Sometimes, a bridge is just a way to get to where you’re going; but sometimes it’s an architectural feat worthy of regard and fame.
San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge, New York City has the Brooklyn Bridge, but there are several other bridges just as breathtaking and interesting across the United States.
Golden Gate Bridge
One of the most recognizable bridges in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge is perched at the western edge of the country, spanning the San Francisco Bay as it opens into the Pacific Ocean. It connects the city of San Francisco to Marin County, California.
It was constructed in 1937, overcoming significant construction hurdles including the mile long span, constant fog, strong winds, gusty waves and deep water. For many years it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.
The bridge has a dark side, too, being the second most used bridge for suicides in the world. The long fall and freezing water below make jumping or falling from the bridge very dangerous.
On the other coast, the Brooklyn Bridge is another landmark amid the New York City skyline. It connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan across the East River.
Construction started in 1869, and nearly thirty men, including the original lead architect, died building it before it was completed in 1883.
When it opened, P.T. Barnum led 21 elephants across the bridge to demonstrate it was safe and stable.
The neo-Gothic architecture makes for a beautiful photograph for the thousands of tourists that cross the bridge daily.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, or CBBT, is one incredible feat of engineering, with four lanes of traffic spanning 20 miles, including two one mile spans under water! The tunnel portions allow for large ships to traverse the waterway to the ports of Norfolk and Hampton Roads Virginia, some of the most important and busiest shipping hubs in the United States. It is one of ten bridge-tunnel combinations, two more of which are in the Hampton Roads area!
Tourists are welcome to drive on the CBBT, and there are lookout points along the way, but be prepared to pay the toll, which is about $15!
The Ambassador Bridge is a beautiful suspension bridge connecting Detroit Michigan to Windsor Toronto, Canada. When it was completed in 1929, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. But it’s more than just a beautiful bridge; it’s an economic lifeline between the two countries.
An estimated 25 percent of all merchandise trade between the US and Canada passes through the Ambassador Bridge, with over 10,000 commercial vehicles crossing the bridge every weekday.
Pedestrians and bicycles were permitted to cross the bridge until security concerns after September 11, 2001.
Royal Gorge Bridge
The highest suspension bridge in the United States, the Royal Gorge Bridge is part of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park tourist attraction near Canon City Colorado. It is nearly 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River, and is made of steel and covered with wooden planks.
Cars and light trucks are allowed to drive across the bridge during limited hours, but most traffic is by pedestrians who take in the breathtaking vistas and thrill of being so high above the river.
Tourists can even zip line across the gorge or take a gondola ride across for a more relaxed passage.