Bridges are great. They allow us to cross things like rivers and canyons. Humans have been building bridges across things for thousands of years. However, some of those bridges are better left uncrossed. Because bridges can be scary. They can fall apart under you. They can move and shift as you cross them.
This list of 20 bridges that we think are so scary that you should consider taking out extra life insurance on anyone crossing them is by no means a complete list of the scariest and most dangerous bridges in the world. But it should give you an idea of the kinds of bridges that can lead to danger with a capital D.
Some of these bridges are the longest in the world. Some of them are made of materials that bridges should not be made of in the twenty-first century. They are all over the world. And there are all types of bridges, from pedestrian bridges to vehicle bridges. The one thing that all of the 20 bridges on this list have in common is they are considered scary or dangerous, for one reason or another.
Feel free to read through the list and plan your next trip, if you are the daredevil type. Or, simply read the list and confirm your worst fears about bridges.
20 Kuandinsky Bridge, Russia - Six-Foot Wide Automobile Bridge
Originally built to be part of a railway in Russia, Kuandinsky Bridge is now used by vehicles. This bridge is all of six feet wide, and when you think about it, the average car is probably about six feet wide, minus an inch or two here and there. That means there is no room for passing, and very little, if any, room for error in your driving.
Oh, and did we mention that there is no safety railing to keep you from plunging off the side? The one way traffic often comes to a grinding halt, not because there is so much of it, but because the bridge itself actually needs to be repaired as people are using it.
This is definitely an example of saving rubles by not tearing down and replacing something, but would you really want to risk your life driving across this bridge at any time of the year, much less in the middle of winter when you would be falling off into the freezing river, below? We are all for saving money, but there comes a time when you need to let your pride go and just replace something that is too dangerous to use. But then again, there is probably a sense of accomplishment and pride each time someone survives crossing Kuandinsky Bridge on their way to and from work every day. Forget pride, though, we would rather stay alive for sure.
19 Glass Sky Walk, Tianmenshan National Forest Park, China - Walking On Glass, 4,700 Feet High
The Glass Sky Walk, in Tianmenshan National Forest Park, China, is suspended 4,700 feet in the air on the side of a mountain. That is a whopping 580 feet short of being a mile up in the air. It would take you 30 seconds to fall all the way down from that height. The walkway is 1.6 kilometers long and takes about an hour and a half to walk along. And the best part, depending on your point of view, is that the whole thing is made of glass.
That's right, people on the sky walk are basically walking on a mere two and a half inches of clear glass, some three feet wide. Obviously this is special glass, and being that thick it is pretty strong. But would you really want to put your life on the line to walk the sky walk, which ends at a suspension bridge between two mountains? It might be cool to look down at the valley floor below as you walk the sky walk, but only if you have absolutely zero fear of heights or fear of falling. The Glass Sky Walk is probably pretty safe, it has not broken yet, but still the mere thought of falling for thirty seconds if it does break is enough to keep us firmly attached to the ground.
18 Longjiang Suspension Bridge, China - One Of The longest (And Tallest) Bridges In The World
How high do you think the highest bridge in China is? If you guessed 280 meters, over 900 feet, you would be correct!
The Longjiang Suspension Bridge also happens to be the longest bridge in all of Asia between two mountains, nearly 4,000 feet long. And since it is a suspension bridge, it is not actually firmly attached to much of anything, free to move as the wind blows.
The Longjiang Suspension Bridge crosses the Long River Valley, and is part of a major highway that was previously unable to cross that valley. It was completed in 2016, so it is a new bridge by bridge standards, and with a price tag of nearly 2 billion Yuan, to complete in 2016, it is probably a pretty good bridge. But we would rather not test that theory because if it were to collapse, as suspension bridges tend to do, it would be a long drop to the bottom of the valley into the river, below. It may be a shiny new expensive bridge, but that does not mean it is exactly safe to travel across. Think of the fun you would have, should the bridge start swaying as you drove across. At least it would be fun until it fell apart under your car.
