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The world's 12 longest road bridges

10 February 2014




The majority of the world’s 12 longest road bridges are located in China and United States of America. The world’s longest however, the Bang Na Expressway, is located in Thailand.


Worlds longest bridges

The majority of the world's 12 longest road bridges are located in China and United States of America. The world's longest however, the Bang Na Expressway, is located in Thailand. Roadtraffic-technology.com lists the world's 12 longest road bridges based on length.

Bang Na Expressway and Burapha Withi Expressway, Thailand

The Bang Na to Bangpakong Expressway, which runs through Bangkok, is the world's longest road bridge. The box girder bridge measures 55km long and was opened in February 2000 at a cost of $1bn. The tolled bridge runs above the National Highway route 34 (Bang Na-Bang Pakong Highway) at a height of 30m. A small section of the bridge crosses the Bang Pakong River.

The bridge comprises six lanes covering a total surface area of 1.9 million square metres. It is owned by the Expressway & Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (EXAT) and was constructed by a joint venture of Bilfinger + Berger and Ch. Karnchang (BBCD). The construction used approximately 1.8 million cubic metres of concrete.

The bridge design was provided by J. Muller International and Asian Engineering Consultants (AEC). SEA-Consult in association with Louis Berger International provided technical advisory services for the project.

Qingdao Haiwan Bridge and Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, China

The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge spans Jiaozhou Bay in the Shadong Province of China and has an aggregate length of more than 41.58km, making it the world's second longest road bridge. The oversea bridge, built at a cost of RMB 9.04bn (approximately $1.38bn), was opened to traffic in May 2011, becoming the world's longest oversea bridge.

The bridge links the port city of Qingdao in Shandong Province with the suburb of Huang Dao, and was built as part of the Expressway Bridge and Tunnel project for the Qingdao municipality. The bridge features six lanes of two-way traffic offering a travel time of 30 minutes.

Shandong Gausu Group provided and earthquake and typhoon proof design for the bridge, while Shandong Hi-Speed Qingdao Highway, a subsidiary of Shandong High-Speed Group, was appointed to construct, operate and manage the bridge. Maurer Söhne supplied 191 expansion joints for the bridge.

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge, US

The 38.62km Lake Pontchartrain Causeway bridge is the world's third longest road bridge and the longest continuous bridge over water. It is composed of two parallel bridges crossing Lake Pontchartrain in southern Louisiana. The twin bridges consist of four lanes carrying traffic from New Orleans and Jefferson Parish to the residential communities of St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana.

The parallel bridges are supported by more than 9,000 pre-stressed concrete cylinder piles measuring 54 inches in diameter each. The first bridge with a span of 56ft was opened in 1956, while the second bridge with a span of 84ft was opened in 1969.

The bridge is owned and maintained by the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission. It was constructed by Raymond Concrete Pile Company and Louisiana Bridge Company. A concrete casting plant was constructed on the north shore of the lake during the construction phase. The bridge was partially damaged by Hurricane Isaac in 2012, repair works are currently being carried out by Boh Bros.

Manchac Swamp Bridge, US

The Manchac Swamp Bridge, also known as I-55 Manchac Swamp Crossing, carries Interstate 55 covering approximately one third of the I-55 in Louisiana. The bridge spans the Manchac Swamp over a length of 36.69km standing as the world's fourth longest road bridge. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) owns the bridge.

The twin concrete trestle bridge, opened in 1979, was constructed over the remains of the old Manchac Bridge which collapsed in 1976. It stretches over the Louisiana swamplands before reaching dry land to the north, merging with I- 10's Bonnet Carrè Spillway Bridge to the south.

The bridge's concrete pilings are driven 250ft into the ground. The cost of construction was estimated to be $7m per mile.

