Bridges are a feat of engineering, allowing pedestrians and vehicles to cross crevices, railways, and bodies of water quickly. In addition to being vital for transportation, there are many bridges across the world that are of interest in terms of their aesthetics or their ground-breaking construction. However, not all bridges are famous for their beauty and innovation, as some bridges around the world are better known for the risk element they present. Here are the 20 most dangerous bridges in the world.
20. Quepos Bridge, Costa Rica
Crossing Quepos Bridge in Costa Rica is a scary experience, and it has been nicknamed the Bridge of Death, says Metro. The iron girders holding up the bridge are rusty, and the wooden planks are uneven. There are even some wooden planks missing. Surprisingly, the locals are unperturbed by the decrepit appearance of the structure and regular drive trucks and agricultural vehicles across the rickety bridge.
19. Eshima Ohashi Bridge, Japan
One of the most unusual bridges on the list of the most dangerous bridges in the world is the Eshima Ohashi Bridge in Japan. It is famous for its design, as it looks like a rollercoaster. The reason behind the steep inclinations and drops is that ships need to pass underneath the structure. However, the bridge is not quite as scary as it looks, as the ascent for cars is more gradual than it looks from some angles.
18. The Cloud Bridge, South Korea
Business Insider lists The Cloud Bridge as one of the world's most dangerous bridges. It crosses a canyon to connect two peaks in the Daedunsan Mountains in the Wolchulsan National Park in South Korea. The brightly colored suspension bridge is 120 meters above the ground. Although the bridge does not feel especially safe, especially in a strong breeze, it is worth taking the risk for the views. There are views of the mountains on one side, while you can look over the rice paddies if you look in the other direction.
17. Iya Valley Vine Bridges, Japan
In Iya Valley in Japan, there are three bridges that were originally made entirely out of vines. They have since been upgraded, as the footpaths are now slats of bamboo bound together by vines, with the original vine handrails remaining. Visitors to the area can enjoy a true jungle experience as they use the bridges to cross the Iya-Gawa River on Shikoku Island neat Tokushima. Although the bridges are beautiful to see, crossing them is dangerous due to the wide spaces of the bamboo and the wild and secluded location.
16. Kakum Canopy Walk, Ghana
On the one hand, crossing the Kakum Canopy Walk in the Kakum National Park in Ghana is an amazing experience. It allows visitors to enjoy spectacular views across the jungle's treetops and to watch monkeys and multiple bird species in their natural habitat. On the other hand, walking along the narrow wooden planks while holding on to the flimsy rope handrails is nail-biting.
15. Hanging Bridge of Ghasa, Nepal
The main purpose of the Hanging Bridge of Ghasa was for local farmers and shepherds from Kushma to safely move their animals across the canyon and to stop them from stopping the traffic on the roads. Watching the animals crossing on the shaky suspension bridge is quite a sight. Due to the extensive use of the bridge, it has suffered significant wear and tear. Swinging around on a damaged bridge 70-meters above the ground is a frightening experience.
14. Monkey Bridges, Vietnam
In Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam, the locals have built makeshift bridges to get between the villages. The older bridges are made from bamboo logs and have rope handrails. They are difficult to cross as there is only a single length of a bamboo log to walk along, and the rope handrails only run alongside. The design means that shuffling sideways like a crab is necessary to get safely to the other side.
13. Puente de Ojuela, Mexico
Located in Mapimi, Durango, in Mexico, the Puente de Ojuela leads to the tiny mining ghost town of Ojuela. Although it is more than a century old, the bridge has only been a tourist attraction since 1991, when people began visiting the ghost town for tours. The wooden bridge stands 360 feet above the canyon, and it is 1,043 feet long. Despite having some steel reinforcement added to the bridge in recent years, the widely-spaced wooden planks make it a scary walk. Furthermore, the bridge moves and squeaks during a crossing.
12. U Bein Bridge, Myanmar
The U Bein Bridge in Myanmar crosses the Taungthaman Lake in Mandalay. As it was built in 1851, it is believed that this bridge is the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. It is a wooden bridge that is supported by wooden posts. Considering they are 170 years old, it is hardly surprising that the posts are very shaky. There are also no handrails to hold onto for support. Despite the dangers of crossing this bridge, it is a spectacular sight when the sun sets behind the bridge and shines golden light over the lake.
11. The Old Bridge of Konitsa, Greece
To look at, The Old Bridge of Konitsa in Greece is amazing. The stone bridge was built in 1871, and it stands proudly above the Aoos River that runs through the Vikos-Aoos National Park. The bridge is unusual as it has such a steep arch, and it is 10-meters high at its highest point. It is at its most dangerous to cross during high winds, and there is a bell hanging beneath the bridge that rings to warn walkers not to cross.
10. Vitim River Bridge, Siberia
Not many people have the nerve to attempt a crossing of the Vitim River Bridge in Siberia. It was once a railway crossing over the Vitim River, which is a tributary to the Lena River, says Dangerous Roads. Although it is no longer used as a railway, the bridge is still open to cross on foot or in a car. The problem is that the bridge is very narrow, so a car only just fits on the bridge. It is also close to the water, it has no railings, and there are sections of the bridge that have rotted away. Another issue is the weather, as the freezing temperatures mean that the bridge is covered in slippery ice most of the year.
9. Aiguille du Midi Bridge, France
As the Aiguille du Midi Bridge in France is only short and reasonably secure looking, it may not initially seem like a dangerous bridge. However, it is the highest bridge in Europe, as it is at the massif of Mont Blanc, 12,500-feet above sea level. Another scary element of the bridge is the glass floor, which allows those crossing the bridge to have the stomach-churning experience of seeing the drop below. It is a pedestrian-only bridge that is only accessible via a 1955 cable car that ascends 9,200-feet in 20 minutes.
8. Capilano Suspension Bridge, Canada
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a wire cable suspension bridge that was built in 1889, and it crosses the Capilano River in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Cedarwood is used for the planks of the bridge, and they sway in the wind as people cross. Most people who cross do so to access the Treetops Adventure Park on the other side. Although crossing the bridge is a scary experience, those who cross are treated to magnificent views across the forest and river below.
7. Immortal Bridge, China
One of the most unusual bridges on this list is Immortal Bridge in China. It is a natural bridge that formed during the Stone Age, and it consists of three boulders and some smaller rocks lodged together in a crevice. The bridge is in the Yellow Mountains, and it is predominantly crossed by hikers. There are many elements of danger in crossing this bridge, as the surface is uneven, there are no barriers, the drop below is huge, and the beginning and end of the bridge are not level with the crevice walls on either side. Immortal Bridge has become part of Chinese legends, as the Chinese believe that the three boulders represent birth, renaissance, and death.
The Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge was originally built for fishermen to use to hang their salmon nets into the water that runs between the mainland and Carrick Island. Now, it is predominantly used by tourists who want to experience the island's natural beauty and see the wildlife. Although this is not advisable, adrenaline junkies visiting the area also use the bridge to perform stunts and dive into the water below. As the rope bridge swings so much when crossing to the island, many tourists are too scared to make the return journey and will take the boat back instead.
5. The Seven Mile Bridge, United States
At one point, The Seven Mile Bridge in Florida was the longest concrete bridge in the world. Although it no longer holds that title, it remains one of the longest bridges in the United States. The length of the bridge is not the only thing that makes this bridge scary. Not only is the bridge relatively close to the water, but it is built in an area where there is high exposure to hurricanes, says Overseas Attractions. Over the years, many sections of the bridge have suffered significant damage. The bridge was built in 1982.
4. Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia
Unlike most bridges that are straight, the Langkawi Sky Bridge in Malaysia is curved. It is the longest curved bridge in the world at 125 meters long, and it was completed in 2004. The bridge is on top of Machinchang Mountain, and there are two reasons why it is so dangerous to cross. First, the curved shape means there are unstable sections supported with a crane's assistance. Second, the railing that runs along the bridge is low considering the bridge's height.
3. Living Bridges of Meghalaya, India
In most cases, bridges are manmade structures made using metal, wood, or stone. However, there are also some bridges that have formed naturally. One example is the Living Bridges of Meghalaya. The state of Meghalaya in India is one of the world's wettest places. Rubber fig trees have grown along the riverbanks, and the roots of trees have been knitted together to form natural bridges across the river. These bridges are used by the people of the Khasi tribe that live on both sides of the river. The natural bridges are wet, slippery, have gaps in them, and are generally unsafe.
2. Trift Bridge, Switzerland
The Trift Bridge was built in 2004, and it crosses the Trift Glacier in Switzerland. The bridge is 100 meters above the glacier lake, and it spans 170-meters from one side of the lake to the other, which means it is one of the world's longest cable suspension bridges. Those who use the suspension bridge can enjoy spectacular views, but there are risks attached to using the bridge.
1. Hussaini Hanging Bridge, Pakistan
According to the India Times, the most dangerous bridge in the world is the Hussaini Hanging Bridge. It is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, and it hangs at a 2,600-meters altitude. The purpose of the bridge is to connect the villages on either side of the Hunza River, as there are no nearby roads to cross. The village inhabitants built the bridge using materials found in the local area. The stability of the suspension bridge is doubtful due to the materials used, the multiple gaps in the bridge's floor, and the inexperience of the bridge's builders.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn