Many have floated the idea of a bridge between England and mainland Europe. This Channel-spanning bridge would need to be 35km long, a distance that would make it the lengthiest bridge in Europe – well beyond Portugal’s 17km Vasco da Gama Bridge.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, plans have recently been scrapped for a bridge connecting Northern Ireland with Scotland due to forecasted costs and engineering challenges. Although no plans were formally laid out, at their closest point, Scotland and Northern Ireland are around 19km apart.

However, such a construction wouldn’t even break into the world’s top 10 longest bridges.

Discover more:

10. Manchac Swamp Bridge, USA

Manchac Swamp Bridge © Melanie Commander Thibodaux/Wikipedia

Length: 36km

Connects: Over the Lake Maurepas, Louisana, USA

The Manchac Swamp Bridge is a twin concrete trestle bridge comprising two bridges, one for the National Highway 51 and the other for Interstate 55. It extends over a supposedly haunted swamp, but even if the ghosts turn out to be nothing more than legend, the alligators are very real.

9. Wuhan Metro Bridge, China

Wuhan Metro Bridge © Howchou/Wikipedia

Length: 37km

Connects: Huangpulu and Zongguan Station, Wuhan, China

The Wuhan Metro Bridge is the first elevated Metro line in Wuhan. As a Metro viaduct, it's been operational since 2004, and was designed to ease traffic congestion on bridges over the Yangtze River.

8. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, USA

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, USA © Getty images

Length: 38km

Connects: Metairie, Louisiana and Mandeville, Louisiana, USA

Otherwise known as 'The Causeway', the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway opened back in 1956 and is comprised of parallel twin bridges. It's touted to be one of the scariest bridges in the world, which is thanks to the fact you can't see land - at either end - when you're in the middle, and it looks as though the bridge is stretching off forever.

7. Beijing Grand Bridge, China

Beijing Grand Bridge © REUTERS / Alamy

Length: 48km

Connects: Beijing South and Langfang, Beijing, China

The Beijing Grand Bridge is a railway viaduct and is the first of several bridges in this list that is part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. China itself, at last count in 2021, has a whopping 961,100 road bridges, and that's not including other types of transport.

6. Bang Na Expressway, Thailand

Bang Na Expressway © Alamy

Length: 54km

Connects: Bang Na Interchange and Chon Buri Interchange, Bangkok, Thailand

Also known as the Burapha Withi Expressway, the Bang Na Expressway is a box-girder viaduct bridge, and six-lane elevated highway and toll road in Thailand. It was constructed at a cost of $1bn, and up until 2008 it held the record for the longest bridge in the world.

5. Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge, China

Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge © Xinxinworm/Wikipedia

Length: 79km

Connects: Zhengzhou and Xi'an, Weinan, China

The Weinan Weihe Grande Bridge crosses the Wei River, China's "natural gateway to the west" and the viaduct is part of the Zhengzhou–Xi'an High-Speed Railway. It was completed in 2008, with the rail line opening in 2010.

More like this

4. Tianjin Grand Bridge, China

Tianjin Grand Bridge © Wuyouyuan/Wikipedia

Length: 113km

Connects: Langfang and Qingxia, Beijing, China

Completed in 2010 and opened in 2011, the Tianjin Grand Bridge is another bridge that forms part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. The viaduct carries high-speed trains over heavily populated areas and includes 32 individual sections, each built and installed separately.

3. Cangde Grand Bridge, China

Cangde Grand Bridge © Siti Hasanah

Length: 116km

Connects: On route between Beijing and Shanghai, China

Like the Tianjin Grand Bridge, the Cangde Grande Bridge is also part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. It has a total of 3,092 piers and was built to withstand seismic activity like earthquakes.

2. Changhua–Kaohsiung Viaduct, Taiwan

Changhua–Kaohsiung Viaduct © Wikipedia

Length: 157km

Connects: Baguashan, Changhua County and Zuoying, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

The Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct is part of the Taiwan High-Speed Railway. Like the Cangde Grande Bridge, the viaduct was built to be able to withstand seismic activity, as Taiwan is seismically active thanks to the country's position near the junction of two tectonic plates.

1. The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, China

The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge © Getty images

Length: 164km

Connects: Shanghai and Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China

Type: Viaduct

The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge in China currently holds the record for the longest bridge in the world, coming in at a whopping 164km (104 miles) long. Like three others in this list, it's also part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway, and was built at a cost of around $8.5bn - that's $51m for each mile of the bridge. The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge was not only built to withstand seismic activity, but also extreme weather (such as typhoons), and even a hit from a 300,000-ton naval vessel.

Read more:

Advertisement

Authors

Holly SpannerStaff Writer, BBC Science Focus

Holly is the staff writer at BBC Science Focus, and specialises in astronomy. Before joining the team she was a geoenvironmental consultant and holds an MSc in Geoscience (distinction) from UCL.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement