Famous US Bridges
The USA is home to numerous famous bridges. Some of them are really old and others are relatively new additions. There are bridges spanning miles and miles, and bridges you can walk in a matter of minutes. The truth is, all of them have unique qualities and some of them stand out above the rest due to various aspects. The most famous renowned bridges in the US are the Golden Gate Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, and Mackinac Bridge and these are what we’ll mostly focus on in the article.
US bridges – overview
In the US, there are three key things bridges do to propel economic activity. First, they are a critical component of the nation’s infrastructure. They make it possible to ship goods to factories, warehouses, and end-consumers. Secondly, wages earned by construction and maintenance workers have a positive impact when used to buy things at local businesses. Finally, bridges boost cash flow when they connect two places that complement each other economically. Currently, among all the US states, Texas has the most bridges. There are over 53,000 bridges in the state, and this is nearly twice the number of any other state. 1.7% are structurally deficient which means they are restricted to light vehicles, closed to traffic, or require rehabilitation. Simply speaking, 1.7% of Texas bridges need to be monitored or repaired which is a very good score. When it comes to US cities, Pittsburg, known as the City of Bridges, has 446 bridges. Now, let’s move to the most famous bridges. They have been chosen based on their architectural marvels, historical significance, and the role they play in connecting communities.
John A. Roebling as one of the oldest suspension bridges designed the bridge. It was opened in 1998 after 14 years of construction. Today, the Brooklyn Bridge falls into the category of the most iconic US bridges. The Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan to the neighboring borough of Brooklyn, spanning the East River. In 1964, the bridge was designated as a National Historic Landmark. The bridge has been also featured in a wide variety of feature films and TV series.The bridge allows passenger vehicles, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic only. As an icon of New York City, it has been used as the location of various stunts and performances. Today, the Brooklyn Bridge is the second bridge in New York City. It carries around 144,000 vehicles crossing it every day. It’s a famous tourist attraction and a popular site for clusters of love locks.
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Bridge is known as the most recognized and photographed bridge in the world. It was opened in 1937 on the West Coast, connecting San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean. The bridge is 1 mile wide and provides access from San Francisco on the southern side to Marin County on the north. The bridge, built during the era of the Great Depression, is a symbol of American ingenuity. It’s a true masterpiece that serves as both a transportation link and a travel destination for millions of visitors from around the world. The Golden Gate Bridge carries approximately 40 million vehicles a year. It’s a suspension bridge designated as part of the US Bicycle Route 95. The bridge was recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the wonders of the Modern World. It was also ranked 5th on the List of America’s Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects. The bridge has a unique color (an orange vermilion). The architect Irving Morrow chose it. He thought that the color would complement the natural surroundings and at the same time, enhance the bridge’s visibility in fog.
What’s interesting about the Golden Gate Bridge is that the bridge has been one of the most chosen targets for destruction in movies like Godzilla, X-Men: The Last Stand, Terminator Genisys, etc. Also, Frommer’s travel guide describes it as ‘possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed bridge in the world. It’s also the second most-suicide bridge in the world after China’s Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge.
The Golden Gate Bridge collects tolls from southbound traffic. Since 2013, the facility has been all-electronic. Drivers can pay using the FasTrak tag, the license plate tolling program, or via a one-time payment online.
The Mackinac Bridge is a suspension bridge. It connects the Upper and Lower peninsulas of Michigan. The bridge opened in 1957 spans the Straits of Mackinac. Some people call it Mighty Mac or just Big Mac. It is 8,614 feet long. During the summer months, the bridge is a major tourist destination that attracts bridge enthusiasts, bird watchers, and photographers.
David B. Steinman designed the Mackinac Bridge and at the very beginning, after it was opened, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Today, the bridge is the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere. An interesting fact is that each winter the freezing rain causes ice to form on the cables and towers of the bridge. When the temperature rises, the Mackinac Bridge Authority occasionally closes the bridge temporarily. This is because the ice can dislodge and send sheets of ice cascading down to the bridge deck below. However, the bridge is considered one of the strongest suspension bridges in the world.