17 Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland - 350 Year Old Bridge, Built By A Fisherman
Although it is only twenty meters long, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, in Northern Ireland, is probably one of the least safe rope bridges in the world. Suspended about 30 meters above the ground, it was built about 350 years ago by a fisherman. And it is still in use to this day, leading to a single fishing hut on the other side of the small chasm. So, in Ireland, in the middle of the seventeenth century, a fisherman decided that he wanted a little bridge to get to his hut up on a cliff. He built Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge to do just that. While fishermen are known for their knot tying skills, and maybe repairing boats, they are not particularly known for their ability to build bridges. It is a surprise that this bridge has lasted this long, albeit with repairs along the way. But still, there are a lot of things that have not survived 350 years, and they were designed to last. Maybe this particular fisherman's family were engineers in a past life. Whatever the case, they successfully built, and maintained, a rope bridge for over 350 years. But that does not make us confident enough to go out on the bridge, because it could break at any time. And 30 meters is a long fall into the water below.
16 U Bein, Myanmar - The World’s Longest Teak Bridge
U Bein, in Myanmar, is the world's longest bridge made of teak, a type of wood. It crosses a lake, and is about 1,300 meters long, which is not quite a mile. It is a remarkably well built bridge, as many of the original teak poles are still in use, today. But what concerns us about U Bein is that
the water level rises and falls quite a bit throughout the year. At the dry times of the year, it looks like the bridge is hovering above the vegetation, below. During the wet times of the year, the water barely kisses the bottom of the bridge.
We are all for using natural materials in bridges, but that kind of water change can do real damage to the structure. It may not seem scary crossing this bridge on foot, but if you got caught out in the middle of it when it collapsed, you would be a long way from anywhere safe. Do we really think the bridge will collapse anytime soon? No, of course not. But any bridge that has been around for as long as U Bein is likely to have suffered some damage. So, it is suggested that you tread carefully across this bridge, just to be safe.
15 Millau Viaduct, France - A Bridge Higher Than The Eiffel Tower
The tallest bridge in the world is taller than the Eiffel Tower, and also located in France. The Millau Viaduct is 343 meters tall, and looks pretty imposing casting its shadow over the valley floor. The bridge itself is over two kilometers long, but only touches the valley floor in nine places. That is a feat of engineering. But it is also quite scary to think about. You are driving along at a high speed, and you get halfway across the Millau Viaduct, when one of those nine supports breaks. Now, we do not know how strong the other supports are, but we imagine that if one goes, they all go. And that is a long plunge down to the valley floor from the bridge's surface. Now, we are in no way implying that the Millau Viaduct is in any danger of falling. We are just saying that we would rather make sure there is no falling by not even going out onto the bridge in the first place. But it is a beautiful bridge to look at, and you can stop in Averyon for a look at the entire span of the Millau Viaduct. But we think you should just leave it at that, and figure out another way to get around the valley.
14 Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia - Only A Single Support Keeps This 100-Meter High Bridge Up
What would you say is the minimum number of supports for a bridge? If you agree that a 100 meter high bridge can be supported by a single support, then you are correct. And we do know that one is better than none, because you need more than none to actually have a bridge. But we are not so confident that one support is enough for the Langkawi Sky Bridge in Malaysia.
This bridge is a big curve through the mountains, that is supported by a single support with multiple attachments to the bridge, itself. Looking at it, it is quite neat to look at, but that does not mean we think it would be neat to use.
The bridge accommodates up to 250 people at a time, who want to go out and look at the jungle. We will admit, it does provide some pretty neat views of the forest that surrounds it on all sides. But the Langkawi Sky Bridge is not the only way to enjoy the jungle of Malaysia, there are certainly safer ways to see it. Yet, if you are the daredevil type that wants to get up close and personal with the jungle, then the Langkawi Sky Bridge may be something that you should look into experiencing.
13 Chesapeake Bay Bridge, United States - The Scariest Bridge In The United States
Every country needs to have a scariest bridge, it is kind of a thing. And in the United States that distinction goes to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. This bridge connects the east and west sides of the Chesapeake Bay, and is over four miles long.
Located in the state of Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge often closes due to high winds and in bad weather you cannot even see to the other side.
Sounds pretty scary to us. In fact, it is so scary that some drivers will pay other people to drive their car across. Imagine that: paying someone to drive your car across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge because you are too afraid to do it yourself. That is saying something about just how terrifying the scariest bridge in the United States is. If the wind blows you off, it is a 186 foot plunge into the icy water of the Chesapeake Bay; not something you want to do. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge was originally built to speed up the time to get from one side of the bay to the other in the Baltimore, Maryland area. The sheer length of the bridge makes it an engineering marvel, and it has served its purpose well. But just because it works does not mean we would go out onto the U.S.'s scariest bridge just to save some drive time.
12 Royal Gorge Bridge, United States - Higher Than It Is Long
The Royal Gorge Bridge, in the U.S. state of Colorado, is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Royal Gorge. It is one of the highest suspension bridges in the world, and is higher, at 956 feet, than it is long, at 938 feet. This is a pedestrian bridge, which means no cars or any vehicles. Does that make it safer, though? You will be out there walking the 938 feet from one end to the other, to get across the Arkansas River, and there is nothing to protect you from the elements that are trying to shove you off the side of the bridge. The Royal Gorge Bridge is not much to look at, but the surrounding area is pretty nice. This part of Colorado is mountainous, with a number of valleys and such that are perfect for big scary bridges.
So why the Royal Gorge Bridge? The Royal Gorge is not particularly scary, but it is deep. But the fact that the bridge is a pedestrian suspension bridge that is above that deep gorge is enough to scare us away from it. Not that it would be better if you were in a train or a car. High bridges just need to be less scary, and the Royal Gorge Bridge is no exception to that rule.
11 Daedunsan Mountain Bridge (Cloud Bridge), South Korea - Suspension Bridge Over A Deep Gorge
In South Korea, there is a bridge known as the Daedunsan Mountain Bridge, or Cloud Bridge. As far as we can tell,
the only purpose of the bridge is to give a 'way up high' view of the surrounding terrain. This is because to get to the bridge, you need to hike up a mountain, or take a cable car to the bridge.
Then you cross the bridge to get to the other side. Yes, the view from the Daedunsan Mountain Bridge is remarkable. The deep gorge in fall is something that you should probably just go to see in general. But why the bridge? Why do people not just walk across the gorge? Would it have not been easier to go down into the gorge to get across? These are the questions that we must ask ourselves when considering things like bridges. The Daedunsan Mountain Bridge is a nice looking bridge, and it is relatively new, but those are not reasons to risk going up into the clouds for a nice view of things. So, unless you are just looking for a better angle to take a picture of the surrounding rice fields and mountains, you should probably not consider using the Daedunsan Mountain Bridge as a method of getting around.
10 Trift Bridge, Switzerland - A High Bridge Over A Field Of Frozen Glaciers
The Swiss Alps are some of the tallest mountains in the world, and the most stunning. And what better way to experience the Alps than suspended above them on Trift Bridge? This bridge spans the area of the Alps known as the Trift Glacier Region, and is about 100 meters up in the air above those glaciers. Trift Bridge is also about 170 meters long, which makes it one of the highest and longest bridges in the Swiss Alps. Oh, and did we mention that the Trift Bridge is a pedestrian bridge? That means that to get across it, you will need to walk. So, you will be walking 100 meters, about 300 feet, up in the air across a bunch of icy glaciers to get to the other side. Sounds like a good time, if you are into that sort of thing.
However, as mentioned, the Alps are quite stunning to look at. So if you just focus on the mountains, maybe, just maybe, you will be able to get all the way across the bridge without completely freaking out and falling off. The bridge is just a suspension bridge, so there is nothing holding it up besides the tie offs at either end. That said, it looks a lot scarier than it is, or so they tell us.
9 Capilano Suspension Bridge, Canada - This Bridge Was Built In 1889, And Is Still Swinging High, Today
Did you know that there is a bridge in Canada that has been there since 1889?
The Capilano Suspension Bridge happens to be that very bridge, which crosses the Capilano River. As a suspension bridge, it is scary enough. But when you throw in that it is over 400 feet long, and hangs over 200 feet above the river below, you know it has to be a very difficult bridge for those afraid of heights to cross.
On foot. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is actually wide enough for a couple of people to walk side by side, but it is still just a pedestrian suspension bridge between two mountains crossing a river. That said, there is a lot to look at around you as you make the arduous journey across the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The hills of Canada can be quite green, unless it is winter when they are covered in ice and snow. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is not cleared of snow in the winter, which makes it quite icy during the long cold months that are winter in Canada. But do not let that deter you from trying to make the trip across the swinging suspension bridge. You may actually enjoy it.
8 Kakum Canopy Walk, Ghana - Traditional Rope Bridges Still Make For Scenic Views
The Kakum Canopy Walk, in Ghana, is composed of a series of seven rope bridges in the Kakum National Park. That is right, we said rope bridges. The whole thing is made of ropes that are suspended 130 feet up in the air. The Kakum Canopy Walk is constructed in such a way so as to resemble a traditional Ghanan rope bridge. So at least it is a little more sturdy than a traditional rope bridge. But still, the 1000 feet of bridge way up there in the trees is just a rope bridge with very little support or structure other than what can be provided by the ropes. It does provide outstanding views of the surrounding forest, which is a nice touch when you think about it. Having unobstructed views of the forest is something that this bridge is excellent at providing. But when it comes down to brass tacks, the whole Kakum Canopy Walk is nothing more than a series of interconnected rope bridges, suspended way up above the trees. It may give you a great view of the trees around you as you make your way through, but it is still not a great place to be if you are afraid of heights or afraid of falling.
7 Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Skywalk, China - The World's Longest Glass Bridge
If you wanted to walk out on the longest and highest glass walkway in the world, you would need to go to China to see the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Skywalk. This glass walk way spans over the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon at a height of 984 feet.
The total length of the walkway is over 1,400 feet, about a quarter of a mile, all of that length made of glass that you could fall through if it broke. With a width of six feet, there is plenty of room for plenty of people to get together and weigh the thing down.
But, since opening, there have not been any incidents of breaking glass. Still the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Skywalk is not something that we would recommend trying out, even if you are into that kind of thing. Fear of heights? Not a good place. Fear of falling? Not a good place to be. After all, with just a couple of inches of glass separating you from a long fall to the bottom of the canyon, why would you want to go out and try it? Of course, if that is the kind of daredevil thing that you are into, be our guest.
6 Storseisundet Bridge, Switzerland - Watch This Bridge Disappear Before Your Very Eyes
The Storseisundet Bridge, in Switzerland, is really not that much to write home about when you look at it. It is not that tall or that long, and it looks like a perfectly safe bridge. Which it is, perfectly safe. However, once you get behind the wheel of your car and start to cross it, you will realize that maybe trying to cross it was not a good idea. You see, as you drive over the 850 foot bridge, it seems to disappear in front of you as you go. Trust us, the bridge is still there, but the angle at which it goes up and back down provides the illusion that it completely disappears. And that can be pretty scary as you are tearing it up and down the roads of Switzerland.
The Storseisundet Bridge sits about 75 feet above the ground, which may not seem like much until you think that the bridge has gone and fallen apart in front of you. Newcomers to the bridge often feel the need to slam on the brakes and slow way down as they drive over the bridge. However, this will not make the problem go away. You still are faced with figuring out how to get across a bridge that may or may not be there.
5 Puente de Ojuela, Mexico - A Theme Park Disguised As A Bridge
In Mexico, there is a bridge known as Puente de Ojuela. This bridge was originally built to access a mining town, and it is now the only thing left of the town. At least the bridge is still standing.
Puente de Ojuela is a suspension bridge that was designed by the same designer of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. The bridge is so big that there are over 300 meters between the pylons that support the whole thing. The bridge was originally built in 1898, and after the gold mine went bust, it sat unused for years before being restored as a tourist attraction in 1991.
That said, it is a still a bridge that is over 100 years old, built to supply a mining community that went bust. Puente de Ojuela is only a pedestrian bridge, now, and as a tourist attraction you have to pay to put your life in the hands of the company that runs the thing these days. We do not recommend this as a replacement for a Ferris wheel, if you like heights, or a roller coaster, if you like a thrill. Puente de Ojuela may just seem like a bridge to some, but to us it is a scary theme park disguised as a bridge.
