Top 10 Highest Bridges in the US
Bridges have always been a prominent part of communication since early civilization. Whether big or small, high or low, narrow or wide bridges have always proved to be one of the most convenient and shortest ways to cross rivers and valleys in the recent past. A perfect example of this is the superpower countries around the globe have developed some highest bridges. Amidst this United States of America outstands in this regard. The US is the home to some highest/tallest bridges in the world. By highest, it means the height has been taken from the bridge to the surface of the water or ground level upon which the bridge stands. Following are the top 10 highest bridges in the U.S as of 2023:
1. Royal Gorge Bridge
In the list of the top 10 tallest or highest bridges in the US, the Royal Gorge Bridge acquires the first position. It is situated 291 m (956ft) above the Arkansas River, a major tributary of the Mississippi River. This bridge was built in 1929 within a span of seven months.
The total length of the bridge is 384 m (1260 feet). It was designed to carry 2,000,000 pounds approximately and was led by Chief Engineer George Cole. The chief attraction of this bridge is the amusement park around its both ends. This draws a host of tourists to this place. The magical and mystical view from the bridge is breathtaking and gives a serene view of Southern Colorado.
The bridge was renovated in 1987 and till now, it has been kept tip-top for the safety of its visitors from around the planet. One of the most enchanting things is that the bridge has the highest bungee jumping facility to entertain and give a lifetime experience to its visitors. It is of course one of the scariest experiences to many yet the fascination is equally enthralling to many more.
2. Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
In this list of the highest bridges in the United States next comes the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. The height of this bridge is 890 feet. As the name itself suggests this second-highest bridge is named after the renowned leader and governor of Nevada Mike O’Callaghan and a famous army man Pat Tillman.
It is an arch-shaped or curved bridge which is spread over River Colorado between Arizona and Nevada states. It was inaugurated on 16th October 2010. This bridge cost $240 million for construction and was headed by the Hoover Support team, and was designed by HDR, Inc & T.Y.Lin International. The main attraction of this structure is its composite design, utilizing concrete to build its arch and columns while using steel to develop the roadway deck.
Providing pedestrians over the bridge to tourists also aided in grabbing attention to this already fascinating place, which not only gives a different view of the place but also helped in determining the best route for an alternative river crossing from Arizona, Nevada, and other federal states.
3. New River Gorge Bridge
In this category, third stands the New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia with a height of 876ft. This bridge is located over the New River Gorge near Fayetteville, West Virginia, U.S. The bridge was opened on 22nd October 1977 and capacitates daily traffic of 16,200 vehicles per day. It was designed by the Michael Baker Company led by chief Engineer Clarence V Knudsen and Corporate Bridge Engineer Frank J Kempf.
The construction cost of this bridge was $37 million. The most notable part of this bridge is that it is made up of COR-TEN steel. The total length of this bridge is 3,030ft. Besides having some striking features in building this arch-shaped bridge, it has a local feel attached to it as this construction has helped local people in transmuting with less hassle and lowering cost expense of transport.
One of the most important things regarding this bridge is that this bridge is celebrated annually as “Bridge Day”, and pedestrians are allowed only on this day, and are permitted to climb and jump from the bridge as well. Moreover, a staircase leading from the bridge towards the gorge is captivating as it gives a closer view. On August 14, 2013, this New River Gorge Bridge got the honor of being registered on the National Register of Historic Places due to its special impact on its vicinal transport, making lives easy for daily communication.
4. Foresthill Bridge
The fourth-highest bridge in the United States of America is the Foresthill Bridge also familiar as the Auburn Bridge. The height of this bridge is 862 feet or 263 m. This bridge is located in California state. It is a road bridge crossing over the North Fork American River in Placer County and the Sierra Nevada foothills. It was built in 1973 by Willamette Western Contractors. The cost of construction for the bridge was around $13 million. The length of the bridge is 2,428 feet.
The interesting thing about the bridge is that it allows pedestrians to walk in both directions providing excellent scenic beauty. However, the daily traffic unlike the New River bridge is low. But the picturesque scenery of the place is quite famous as there are scenes of this bridge in the movies like Fast & the Furious, The Ugly Truth, etc. The popularity of the bridge can be estimated by its featuring in films and ad shoots.
5. The Glen Canyon dam Bridge
Amongst the top 10 highest bridges in the US, The Glen Canyon Dam Bridge stands fifth, crossing the Colorado River. It stands 700 feet (210 m) tall. It is situated in Coconino County, Arizona. The bridge is made up of a steel arch. Needless to say that this was built to facilitate transportation like numerous other bridges.
But specifically to transport materials for the Glen Canyon Dam which is adjacent to the bridge. It was built in 1959 with a construction cost of 4 million dollars (approx.), which could be equivalent to 30 million dollars at the present time. The construction of the bridge was headed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and was designed by Robert Sailor. The total length of the bridge is 1,271(ft).
The place has a reddish view because of its rocky terrain. Besides being accessible to transport, it gives a spectacular view of the surrounding, with great weather. Moreover, the bridge is fenced and safe for kids and a walk across it provides a breathtaking view of both the dam and the Canyon.
6. Phil G McDonald Bridge
Phil G McDonald Bridge is the sixth tallest bridge in the U.S. It is located in Beckley, West Virginia, United States. The bridge was opened on July 15, 1988, with a construction cost of $29 million and a height of 700 feet. This bridge is also known as Glade Creek Bridge, which is a deck truss bridge situated in Raleigh County. Besides being one of the highest bridges in the US, it is also the highest Interstate bridge in the Interstate Highway system.
It was developed in the memoir of and named after an American soldier who held an eminent position in the US Army and was known for his sacrifice of his own life to save his platoon. The place gives a magnificent ariel view of the surrounding sides. The total length of the bridge is 2179 feet, while the longest span of the bridge is 784 feet.
7. Rio Grande Gorge bridge
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge alias High Bridge or Gorge Bridge came into being in 1956 with a height of 565 feet. This is also one of the most beautiful bridges in the United States. Quite a few movies like – Terminator Salvation, Paul White Sands, Twins, She’s having a Baby, Wild Hogs, and Natural Born Killers were shot here.
This place is no doubt popular due to its serenity and picturesque ambiance. The beauty of this place is beautifully highlighted in these movies. The total length of the bridge is 1280 feet with a main center span of 600 feet. It is also awarded as the most beautiful steel bridge of its kind in the ‘Long Span’ category.
8. Perrine Memorial Bridge
Perrine Memorial Bridge which spans over Snake River Canyon in Idaho. This bridge was opened in 1976, with a height of 486 feet above the river. The I B Perrine Bridge is a four-lane truss arch bridge. It offers pedestrian walkways along with captivating views of the majestic Snake River, lakes, and also waterfalls. The bridge attracts tourists and Base jumpers can surely enjoy the place. Moreover, the southern end of the bridge is access to parking for visitors. The total length of this bridge is 1,500 feet with the longest span length of 993 feet.
Navajo Bridge is the name of the twin steel arch bridges that are built over the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon National Park. The first bridge was opened on 12th January 1929, and it was a historical day for the population of Utah and Arizona as no direct route was there for crossing the Colorado River and reaching the other side of the river.
Thus, when this first bridge was opened to traffic, it saved trouble taken by the people of these places. The people were elated by its existence as they no longer had to depend upon the temper of the Colorado river at Lees Ferry which took the lives of some people while crossing.
In 1995, another new bridge was constructed parallel to the first bridge to fulfill the traffic demands. The old one is now used as a pedestrian bridge giving a fantastic view of the surrounding. The height of the old bridge is 467 feet, meanwhile, the height of the new bridge is 470 feet.
10. Moyie River Canyon Bridge
The Moyie River Canyon Bridge was constructed and opened in 1965 with a height of 464 feet and a length of 1,223 feet. It is a steel truss cantilever bridge that spans over the Moyie River, Idaho. This place attracts people due to its overview of the canyon seen from the bridge. The east side of the bridge has a parking area from where one can walk out onto the bridge. There is even a road beside the bridge that leads to the river downstream, the west side giving a more thrilling experience.
- 1 Top 10 Highest Bridges in the US
- 1.1 1. Royal Gorge Bridge
- 1.2 2. Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
- 1.3 3. New River Gorge Bridge
- 1.4 4. Foresthill Bridge
- 1.5 5. The Glen Canyon dam Bridge
- 1.6 6. Phil G McDonald Bridge
- 1.7 7. Rio Grande Gorge bridge
- 1.8 8. Perrine Memorial Bridge
- 1.9 9. Navajo Bridge
- 1.10 10. Moyie River Canyon Bridge
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