Amazing Bridges to Drive Across
Whether you’re in North America or Europe, there are certain bridges that include architectural and engineering genius, which you must see. You can most often, also enjoy what surrounds the bridge, whenever you’re finished driving across. Plan your summer 2018’s road trips, with any of these bridges in mind…
One thing that most people can agree on is that, Americans love their cars. That’s why the highways tend to be very well maintained, right up to the bridges. Whether you’re in the US or Canada, here are five bridges, to check out:
1. Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883 and remains one of the most iconic things to see in New York City. For a long time, it was also the only connection between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The reason it was built was to connect the affordable housing in Brooklyn to the jobs in Manhattan. Today, you can travel 1.1 miles, to either side of Brooklyn Bridge, and you’ll be in for a treat. You’ll want to stop and see the Financial District in Manhattan and the creative, yet affordable fine dining, in Brooklyn.
2. Golden Gate Bridge
Before the introduction of the Golden Gate Bridge, it would have taken much too long to get from the north end of San Francisco to the south side of Marine County. Building this bridge was not necessarily an easy feat, since engineers had to construct it across the 2-mile straight, where the Pacific Ocean met the San Fransico Bay. However, motivation for the bridge was incurred from 1933’s Great Depression, and building the bridge brought about many new jobs. Today, the bridge remains iconic. Whether you’re embracing, San Fran’s Buddhist culture at the Yoga Studio, or overlooking the twinkly San Francisco lights from a Marina County mountain top, you’ll be sure to love either side of the bridge.
3. Hartland Bridge
If you happen to get out to the East Coast of Canada, you might want to check out this New Brunswick Bridge. What’s special about the 1901 bridge is that it’s covered by what looks like a classic barn-style roof all the way across. Imagine driving a quarter mile inside a bridge, so hopefully you’re not claustrophobic. Hopefully there’s no traffic too, since there’s only one lane on either side. The bridge travels across the Saint John River and on the one end, is the town of Hartland, with a population of about 100 people, and then on the other, is Somerville. So, aside from the bridge, there isn’t much else to do there. About an hour and thirty minutes away, is the town of Fredericton, which is still a small town, yet offers some fun activities, like this park, called Odell.
4. Royal Gorge Bridge
This Colorado Bridge was the highest one in the world for 72 years, until 2002. It hangs 955 feet above the Arkansas River and is about a quarter mile long. You’ll have to plan your drive across, in advance, since the bridge is only open to passenger cars in the morning and again at night. The bridge is actually more popular for walking and has spectacular views of the Arkansas River and the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. The admission for adults to go across the bridge and also do other activities, like gondola rides, is 30$. However, there are add-on activities, like zip line and a free fall, called the Royal Rush Skycoaster, which are a little more thrilling. So, rather than just drive across the bridge, park and experience the bridge.
5. Confederation Bridge
Most often, when you ask someone to say something about Canada, the snow will be one of the first things mentioned. Well, that’s what makes Canada, so well suited to the Confederation Bridge, since it’s the longest bridge in the world to cover ice-water. When it was opened in 1997, it was the first time that a direct link had been made between the small Island of PEI and New Brunswick. This dramatically increased tourism to the island, considering that previously, people could only get to PEI by air and fairy. The beauty of the 8-mile long bridge merely gives a taste of what lies on the other side. PEI’s surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Saint Laurence and has notoriously clean beach in any direction. A must-see beach is Basin Head, which lies on the east-most coast of PEI. It’s got perfect white sand that squeaks whenever you walk on it. There’s also a man-made bridge structure for people to jump off of and into the ocean water. Once the PEI trip is complete, it’s worth noting that there’s a toll fee of 47$, for a regular passenger vehicle to get back to the main land of Canada.
Europe isn’t necessarily known for driving, since it’s got a very well developed rail system and also, flight is fairly affordable. However, if you happen to be driving around Europe, you’ll want to take a pit stop to drive across these four amazing bridges…
So, whenever people think about the tallest structure in France, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the Eiffel Tour – Duh. It is, in fact, among the top 10 tallest structures in France and is only outranked by masts, which are structurally just posts, and also one bridge. The Millau Viaduct is the tallest bridge in France and also in the world. From the base of its structure up to the highest point, it’s 343 meters. Ever since it was opened in 2004, the Viaduct has been spectacular to see because of its seven massive pillars that span for a distance of one and a half miles. In 2018, the toll only costs 10.10 €, to cross the bridge, which covers the Tarn river valley. The bridge is located in town of Millau, which is small, however since opening has become more attractive as a tourist destination. It’s also home to one of France’s deepest canyons, Georges du Tarn, which is just 45 minutes north of the bridge. Then, one hour to the south is Montpellier, which is a city, just off the Mediterranean coast. Apparently, it’s the fastest-growing city in France.
Sunniberg was completed in 1998 and is admired for being one of the most beautiful structures in all of Switzerland. In fact, it won an Outstanding Structure Award, awarded by a not-for-profit organization in 2001, called International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE). Yet, apparently the bridge was only opened to the public in 2005 by Prince Charles. It runs well over a quarter mile in length across the Landquart River Valley and is among the largest bridges in the Swiss Alps. Of course, while many appreciate the bridge, especially since it’s considered to be structurally impressive from an engineering perspective, the town of Klosters is home to some of the most impressive ski hills around. Thus, this bridge is just a nice feature along the drive to the hundreds of miles of ski runs.
So, there’s the London Bridge and then there’s the Tower Bridge. Apparently, many people get the two confused. They’re literally neighbors on the Thames River, just 10 minutes drive apart. Yet the London Bridge is much older and was originally built 2, 000 years ago whereas the Tower Bridge was just opened in 1894. It’s worth driving across both the London Bridge and the Tower Bridge however the latter is special, since it was designed to look much older than it is. In fact, it appears to be medieval. Driving across the Tower Bridge is a breathtaking experience, since it gives a great view of the massive city. Yet, it might also be worth finding a nearby parking spot, since on top of the Tower Bridge is a second walking-only bridge, called the ‘Tower Experience’. It costs 8$ for admission, yet displays a little history museum of the bridge’s creation.
The Vasco da Gama is the second longest bridge in Europe and runs 10 miles, across the Tagus River, in Portugal. It’s so long that on cloudy days, one cannot see across to the other side. It was opened in 1998 and successfully alleviated traffic congestion on an already existing bridge, called 25 de Abril. Vasco connects the southern part of Lisbon, a section called Samouco, to the northern part, Sacavém. When driving across the bridge, you’ll have the option of six lanes, and a maximum speed of 75 MPH. You can also expect to see a great view of the city however, there’s also the view of the Tagus River, which extends up North, through Portugal, and then the Atlantic Ocean to south. You may want to plan your trek from the South side to the North, since when you get to Sacavém, you’ll want to park your car. For one, you can visit Lisbon’s Expo ’98 fantastic architecture and then climb up the Alfama Quarter, which offers numerous breathtaking views of the city.
If you own a car and want some kind of adventure while on the road, a bridge is definitely worth the detour. You’ll see amazing architecture, a unique view of the surroundings, and you’ll likely get to enjoy whatever lies on either side. Summer 2018’s the perfect time to just go for it…