need of a space-efficient structure that would connect Puxi and Pudong in Shanghai. This bridge was built in 1991 and that year, the daily vehicle traffic averaged 15,000 to 17,000. These days, the number of vehicles that use the bridge reach hundreds of thousands.
6. Millau Bridge (Southern France)
This is the tallest bridge in the world, with a mast summit reaching 343 meters. Construction of this bridge started on October 10, 2001 and it was finally opened to the public on December 14, 2004. This is interesting because unlike most bridges, this very tall bridge crosses land. Specifically, it spans the Tarn river valley near Millau. Owing to its height, you will feel that you’re driving along the roads of heaven if you cross during a very foggy day. This bridge broke 3 world records: highest pylons in the world, highest bridge tower in the world, highest road bridge deck in Europe.
7. Helix Pedestrian Bridge (Singapore)
This is a pedestrian bridge connecting Marina Centre and Marina South in the Marina Bay of Singapore. Doubly beautiful at night due to lights, this bridge was opened to the public in mid-2010. The name of the bridge is actually related to the DNA. At night, the letters c, g, a, and t are lit up in red and green along the bridge. These represent cytosine, guanine, adenine, and thymine, the four bases of the DNA. Apart from being a beautiful walkway, this bridge is also a gallery where works of art are often displayed.
8. Banpo Bridge (South Korea)
Also called the Fountain Bridge, this structure in South Korea is undoubtedly beautiful. This crosses the Han River and connects the Seocho and Yongshan districts of Seoul. The bridge was completed in 1982 but it wasn’t until 2009 when the fountains were installed. The Moonlight Rainbow Fountain is actually the longest bridge fountain in the world, with 38 water pumps and 380 nozzles. The water is pumped from the river and recycled continuously.
9. Henderson Waves (Singapore)
Singapore is a wealth of beautiful pedestrian bridges, isn’t it? This particular bridge can be found above Henderson Road and is the highest pedestrian bridge in the country. It links Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park. The waves are curved steel ribs; they rise over and under the deck. The deck, of course, does not follow the wave design. At night, this bridge becomes particularly stunning lit with its LED lamps.
10. Aiola Island Bridge (Austria)
How about dropping in on an island bar in the middle of your journey? This is what the Aiola Island Bridge offers. Located in Austria and in the middle of the Mur River, this is a structure that offers more than just an easy way to cross the body of water. You can chase your troubles with drinks or sunbathe on this “island.” This was built in 2003 and designed by the New York-based artist, Vito Acconci.