A bridge is a work of art. It inspires awe and respect- a testament to man’s will and his technical prowess. Needless to say when one thinks of giant monoliths of infrastructure most think not of towering skyscrapers or towering infernos, but bridges. They serve not just a practical purpose but also a cultural one. Many modern cities are recognizable by their bridges.
Here is a list of some bridges, a few have become iconic through time, whereas others are recently developed and yet they all are a sight to behold.
Golden Gate Bridge- United States of America
Unarguably, the most famous bridge on the planet the Golden Gate Bridge symbolizes the great city of San Francisco and is after the Statue of Liberty, the symbol of America. It is the most photographed bridge and a sight to behold. The Golden Gate Bridge was built in the year 1937 and was the longest suspension bridge in the world for well over 25 years. Often engulfed in fog, it has been the setting of many movie scenes.
However, the golden gate is also a location of morbid curiosity as people committing suicide often use the bridge. Though measures have been taken that have drastically reduced the number of jumpers, it still is a concern. All this does not deny the fact that it is an architectural and technological marvel, and for over seventy five years, it has been a must see destination.
Millau Viaduct- France
The Millau Viaduct is another bridge that seems more in place with a fantasy book than real life. Ranked as one of the greatest feats of engineering, this giant behemoth spans the Tarn River in Southern France and contains the world’s highest pylons. It is the highest road in not just its country but in all Europe and is even taller than the much famed Eiffel Tower.
Built in 2004, the Millau Viaduct became the tallest bridge and has yet to be replaced from the top. The engineering genius deployed here is unique in that it is built using a “cable- stayed, masted configuration” which gives it a sleek, almost minimalist look. A visit to the bridge depends on if you are in the area, and although nowhere as popular as other tourist spots in France, the Millau Viaduct often brings out many emotions out of people who first witness it.
Tower Bridge- England
Another popular bridge, long featured in popular culture is the Tower Bridge of London. Like the golden gate bridge of San Francisco, the Tower Bridge defines its city and is an iconic landmark. This Suspension cum Bascule Bridge was opened over a hundred years ago in 1894. It has been considered a prime example of English architecture.
The Tower Bridge works on the electro hydraulics system which is used to raise it when ships need to pass. Although a busy crossing above, river traffic is always given top priority and larger ships have to give a 24 hour notice before they arrive for the bridge to be lifted. A recent installation is a glass floor which allows you to walk on and stand about 40 odd metres above the river Thames. The Tower Bridge should be on the list of anyone visiting London.
Helix Bridge- Singapore
The longest pedestrian bridge in Singapore, the Helix Bridge is a sight to behold, and despite being opened in 2010, it has already been touted as a feat of engineering and architecture. The stainless steel material used gives this bridge a unique look and helps accentuate the already beautiful Marina Bay area of Singapore. At 280m it is nowhere as long as most other bridges on the list and not as awe inspiring as the Millau Viaduct or the Golden Gate, but what it lacks in numbers, it makes up in its unique style and structure.
Apart from its aesthetic purpose, the Helix Bridge also serves as a way to get quick access to the Marina Bay sands all the while providing stunning views of the Singapore skyline. There are viewing pods extended from the bridge to allow pedestrians to take a break and take in the views.