On my recent trip to NYC, my husband seemed surprisingly enthralled with all the bridges — the Brooklyn Bridge, the George Washington Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge. It got me thinking more about how I’d never really put much thought into the infrastructure. When you stop and take note, they really are fascinating in their massive size and architecture, and the engineering, time and manpower required to build them boggles the mind, too.
So I thought today I’d highlight some of the largest, most spectacular bridges in North America — bridging the gap from coast to coast.
Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US. Spanning 1,595.5 feet (486.3 m) across the East River to Manhattan, it was the first steel-wire bridge in the world, and, until 1903, the longest of its kind in the entire world. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.
Seven Mile Bridge
Famous in the Florida Keys, the Seven Mile Bridge connects Knight’s Key, in the Middle Keys, to Little Duck Key, in the Lower Keys. It is the longest bridge in the entire state, and was once the longest in existence when it was originally built in the 1900s. Seven Mile Bridge stretches not quite 7 miles, measuring in at 6.75 miles. You may recognize this one from True Lies, License to Kill, and even the popular TV show The Amazing Race.
Jacques Cartier Bridge
Completed in 1940 after 15 years of construction, Montreal’s Jacques Cartier Bridge is the second busiest bridge in Canada. It was originally named Montreal Harbour Bridge, but was renamed in 1934 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s first voyage up the Saint Lawrence River.
Royal Gorge Bridge
Hanging 955 feet above the Arkansas River in Canon City, Colorado, the Royal Gorge Bridge held the record for the highest bridge in the world for more than 70 years. Built in 1929, it is a suspension bridge stretching 1260 feet long, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. You’ll find a 360-acre theme park here, as it was built not for transportation purposes, but to serve as a tourist attraction.
Golden Gate Bridge
Perhaps the most famous of all is the Golden Gate Bridge, connecting San Francisco and Marin County. It was completed in 1937 after just 4 short years. A frequent tourist attraction, pedestrians are allowed to walk across the bridge during daylight hours, along the east sidewalk only. It takes about an hour to cross the nearly 9000-foot suspension bridge. Today, the Golden Gate Bridge stands as an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco, California and the USA.