longest bridges in the united states

Beyond Length: Top 15 Longest Bridges in the United States

Bridges are crucial feats of engineering that connect cities, states, and even countries, facilitating transportation and commerce. In the United States, home to some of the world’s most innovative and ambitious infrastructural projects, bridges are a testament to human ingenuity and resilience.

This article illuminates the marvel of the 15 longest bridges in the United States, reflecting on their incredible lengths, engineering mastery, and the significant roles they play in our daily lives.

Top 15 Longest Bridges in the United States

1. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana

Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 23.83 miles

The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is truly a marvel of modern engineering. Situated in Louisiana, this colossal bridge runs north-south across Lake Pontchartrain for a staggering total length of 23.83 miles. Composed of two parallel bridges, the older of the two opened in 1956 and the second followed in 1969.

Built entirely over water, it’s recognized by the Guinness World Records as the longest continuous bridge over water in the world. The Causeway plays a crucial role in the region’s transportation, providing a direct link between Metairie and Mandeville, LA.

2. Manchac Swamp Bridge, Louisiana

Manchac Swamp Bridge

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 22.80 miles

The Manchac Swamp Bridge is part of the Interstate 55 (I-55) in Louisiana. It is one of the longest bridges in the world with a total length of 22.80 miles. The bridge soars over the Manchac Swamp, providing an essential and convenient route between the northern and southern parts of the state.

The bridge’s twin spans ensure a steady flow of traffic in both directions. The construction of the bridge was a significant engineering challenge due to the soft, marshy terrain of the swamp.

3. Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, Louisiana

Atchafalaya Basin Bridge

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 18.2 miles

Known as the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge, the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge extends for 18.2 miles over the Atchafalaya Basin, one of the largest swamps in the United States.

Located in Louisiana and forming part of the Interstate 10, this bridge is a critical link in the southern corridor of the United States. Its lengthy expanse traverses a mix of swampland and river, providing stunning views of the Louisiana landscape.

4. Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Virginia

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 17.6 miles

This unique structure is a combination of both a bridge and a tunnel, spanning a total of 17.6 miles. It runs across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, connecting the Delmarva Peninsula with the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.

The structure, completed in 1964, alternates between bridge and tunnel, dipping beneath the surface to allow the unrestricted passage of vessels at two points. This complex and ambitious structure significantly shortens the distance between Virginia Beach and points north of Wilmington, Delaware.

5. I-10 Bonnet Carré Spillway Bridge, Louisiana

I-10 Bonnet Carré Spillway Bridge

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 11 miles

As part of the Interstate 10, the Bonnet Carré Spillway Bridge covers a length of approximately 11 miles over the Bonnet Carré Spillway. The spillway is a flood control operation in the Lower Mississippi Valley.

Located in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, the twin spans of this bridge were completed in different years, the eastbound in 1972 and the westbound in 1985. The bridge ensures safe and steady transportation over the spillway, which is designed to protect New Orleans from flooding.

6. Louisiana Highway 1 Bridge, Louisiana

Length: 8.26 miles

The Louisiana Highway 1 Bridge, also known as the Gateway to the Gulf Expressway, is an impressive structure in the South of the United States. The bridge, a critical part of Louisiana Highway 1 (LA 1), spans approximately 8.26 miles, connecting Port Fourchon with Golden Meadow in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana.

Constructed in two phases and completed in 2009, the bridge serves as a significant transportation link for the coastal communities.

7. Jubilee Parkway, Alabama

Jubilee Parkway

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 7.5 miles

The Jubilee Parkway is a pair of parallel concrete viaduct bridges that carry Interstate 10 across Mobile Bay near the U.S. city of Mobile, Alabama. Stretching across an impressive length of approximately 7.5 miles, it is indeed one of the longest bridges in the United States.

The Jubilee Parkway, named after the phenomenon of the Mobile Bay jubilee, was completed in 1978 to alleviate traffic congestion and provide a more direct route for motorists traveling east-west through the Mobile area.

8. San Mateo – Hayward Bridge, California

San Mateo – Hayward Bridge

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 7 miles

Extending over the impressive length of 7 miles, the San Mateo – Hayward Bridge connects San Mateo and Alameda counties in California. This bridge, crossing the San Francisco Bay, serves as a major artery for transportation in the Bay Area.

The initial bridge on this site was a two-lane bridge opened in 1929, but due to increasing traffic, a replacement bridge was opened in 1967, featuring six lanes for increased traffic capacity. The bridge provides commuters with stunning views of the Bay and significantly reduces travel time around the Bay Area.

9. Seven Mile Bridge, Florida

Seven Mile Bridge

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Length: 6.7 miles

A world-renowned scenic route, the Seven Mile Bridge stretches for approximately 6.7 miles through the Florida Keys. It connects Knight’s Key in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys.

The modern bridge, an iconic element of the Overseas Highway, was completed in 1982. The older, original bridge still stands parallel to the new bridge and is now used as a fishing pier and pedestrian walkway, providing stunning views of the surrounding waters and islands.

10. General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge, Alabama

General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 6.1 miles

The General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge, also known as the Dolly Parton Bridge, spans the Mobile River in Mobile, Alabama. As one of the longest bridges in the U.S., it stretches approximately 7,555 feet. Completed in 1978, the bridge connects downtown Mobile with the northern suburbs, serving as a vital link for Interstate 65.

Its unique double-decker design earned it the nickname “Dolly Parton Bridge.” Besides its transportation significance, the bridge offers captivating views of the Mobile River and the cityscape.

11. Richmond – San Rafael Bridge, California

Richmond – San Rafael Bridge

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 5.5 miles

Spanning the San Francisco Bay, the Richmond – San Rafael Bridge connects Richmond and San Rafael in California. Extending approximately 5.5 miles, it serves as a vital link for Interstate 580. Completed in 1956, the bridge features a cantilever design with double-deck structure.

The upper deck carries motor vehicles, while the lower deck accommodates bicycles and pedestrians. With stunning views of the bay, it is a popular route for commuters and tourists. The bridge has undergone seismic retrofitting to ensure its stability. It plays a significant role in facilitating transportation between the East Bay and Marin County.

12. Frank Davis “Naturally N’Awlins” Memorial Bridge, Louisiana

Frank Davis “Naturally N’Awlins” Memorial Bridge

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 5.4 miles

The Frank Davis Memorial Bridge, located in Louisiana, stands as a significant structure commemorating the life and legacy of Frank Davis. Spanning approximately 5.4 miles, this bridge serves as a lasting tribute to a beloved individual who made a remarkable impact on the local community.

It holds deep sentimental value and symbolizes unity, resilience, and the enduring spirit of the people of Louisiana. The Frank Davis Memorial Bridge serves as a reminder of the contributions and positive influence of Frank Davis, forever etched in the hearts of those who cross its path.

13. Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge, North Carolina

Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 5.2 miles

The Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge, located in North Carolina, is a significant structure that pays homage to Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas. Spanning approximately 5.2 miles, this bridge serves as a lasting tribute to the historical significance and cultural heritage of the region.

It holds deep sentimental value and symbolizes the spirit of exploration and pioneering. The Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge stands as a testament to the rich history and heritage of the area, inviting travelers to reflect on the past as they cross its path.

14. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Maryland

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 4.3 miles

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, located in Maryland, is an iconic structure that spans the Chesapeake Bay, connecting Maryland’s Eastern and Western Shores. With a length of approximately 4.3 miles, this bridge is an engineering marvel and a vital transportation link.

It offers breathtaking views of the bay and stands as a symbol of connectivity, facilitating the movement of people and goods. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge plays a pivotal role in the region’s economy and serves as a testament to human ingenuity and the ability to conquer geographical challenges.

15. Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Image source: Pinterest

Length: 4 miles

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge, spanning Tampa Bay in Florida, is an architectural masterpiece and an iconic landmark. Stretching approximately 4 miles, this cable-stayed bridge showcases elegant design and breathtaking views. Connecting St. Petersburg to Terra Ceia, it serves as a crucial transportation route and a symbol of Florida’s vibrant coastal landscape.

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge has garnered worldwide recognition for its striking aesthetics and has become an integral part of the region’s identity, welcoming travelers with its graceful presence and scenic vistas.

The longest bridges in the United States are not just awe-inspiring examples of architectural prowess, but also crucial infrastructures that support the flow of people and goods across the country. These bridges stand as symbols of connectivity, fostering economic development, and symbolizing the impressive strides in engineering and technology. As we look to the future, these iconic structures remind us of the human potential for innovation and progress.

AboutCorinne Switzer

Corinne is an avid reader and takes a keen interest in conspiracy theories. When not busy with her day job, she likes to indulge the writer in her and pens columns on a wide range of topics that cover everything from entertainment, healthy living to healthcare and more.