Hangzhou Bay Bridge, China

The Hangzhou Bay Bridge is an S-shaped cable-stayed bridge linking Ningbo's Cixi county in the south to Jiaxing in the north. The 36km long bridge is the world's fifth longest road bridge and was the longest bridge constructed over ocean waters at that time. Spanning the Hangzhou Bay, the bridge cuts the distance between Shanghai and Ningbo by 120km.

The Hangzhou Bay Bridge forms the main component of a 5.2km national highway between the provinces of Heilongjiang in the north and Hainan in the south. Construction was completed in June 2007 and was opened to traffic in May 2008. The cost of construction was approximately CNY 11.8bn ($1.68bn). The six-lane, bi-directional highway has two main spans including a 448m northern span and a 318m southern span.

China Railway Bridge Bureau Group served as the main contractor for the bridge project, consulting and engineering services were provided by Hardesty & Hanover and the design was provided by Ty Lin International. ICE provided three ICE V360 tandem vibratory pile drivers and Fibertex Nonwovens supplied approximately 36,000m² of CPF Formtex concrete covers.

Runyang Bridge, China

The Runyang Yangtze River Highway Bridge, comprising of a northern cable-stayed bridge and a southern suspension bridge, spans the Yangtze River linking the cities of Yangzhou and Zhenjiang. The bridge, with an overall length of 35.66km, is the world's sixth longest road bridge and also the fifth longest suspension bridge.

The bridge carries traffic for the Beijing-Shanghai and the Shanghai-Nanjing expressways, and was built as part of the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway. The cost of construction of the bridge is estimated to have reached CNY5.8bn (approximately $700m). The bridge towers are about 215m tall and the main cables weigh 21,000t each.

China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), Dorman Long Technology, and CCCC Second Harbour Engineering Company were the main contractors involved in the construction. Traffic was allowed on the bridge in 2005.

Donghai Bridge, China

The 32.5km-long Donghai Bridge, connecting Shanghai and the offshore Yangshan deep-water port in China, is the world's seventh longest road bridge. The bridge forms part of the 42.31km long Shanghai-Luchaogang Expressway (Hulu Expressway) and comprises of six lane expressways. Traffic was allowed on the bridge in December 2005.

The bridge is designed for a life span of 100 years and for most part is a low-level viaduct with two cable-stayed sections to allow the passage of large ships. Construction of the bridge started in 2002 under the direction of the Shanghai Municipal Government. Up to 25.5km of the structure was constructed over the East China Sea. The offshore approach spans were prefabricated in one piece, transported to site, and erected using heavy lifting equipment.

Shanghai Donghai Bridge Management, a subsidiary of Sheng Investment Group, comprising of the joint venture of Shanghai Sheng Investment Group (90%) and Shanghai Sheng Properties (10%), operates the bridge.

Atchafalaya Basin Bridge and Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge, US

The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, also known as the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge, carries Interstate 10 over the Atchafalaya Basin. Comprising of parallel bridges measuring 28.96km in length, it is the world's eighth longest road bridge and was opened in 1973. It was given the alternative name Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge in 1989.

The parallel bridges feature two exits: one for Whiskey Bay (LA 975) and another for Butte La Rose (LA 3177). The bridges run parallel at Baton Rouge and Lafayette, and merge along the Whiskey Bay Pilot Channel and the Atchafalaya River.

The bridge is maintained by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (La DOTD) and has three emergency crossovers used for bridge maintenance and emergency access. The bridge features 10ft wide outside shoulders and 6ft-wide inside shoulders.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, US

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel carrying the US 13 is the only direct link between Virginia's Eastern Shore and south Hampton Roads, Virginia. The bridge-tunnel carries four lanes and has a shore to shore length of 28.32km, which makes it the ninth longest road bridge in the world.

