World’s Longest Suspension Bridge Spans
When you think of suspension bridges, the likes of the Golden Gate Bridge may pop into your head. However, this well-known suspension bridge doesn’t even make the top ten list of bridges with the longest spans. So, we decided to map over 100 of the suspension bridges from all around the world with the longest spans. Anyone can build an über long bridge, but what’s really impressive stems from bridges with the longest spans — or the length of solid bridge between two supporting towers. And, while most suspension bridges are pretty long, there’s always those that hold the records when it comes to their main span.
View World’s Longest Suspension Bridge Spans in a full screen map
Check out the world’s longest suspension bridge spans on the map above, or read on for details about the lengths, locations, and future record-breaking suspension bridges in the works.
The Suspense is Killing Us: the Longest Completed Suspension Bridge Spans
While all of the completed suspension bridges we mapped have spans that are either close to or way over 2,000 feet long, the following ten completed suspension bridges from around the world hold the record:
|Rank||Name||Main Span (meters)||Main Span (feet)||Year Opened||Location||Country|
|1||Akashi Kaikyō Bridge||1,991||6,532||1998||Kobe||Japan|
|3||Great Belt Bridge||1,624||5,328||1998||Korsør||Denmark|
|4||Osman Gazi Bridge||1,550||5,090||2016||Dilovası||Turkey|
|5||Yi Sun-sin Bridge||1,545||5,069||2012||Gwangyang||South Korea|
|7||Dongting Lake Bridge Hangrui||1,480||4,856||2018||Yueyang||China|
|8||Nanjing Fourth Yangtze Bridge||1,418||4,652||2012||Nanjing||China|
|9||Humber Bridge||1,410||4,626||1981||Hessle||United Kingdom|
|10||Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge||1,408||4,619||2016||İstanbul||Turkey|
Note that of the top ten completed suspension bridges with the longest spans, four are located in China. Overall, of the 79 completed longest suspension bridge spans we mapped, 31 are located in China, or nearly 40%.
However, while China may have the most completed suspension bridges with long spans, the country is not home to the number one longest completed suspension bridge span. That honor belongs to Japan. The Akashi Kaikyō Bridge in Japan has the longest completed suspension bridge span. The bridge connects the city of Kobe to Awaji Island and even has lookout points at the very top if its two towers. This super long bridge’s span is nearly 1,000 feet longer than Xihoumen Bridge, the second longest suspension bridge span on our list.
The most recently built and completed suspension bridge to make the top ten longest span list is the Dongting Lake Bridge Hangrui in Yueyang, China. The bridge crosses Dongting Lake, and it opened in February of this year.
Under Construction: the Longest Bridge Spans Being Built
We didn’t want to leave out those bridges that are still under construction. You can order the map to show only these in-progress bridges by grouping by bridge status, but here are the top five longest under-construction spans:
- Çanakkale 1915 Bridge — Turkey, 6,637 feet
- Yangsigang Yangtse River Bridge — China, 5,577 feet
- Second Humen Bridge East — China, 5,538 feet
- Lingding Bridge — China, 5,466 feet
- Jin’an Bridge — China, 4,547 feet
Disappointedly for the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge in Japan, the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge, which is set to open in 2022 in Turkey, will surpass the longest completed suspension bridge span in the world. At 2,023 meters or 6,637 feet, the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge’s main span will be longer than Japan’s Akashi Kaikyō Bridge’s by a little over one hundred feet.
China has 24 bridges currently under construction which range from the 5,577 feet of the Yangsigang Yangtse River Bridge to 1,969 feet. Put into perspective, there are only 29 bridges under construction on our list, and China makes up nearly 83% of them.
And, when you combine the longest existing suspension bridge spans and longest bridge spans under construction, 55 of them are located in China. The next most? Just 13 in the United States. Those 13 longest suspension bridge spans in the U.S. are all existing bridges, which means the U.S. currently has no bridges under construction that would make the list of longest bridge spans.
TBD: Longest Bridge Spans in the Planning Stages
While the suspension bridges that don’t technically exist yet can’t be compared to those that have been standing for a while or those being built, we still thought we’d look to the future to see what it has in store. The following are all the suspension bridges that are planned for the future and are said to have pretty huge spans:
- Gibraltar Bridge, Spain to Morocco
- HAFAST, Sulafjorden, Norway
- Sognebrua, Sognefjorden, Norway
- Strait of Messina Bridge, Sicily to mainland Italy
- Sunda Strait Bridge, Java to Sumatra, Indonesia
- Malacca Strait Bridge, Peninsular Malaysia, Malaysia to Sumatra, Indonesia
- Storfjord Bridge, Storfjorden, Norway
- Edvard Grieg Bridge, Halsafjord, Norway
- Mao Zedong Bridge, Qiongzhou Strait, China
- Chacao Channel Bridge, Chiloé to mainland Chile
Of the ten bridges in the works, only the Chacao Channel Bridge in Chile will fail to replace one of the top ten completed bridges as new holders of the longest spans title. Still, the Chacao Channel Bridge is no small feat, hitting 1,100 meters, or 3,600 feet, although it is definitely the smallest of the ten future bridges.
As for the rest of these TBD bridges, if they hold up to their planned span, every single one will bump all of the completed bridges off the longest bridge spans list and all of the under-construction bridges other than the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge. Turkey’s pride and joy would be bumped down and ranked at #8.
The HAFAST bridge is still under planning in Norway, but it has the biggest explicitly stated span of 4,000 meters or 13,000 feet. The Sognebrua bridge, also in Norway will hopefully be 3,700 meters or 12,100 feet. The Norwegians are really trying to out-rank the rest of the world when it comes to suspension bridges. However, it’s possible the Gibraltar Bridge, which would connect Europe to Africa and is only stated to be “very long” may take the cake for the future suspension bridge with the longest span.
The Malacca Strait Bridge, Storfjord Bridge, and Edvard Grieg Bridge in Indonesia, Norway, and once again Norway, respectively are all proposed or planned to be 2,000 meters or longer. The Malacca Strait Bridge will be 2,600 meters long or a whopping 8,500 feet. The Storfjord Bridge will be 2,300 meters in length (7,500 feet), and the Edvard Grieg Bridge will be just slightly smaller at 2,000 meters or 6,600 feet long.
As we’ve seen, China really doesn’t need any more bridges since the country already monopolizes the suspension bridge game. So it’s not really much of a surprise that China only has one super long bridge in the planning stages. That one bridge China is planning is the Mao Zedong Bridge. It would cross the 14-mile Qiongzhou Strait, and consist of ten towers. If successful, it would be one of the longest suspension bridges ever created, although the spans between the towers aren’t as long at 2,000 meters or 6,600 feet. The bridge is in the very beginning stages of being worked on.
So, in the case of the world’s longest suspension bridge spans, the future will beat out the past.
Some future planned bridges aren’t as lucky as the above bridges being planned. In fact, two bridges that were in the works were canceled. Plans for the Strait of Messina Bridge from Sicily to Italy and the Suna Strait Bridge in Indonesia have been halted. The Strait of Messina Bridge was set to be a whopping 3,300 meters or 10,800 feet but was canceled back in 2006 due to a controversy over how much it cost to build. In 2008, however, it was put on the queue again but was once again canceled in 2013. The Sunda Strait Bridge in Indonesia would have been around 3,000 meters or 9,800 feet had it not been canceled.
All in all, the bridge spans of the past, present, and future are pretty impressive length-wise. And so are buildings. You can check out the world’s tallest buildings on a map here to see if there are any near you.