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Top 10 Bridges

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, New South Wales, and Australia. The bridge is nicknamed “The Coathanger” because of its arch-based design. Under the directions of Dr J.J.C. Bradfield of the NSW Department of Public Works, the bridge was designed and built by British firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd of Middlesbrough and opened in 1932. The bridge’s design was influenced by the Hell Gate Bridge in New York. It was the world’s widest long-span bridge until construction of the new Port Mann Bridge. It is also the fifth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world, and it is the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 metres (440 ft) from top to water level. Until 1967 the Harbour Bridge was Sydney’s tallest structure

Tower Bridge, London, England

Tower Bridge (built 1886–1894) is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London. The bridge consists of two towers tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways, designed to withstand the horizontal forces exerted by the suspended sections of the bridge on the landward sides of the towers. The vertical component of the forces in the suspended sections and the vertical reactions of the two walkways are carried by the two robust towers. The bascule pivots and operating machinery are housed in the base of each tower. The bridge’s present colour scheme dates from 1977, when it was painted red, white and blue for the Queen Elizabeth II’s silver jubilee. Originally it was painted a mid greenish-blue colour. Tower Bridge is sometimes mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is the next bridge upstream. The nearest London Underground station is Tower Hill on the Circle and District lines, and the nearest Docklands Light Railway station is Tower Gateway.

Millau Viaduct, France

The Millau Viaduct –  le Viaduc de Millau, is a cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the river Tarn near Millau in southern France. Designed by the French structural engineer Michel Virlogeux and British architect Norman Foster, it is the tallest bridge in the world with one mast’s summit at 343.0 metres (1,125 ft) above the base of the structure. It is the 12th highest bridge deck in the world, being 270 metres (890 ft) between the road deck and the ground below. The viaduct is part of the A75-A71 autoroute axis from Paris to Montpellier. Construction cost was approximately €400 million. It was formally dedicated on 14 December 2004, inaugurated on the 15th, and opened to traffic on the 16th. The Millau Viaduct is located on the territory of the communes of Millau and Creissels, France, in the département of Aveyron. Before the bridge was constructed, traffic had to descend into the Tarn River valley and pass along the route nationale N9 near the town of Millau, causing heavy congestion at the beginning and end of the July and August holiday season. The bridge now traverses the Tarn valley above its lowest point, linking two limestone plateaus, the Causse du Larzac and the Causse Rouge, and is inside the perimeter of the Grands Causses regional natural park. The bridge forms the last link of the A75 autoroute (la Méridienne), from Clermont-Ferrand to Pézenas (to be extended to Béziers by 2010). The A75, with the A10 and A71, provides a continuous high-speed route south from Paris through Clermont-Ferrand to the Languedoc region and through to Spain, considerably reducing the cost of vehicle traffic travelling along this route. Many tourists heading to southern France and Spain follow this route because it is direct and without tolls for the 340 kilometres (210 mi) between Clermont-Ferrand and Pézenas, except for the bridge itself. The Eiffage group, which constructed the viaduct, also operates it, under a government contract which allows the company to collect tolls for up to 75 years.

Royal Gorge Bridge, USA

The Royal Gorge Bridge is a tourist attraction near Cañon City, Colorado, within a 360-acre (150 ha) theme park. The bridge deck hangs 955 feet (291 m) above the Arkansas River, and held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929 until 2001, when it was surpassed by the Liuguanghe Bridge in China. It is asuspension bridge with a main span of 938 feet (286 m). The bridge is 1,260 feet (384 m) long and 18 feet (5.5 m) wide, with a wooden walkway with 1292 planks. The bridge is suspended from towers that are 150 feet (46 m) high. The bridge was constructed in six months, between June 5, 1929, and late November 1929, as a toll bridge, at a cost of $350,000. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The bridge was not constructed for transportation purposes; instead, it was built with the intent that it serve as a tourist attraction, and has continued to be one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Colorado since its construction. The road is designated as Fremont County Road 3A. The Royal Gorge Route Railroad runs under the bridge along the base of Royal Gorge.

https://royalgorgebridge.com

Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, USA

The Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge is an arch bridge in the United States that spans the Colorado River between the states of Arizona and Nevada. The bridge is located within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area approximately 30 miles (48 km) south east of Las Vegas, Nevada, and carries U.S. Route 93 over the Colorado River. Opened in 2010, it was the key component of the Hoover Dam Bypass project, which rerouted US 93 from its previous routing along the top of Hoover Dam and removed several hairpin turns and blind curves from the route. It is jointly named for Mike O’Callaghan,Governor of Nevada from 1971–1979, and Pat Tillman, a football player who left his football career with the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the United States Army and was later killed in Afghanistan

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

The Ponte Vecchio is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it, as was once common. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. The Ponte Vecchio’s two neighbouring bridges are the Ponte Santa Trinitaand the Ponte alle Grazie. In order to connect the Palazzo Vecchio (Florence’s town hall) with the Palazzo Pitti, in 1565 Cosimo I de’ Medicihad Giorgio Vasari build the Vasari Corridor above it. To enforce the prestige of the bridge, in 1593 the Medici Grand Dukes prohibited butchers from selling there; their place was immediately taken by several gold merchants. The corporative association of butchers had monopolised the shops on the bridge since 1442. A stone with an inscription from Dante (Paradiso xvi. 140-7) records the spot at the entrance to the bridge where Buondelmonte de’ Buondelmonti was murdered on behalf of the Amidei, in 1215, initiating the urban fighting of the Guelfs and Ghibellines.

Great Belt Fixed Link

The Great Belt Fixed Link in Danish: Storebæltsforbindelsen, is the fixed link between the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen across the Great Belt. It consists of a road suspension bridge and railway tunnelbetween Zealand and the island Sprogø, as well as a box girder bridge between Sprogø and Funen. The “Great Belt Bridge” (Danish: Storebæltsbroen) commonly refers to the suspension bridge, although it may also be used to mean the beam bridge or the link in its entirety. The suspension bridge, known as the East Bridge, has the world’s third longest main span (1.6 km), and the longest outside of Asia. It was designed by the Danish architectural practice Dissing+Weitling. The construction of the fixed link across the Great Belt became the biggest building project ever in the history of Denmark. In order to connect Halsskov on Zealand with Knudshoved on Funen, 18 kilometres to its west, a two-track railway and a four-lane motorway had to be built, aligned via the small island ofSprogø in the middle of the Great Belt. In general terms, the project comprised three different construction tasks: The East Bridge for road transport, the East Tunnel for rail transport and the West Bridge for road and rail transport combined. The construction work was carried out by Sundlink Contractors, a consortium of Skanska, Hochtief, Højgaard & Schultz (which built the West Bridge) and Monberg & Thorsen (which built the eight kilometre section under the Great Belt). The work of lifting and placing the elements was carried out by Ballast Nedam using a floating crane

Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy

The Rialto Bridge in Italian: Ponte di Rialto, is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice,Italy. It is the oldest bridge across the canal, and was the dividing line for the districts of San Marco and San Polo. The first dry crossing of the Grand Canal was a pontoon bridge built in 1181 by Nicolò Barattieri. It was called the Ponte della Moneta, presumably because of the mint that stood near its eastern entrance. The idea of rebuilding the bridge in stone was first proposed in 1503. Several projects were considered over the following decades. In 1551 the authorities requested proposals for the renewal of the Rialto Bridge, among other things. Plans were offered by famous architects such as Jacopo Sansovino, Palladioand Vignola, but all involved a Classical approach with several arches, which was judged inappropriate to the situation. Michelangelo also was considered as designer of the bridge. The present stone bridge, a single span designed by Antonio da Ponte, was finally completed in 1591. It is similar to the wooden bridge it succeeded. Two inclined ramps lead up to a central portico. On either side of the portico the covered ramps carry rows of shops. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious that architect Vincenzo Scamozzi predicted future ruin. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.

The Iron Bridge, England

The Iron Bridge crosses the River Severn in Shropshire, England. It was the first arch bridge in the world to be made of cast iron, a material which was previously too expensive to use for large structures. However, a new blast furnace nearby lowered the cost and encouraged local engineers and architects to solve a long-standing problem of a crossing over the river. In 1934 it was designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument and closed to vehicular traffic. Tolls for pedestrians were collected until 1950, when ownership of the bridge was transferred to Shropshire County Council. It now belongs to Telford and Wrekin Borough Council. The bridge, the adjacent settlement ofIronbridge and the Ironbridge Gorge form the UNESCO Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site. The bridge is a Grade I listed building, and a waypoint on the South Telford Heritage Trail. Being the first of its sort, the construction had no precedent; the method chosen to create the structure was therefore based on carpentry. Each member of the frame was cast separately, and fastenings followed those used in woodworking, such as the mortise and tenon and blind dovetail joints, adapted as necessary to the different properties of cast iron. Bolts were used to fasten the half-ribs together at the crown of the arch. Very large parts were needed to create a structure to span 100 feet rising to 60 feet above the river. The largest parts were the half-ribs, each about 70 ft long and weighing 5.25 tons. The bridge comprises more than 800 castings of 12 basic types.The bridge was raised in the summer of 1779, and it was opened on New Year’s Day 1781.

Golden Gate Bridge, USA

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, the structure links the city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County. It is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and the United States. It has been declared one of the modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world”. When completed in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge had the longest suspension bridge main span in the world, at 4,200 feet (1,280.2m). Since 1964, its main span length has been surpassed by nine other bridges. However, it still has the second longest main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. The total length of the Golden Gate Bridge, including approaches from abutment to abutment, is 8,981 feet (2,737 m). At 692 feet (211m) (above water), the Golden Gate Bridge also had the world’s tallest suspension towers when built. It held that status until 1998, with the completion of bridges in Denmark and Japan.

www.goldengatebridge.org

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