The bridge's overall length is 37.015km, made up of low-level trestle, tunnels, bridges, causeway, manmade islands and approach roads. The northbound section was opened in April 1964 and the southbound section in 1999. Up to 2,598 concrete piles were laid on the northbound bridge and up to 2,591 concrete piles on the southbound bridge.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel Commission operates the bridge. A joint venture of Tidewater Construction, Peter Kiewit, and Raymond International built the northbound bridge, whereas the southbound bridge was constructed by a joint venture comprising of PCL Civil Constructors, The Hardaway Company, and GA and Interbeton. The total cost of construction of the parallel bridges reached approximately $450m.

Jintang Bridge, China

The cable-stayed Jintang Bridge linking Jintang Island and Ningbo City is 21.029km long making it the world's tenth longest road bridge. Up to 18.415km stretch of the bridge is located over the sea. The bridge carries four expressway lanes and is designed for speeds up to 100km/h. It was opened to traffic in 2009 along with the Xihoumen Bridge.

The bridge is made up of main navigation spans, east navigation spans, west navigation spans, non navigation spans, the approach bridge in the shoal area, the approach bridge at the Jintang side, and the approach bridge at the Zhenhai side, including the connecting bridges. The main navigational span is a cable-stayed bridge measuring 620m in length, consisting of five span continuous steel box girders and two opposite towers.

The bridge was designed by China Communications Construction Company and fabricated by China Railway Baoji Bridge. The design and construction, including the supply of construction equipments, were carried out by domestic enterprises and manufacturers.

6th October Bridge, Egypt

The 18.705km long 6th October Bridge is the longest bridge in Egypt and the 11th longest road bridge in the world. It comprises of a main bridge and causeway, featuring 23 inlet and outlet ramps. The width of the bridge varies from 18m to 35m.

The bridge crosses the Nile River twice and stretches from Agricultural Museum in Dokki to the Autostrade in Nasr City. It was constructed in nine phases from 1969 to 2010, and comprises of a main bridge, elevated roads, and interchanges. Its pier columns are up to 22m high and are laid on foundations of precast piles.

The main contractor for the bridge construction was Arab Contractors, while CTT Barcelona designed, manufactured and delivered the structural elastomeric bearings for the bridge.

Vasco da Gama Bridge, Portugal

Vasco da Gama Bridge, which traverses the River Tagus in Portugal, is the world's 12th longest road bridge. The cable-stayed bridge has an overall length of 17km and was constructed from 1995 to March 1998. The bridge construction utilised 700,000m3 of concrete and 100,000t of steel reinforcement.

The cable-stayed bridge has a central span of 824m, while the height of the central towers is 145m. The bridge is made up of five distinct structures including the north viaduct, the Exhibition viaduct, the cable-stayed span, the central viaduct, and the south viaduct.

Lusoponte had set up a joint venture led by Campenon Bernard SGE (VINCI Construction) Novaponte, and ACE to design and construct the bridge. The bridge was designed to withstand a 4.5 magnitude earthquake and was constructed with a total investment of €718m.

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the world’s third longest road bridge, is composed of two parallel bridges crossing the Lake Pontchartrain in southern Louisiana.
Manchac Swamp Bridge The Manchac Swamp Bridge and I-55 Manchac Swamp Crossing's concrete pilings are driven 250ft into the ground.
Hangzhou Bay cable-stayed bridge The S-shaped Hangzhou Bay cable-stayed bridge is 36km long.
Runyang Bridge The Runyang Bridge spanning the Yangtze River carries traffic of the Beijing-Shanghai and the Shanghai-Nanjing expressways.
Donghai Bridge The Donghai Bridge, designed for a service life of 100 years, is 32.5km long.
Atchafalaya Basin Bridge The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge and Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge carries the Interstate 10 over the Atchafalaya Basin.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel The Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel carrying the US 13 is 28.324km long.
Jintang cable-stayed bridge The main span length of the Jintang cable-stayed bridge is 620m, while the overall length is 21.029km.
6th October Bridge The 6th October Bridge in Egypt is the 11th longest road bridge in the world.
Vasco da Gama Bridge Vasco da Gama Bridge, traversing the River Tagus in Portugal, can carry up to 50 million vehicles a year.