Many new bridges are breathtaking, but the amount of money required to construct them may be staggering. It’s easy to forget how tough skyscrapers and other feats of human ingenuity are to create and maintain when you spend your days surrounded by them. From old stone bridges to the moving ones, here are a few such names that are often regarded as the most expensive bridges ever built.
Bridges are essential parts of the country’s infrastructure. Some bridges are quite magnificent and cost a lot of money to build. Some bridges have highly remarkable and opulent designs that were built with enormous expenditures but are long-term investments in the country. Some bridges across the world are well-known, such as the iconic London Bridge.
The size and characteristics of the bridge are dictated by the duties it performs as well as the traffic it must carry. Bridges are measured in meters and are often built on water or land. Because of the high cost of the technologies needed to build bridges, they are quite costly..
Here is the list of top 10 most expensive bridges ever built-:
1. Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, Hong Kong/China/Macau: $20 billion (£15.2bn)
The HZMB (Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge) is the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge and tunnel system, measuring 55 kilometers. It connects Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai. Tourists and travellers may now utilise it as an alternative to take the ferry between Hong Kong and Macau and Zhuhai on one side and Macau and Zhuhai on the other.
There are cabs, buses, and private transfer options, as well as world-record-breaking bridges and tunnels. Bus travel is advantageous, especially if you are departing from a location with a bus stop for buses crossing the bridge, such as the Hong Kong International Airport. Taking the ferry may be more convenient and/or picturesque for some.
2. Great Seto Bridge, Japan: $15.4 billion (£11.7bn)
The Great Seto Bridge (Seto hashi) is a set of double-deck bridges in Japan that connect the prefectures of Okayama and Kagawa across a series of five tiny islands in the Seto Inland Sea. It is one of the three routes of the Honsh-Shikoku Bridge Project, which connects Honsh and Shikoku islands. It was built between 1978 and 1988. It is the world’s longest two-tiered bridge system, measuring 13.1 kilometers (8.1 miles).
By vehicle or train, crossing the bridge takes around 20 minutes. Before the bridge was completed, the boat voyage took roughly an hour. The non-discounted toll from Kojima, Kurashiki (Okayama Prefecture on Honshu) to Sakaide (Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku) costs 3,500 yen.
3. Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, China: $8.5 billion (£6.46bn)
The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, which spans 164.8 kilometers, links China to the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. The bridge is currently regarded as one of the world’s few engineering marvels. This flyover bridge connects two of China’s most populous cities, Shanghai and Nanjing in Jiangsu Province, and represents the country’s lifeline.
The Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, which has been in service since 2011, runs parallel to China’s famed Yangtze River for around 8 to 80 kilometers on the river’s southern bank. Many inhabited places are crossed by this bridge, including Danyang, Changzhou, Wuxi, Suzhou, and Kunshan, among others.
4. San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Eastern Span replacement, USA: $6.5 billion (£4.9bn)
The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge’s eastern span replacement is a construction project that will replace a dangerous cantilever segment of the Bay Bridge with a new self-anchored suspension bridge (SAS) and viaduct. The new bridge spans the San Francisco Bay between Yerba Buena Island and Emeryville in the United States of America.
It was constructed between 2002 and 2013 and has no official name other than the bridge’s overall designation. With a budget of $6.4 billion, the eastern span replacement is the most expensive public works project in California history. Originally intended to open in 2007, the opening was postponed until September 2, 2013, due to several issues. According to Guinness World Records, it is now the world’s widest bridge.
5. Øresund Bridge, Sweden/Denmark: $6.5 billion (£4.9bn)
The Øresund Bridge is a stunning feat of construction that provides a picturesque route from Copenhagen to Malmö by vehicle or train. But the symbolic significance must certainly be considerably larger, given that the province of Skane was formerly part of Denmark, and the Swedes and Danes were at odds too.
The Øresund Bridge is a rail-and-road structure. It was completed in the year 2000 and connects the cities of Malmö, Sweden, with Copenhagen, Denmark. The first 8 kilometers are on the bridge, while the latter 4 kilometers are through the world’s longest underwater tunnel, which leads to Peberholm, an artificial island.
6. The Great Belt Bridge, Denmark: $6.28 billion (£4.8bn)
The Great Belt Fixed Link is one of the world’s largest bridges, and driving across the Great Belt gives you a sense of the massive effort that went into its creation. The Eastern Bridge (a suspension bridge), the Western Bridge (a low-level bridge), and the Eastern Tunnel for the railway are all part of the complex (an undersea bored tunnel.)
The whole 18-kilometer link between Zealand and Funen was completed between 1988 and 1998. The bridge sees more than 27,000 automobiles each day on average, with up to 40,000 cars per day on hectic summer days during peak season.
7. Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Japan: $4.96 billion (£3.8bn)
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge spans the Akashi Strait, a 1,500-meter international maritime channel that connects the Pacific Ocean with the Sea of Japan.
The suspension bridge in Japan connects the cities of Kobe (on Honshu’s mainland) with Iwaya (on Awaji Island). The name Pearl Bridge comes from the stunning view of the bridge at night.
On April 5, 1998, the bridge was opened to traffic. The Honshu-Shikoku Highway runs through it. The bridge was originally designed to accommodate both autos and trains. Later, just the roadway portion of the final design was accepted. Every day, the bridge handles about 23,000 vehicles.
8. Replacement Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, USA: $4.5 billion (£3.4bn)
The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge connects Seattle and its eastern suburbs over Lake Washington. When it first opened in 2016, it set world records for being the world’s longest and broadest floating bridge.
The new Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, which carries Washington State Route 520 across Lake Washington, opened to traffic in April 2016. It was designed to replace the former Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, which was erected in 1963 and decommissioned in April 2016, and held the record for being the world’s longest floating bridge.
9. Kerch Strait bridge, Russia/Ukraine: $3.7 billion (£2.8bn)
Following Russia’s takeover of Crimea in 2014, the controversial Kerch Strait Bridge was given the green light. The 12-mile (19.3-kilometre) link between Russia and the disputed area, which cost $3.7 billion (£2.8 billion), was completed in May 2018. It is now Europe’s longest bridge.
Traffic had to cross the Kerch Strait by boat or drive via Ukraine to reach Crimea from the Russian mainland before the bridge was completed. Without Ukraine’s agreement, a segment of a railway was opened over the bridge in December 2019, which the European Union criticized as a further invasion of Ukraine’s territory.
10. New Champlain Bridge, Canada: $3.4 billion (£2.6bn)
The New Champlain Bridge Corridor project includes replacing the current Champlain Bridge across the St Lawrence River with a 3.4-kilometre Samuel De Champlain Bridge with six lanes for automotive traffic and a separated cycle and pedestrian lane.
The bridge is planned to be utilized by up to 60 million cars each year, carrying a total of $20 billion in cargo. Approximately 30,000 people have been employed as a result of the initiative in the Montreal area and across Canada.
Bridges, we conclude, are the most significant component of the country’s infrastructure. The above ranking is based on the amount of money spent on their construction. All of the bridges mentioned above are rather large and attractive. These bridges are built on water, which adds to the beauty of the bridge and makes it the most expensive bridge ever built.
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