Bridges provide safe passage for people and vehicles over bodies of water, valleys and roads, but even the safest and most solid-seeming bridge can seem a little crazy and scary.
Did you know that the fear of bridges is called “gephyrophobia”? Even if you do not suffer from it, these hair-raisingly scary bridges could be the best things to test your gutsy spirit.
Here are some scariest bridges around the world.
It has rightly been called “The road to nowhere.” Situated on Norway’s West Coast, it is the longest of eight bridges that make up the Atlantic Highway. It’s uniquely complex architecture facilitates an optical illusion; so that seen from the angle of approach, the driver would think he’s taking a flying leap into the sea. And if that’s not scary enough, the bridge is often hit by European storms, and the mile high waves crashing over the bridge are sure to make the most daredevil of drivers turn away.
Skywalks are built to be scary, and this one is sure to make your head spin with vertigo. The Glass Walkway, termed “The Walk of Faith” hangs off the edge of a cliff in the Tianmen Mountains; it is 60 meters long, 1.6 meters wide and is located 1430 meters above sea level. Despite being hair-raisingly frightening, the skywalk attracts thousands of tourists due to the breathtaking view it offers of the entire county. If this adrenalin-inducing bridge doesn’t get your heart racing, nothing else will.
3. Royal Gorge Bridge, near Canon City, Colorado
Unlike the two above, the Royal Gorge Bridge is a suspension bridge, not a cantilever one. It is the highest bridge of the United States, hanging 956 m above the Arkansas River. It is also one of the oldest bridges; built in just six months in 1929. This marvellous feat of engineering is a chief tourist attraction for people visiting the Colorado theme park. It was built with 1000 planks of Oregon fir, and is built to handle automobiles. The passing of vehicles makes the bridge shake and oscillate, giving an additional thrill to the experience.
4. Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia
If you want to gain the illusion of hanging in the sky, then this bridge should be your destination. This astonishing bridge is 210 m long, and hangs a whooping 660 m above sea level. The cutting-edge architecture of the bridge consists of it being suspended by 8 cables, all hanging from a single pylon, which towers over the bridge. It also has three curves stretches extending 25 m each, at the end of each is a triangular viewing area for you to take in the scenery.
5. Capilano Suspension Bridge, Canada
This has to be the bridge that provides the most scenic view. Located above the Capilano River in Vancouver, Canada, the bridge is the centre of attraction in the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. It is located 70 m above sea level and is 140 m long. The lush greenery of the West Coast rainforest and the calm stretch of the Capilano River can be enjoyed at its fullest while walking on the bridge. The bridge also ends in the Park’s latest attraction, a cliffwalk which clings to one of the gorges of the river, offering a splendid view of the surrounding countryside.
6. Trift Bridge, Switzerland
It is the bridge that offers you the best view of the Swiss Alps. It is a lean pedestrian-only suspension bridge, hanging a 100 m above sea level and is 170 m long. The breathtaking view of Lake Triftsee and the Trift Glacier is what attracts thousands of tourists around the world to this serene place. Though the bridge itself is very stable, its minimal wiring and the wide-placed wooden planks make it look quite risky, leading to your adrenaline peaking while trekking through the unique construction.
7. Sidu River Bridge, China
China is leading the race for the best constructed bridges, and the Sidu River Bridge testifies to the engineering calibre of Chinese builders. This jaw-dropping 1222 m structure passes through the valley of the Sidu River, and is located around 550 m above sea level. The deep gorges and the surrounding county-side make driving on the bridge a fascinating adventure. It is part of the G50 Huyu Expressway that connects Shanghai with the Chonquing province of China; a route that passes through a breathtaking expanse of mountains and natural scenery. The bridge is held up by H-shaped towers, and is currently the highest in the world.
8. Titlis Suspension Bridge, Switzerland
Switzerland is famous for the scenic beauty of the Swiss Alps; and there’s no better way to connect its natural beauty with the thrill of skywalking than by stepping on to the Titlis Cliffwalk. The bridge is a recent construction; it was opened to the public in 2009. It is located 500 m above the ground, stretches for 320 m and is only 3m wide. Prepare to have your senses befuddled by looking under your feet through the glass planks; at the dazzling whiteness of the Titlis glacier. Its reputation as the “scariest bridge in the world” has kept a lot of tourists from it, but if you’re the adventurous type, this should be the place to go.
9. The Millau Viaduct Bridge, near Millau, France
Structural engineering doesn’t get better than this. The Millau Bridge is the tallest bridge in the world, with its one mast going up to 343 m. This stunning cable-stayed bridge spans over the valley of the River Tarn and the step-cut mountainside and picturesque villages present a beautiful view. It was designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster, and the French President Jacques Chirac called it a “miracle of equilibrium.”
10. Eshima Ohashi Bridge, Japan
Everybody but really experienced drivers should avoid this route. If you’ve been on a roller-coaster track before, now you’ll know what it’s like to drive in one. This futuristically designed bridge connects the cities Matsue and Sakainimato, spanning over a mile of the Lake Nakaumi. It has a gradient of 6.1 on one side and 5.1 on the other, and is designed such that fishing fleets may pass underneath its peak. Though it’s designed to give the driver nightmares, navigation is easy once you’re actually on the bridge, which explains the traffic rush during peak hours.
11. Monkey Bridges, Vietnam
If you’re looking up the strangest bridges of the world, you must have come across this. Monkey bridges of Vietnam consist of nothing but a long bamboo pole with a single hand railing, leading to you take a stooping monkey-like position to cross the river underneath. These bridges have been used by local people over hundreds of year, but can raise serious spikes of fear in tourists. For the really adventurous sort, the gripping and crossing can afford a wonderful thrill of excitement.