4 Seven Mile Bridge, United States - An Obnoxiously Long Bridge
The Seven Mile Bridge in the United States was built to connect the Florida mainland to the Florida Keys in the first half of the twentieth century. Unfortunately, being in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, it is often in the path of hurricanes, and has been hit and damaged by numerous storms. And it is because it seems to be a target for these monster storms that we would never go out on Seven Mile Bridge, not even on a clear day. The bridge originally ran trains, and now is a two lane vehicle bridge that was completed in 1982. But people in cars still think that the drive on Seven Mile Bridge is a harrowing experience. And for good reason.
To save on costs, the engineers designed the bridge to be as narrow as possible. That means that the Seven Mile Bridge is barely wide enough for the one lane of traffic in each direction. And when a hurricane is headed for the region and the people of the Florida Keys need to evacuate, this bridge becomes a one way parking lot in the path of the storm. Imagine being stuck on a seven mile bridge while a hurricane barrels down on you. No thank you, not for us.
3 Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, China - A Bridge This Long Should Be Illegal
The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China is the longest sea bridge in the world. The entire bridge is over 42 kilometers long, with over 25 kilometers going over the water. The Jiaozhou Bay Bridge is a very nice example of human ingenuity and engineering, that is for sure. But with such a long bridge, we must wonder why would anyone go out on such a thing? There is a lot of open water under the bridge, which means there is plenty of room for something to go wrong. And if it does go wrong, you are a long way from land. Of course, nearly half of the bridge goes over the land, where things can go wrong just as easily as over the water. When you have 42 kilometers of bridge, you are going to want to get over it as fast as you possibly can. Unfortunately, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge has a very unique design, so you cannot just speed straight across. Well, on the good side though, you can enjoy the view from the bridge as it winds over land and water. Still, there is no good reason to go out on this particular bridge, it is just too dangerous. You should probably just take a boat or something, instead.
2 Evergreen Point Bridge, United States - This Bridge Is Actually Floating
Did you know that some bridges actually float? Does that mean that they are a bridge, or are they something else? Whatever your stance on the topic might be, the Evergreen Point Bridge is a floating bridge, and we think that seems a little dangerous.
Maybe a 7,710 foot floating bridge may seem like a good idea to you, but this is actually the longest floating bridge in the world, and also the widest at 116 feet at the widest point.
Originally built in 1963, the Evergreen Point Bridge was rebuilt in 2016 to cross Lake Washington from Seattle. Basically, the bridge was built as a way to cut time off of the trip. It is a harrowing experience to cross the bridge as it bobs up and down on the lake, with the experience growing more perilous as the weather shifts and the waves begin to toss the Evergreen Point Bridge around. This is actually a part of the highway system, so it is well maintained, but that does not mean it is any less dangerous or scary to cross the Evergreen Point Bridge. For these reasons, we do not recommend saving the time by using the bridge, but suggest taking the long way around Lake Washington.
1 Mackinac Bridge, United States - A Very Long Suspension Bridge With Millions Of Users
The Mackinac Bridge is located in the state of Michigan, and is known as "Mighty Mac."
The bridge is over 26,000 feet long, and of that over 8,000 feet is a suspension bridge, making it the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world.
And suspension bridges are rife with danger and potential for catastrophe. There are millions of people that have crossed Mackinac Bridge safely, but that does not mean we trust this bridge. The view from the bridge is amazing, but the high winds, which are regularly reported by the transportation authority, make for a scary drive across the bridge. We are all for saving time by using engineering to get from one point to another, but driving across the open water, in treacherous conditions that can include snow and ice along with the wind, does not sound appealing. Crossing Mackinac Bridge is common enough in Michigan, and some people like the wind in their hair as they drive fast down the road. Others do not like the danger that comes with the wind shearing across a suspension bridge. In fact, we recommend just taking the ferry, also operated by the transportation authority. It seems like the safer option in this case.
These 20 bridges span a lot of ground. And sky. They may not actually be dangerous, since they are all still standing, but that does not mean that a trip across one of them would be any less harrowing.
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