Connection is so vital to community, and a bridge serves as the ultimate connector between many places in the United States. There are literally hundreds of thousands of bridges throughout the nation that range in size from small-scale walking bridges to road bridges that go over deep gorges. Some of these are scenic and well-maintained, while others may be structurally deficient. There are several bridges in the US that are at least 200 feet and taller. These bridges often offer spectacular sights and have been subject to visits from millions of tourists each year. Here are 20 of the tallest bridges in the US.
20. Fred G. Redmon Bridge
Also known as the Selah Creek Bridge, the Fred G. Redmon Bridge was the longest concrete bridge in the US when it was built in 1971—an award-winning accomplishment in the state. Located in Yakima, Washington, this bridge is characterized by its twin arch concrete design. It was named after the first chair of the Washington Highway Commission. It opened to traffic on November 2, 1971. The Fred G. Redmon Bridge is 325 feet tall.
19. Thomas Creek Bridge
Just 20 feet taller at 345 feet, the Thomas Creek Bridge is the 19th tallest bridge in the US. You can find this bridge in Curry County, Oregon. It’s also the tallest bridge in the state. The Thomas Creek Bridge is designed by Ivan D. Merchant, who is also known for designing the famous Oregon landmark, the Astoria-Megler Bridge. The bridge was built in 1961 using the sturdy and economical Warren deck truss design.
18. Vance Creek Bridge
As a railroad bridge, it’s interesting to stand on top of Mason County, Washington’s Vance Creek Bridge. The arch design of this bridge offers no railing whatsoever, and it actually highlights the height of the bridge that is 347 feet. This is an older bridge built in 1929, and it belongs to the National Register of Historic Places. Although the bridge is not open to the public, it has attracted many visitors due to its “thrilling” nature. There have been many security measures put in place in order to stop people from trespassing here.
17. Hansen Bridge
From a bird’s eye view, the Hansen Bridge is probably one of the coolest bridge in North America. The bridge stands 350 feet over the Snake River Canyon on the border of Jerome County and Twin Falls County in Idaho. There’s nothing much around the bridge except for the overlook area, which is worth the stop. While the area needs some updating, you’ll still get a good feel of the grandness of the canyon and the bridge itself. The most breathtaking parts of the bridge are the two enormous concrete structures that hold the whole thing up. The bridge we see now is a 1966 reconstruction of the original 1919 bridge. The Hansen Bridge is also known as the Veterans Memorial Bridge.
16. Lewiston – Queenston Bridge
If you’ve ever crossed the Niagara Region into Canada via road, it’s likely you’ve driven on the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. This bridge is one of the biggest roadway connection between Canada and the US, and so it happens to be one of the busiest as well. Standing at 370 feet over the Niagara River, the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge is the only international bridge on this list. The arch bridge offers unforgettable views of both the Canada and the US side, an interesting perspective for anyone driving through. If you plan on seeing this bridge in person, be prepared for a full-stop traffic most days. You might get lucky, but there are a lot of cars that go through this bridge each day.
15. Hoffstadt Creek Bridge
The Hoffstadt Creek Bridge may be newer compared to many on this list, but it’s already had a rough go. Built in 1991, the bridge replaced the road that was destroyed during the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980. In fact, you’ll see signs along this bridge pointing you towards the blast zone. Enter if you dare; there’s actually a visitor center and Forest Learning Center there. Some might think it’s morbid to be able to relive the eruption, but it might be just as scary to drive through the open-air bridge 370 feet over Washington State land. Let’s just say it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
14. High Steel Bridge
Here’s yet another tall bridge from Washington State. Located in Mason County, the High Steel Bridge is basically what its name says—it’s a steel bridge that stands 375 feet high over the scenic Skokomish River. This truss arch bridge played an important role in the history of logging in the area. Without this bridge, logging operations would’ve been impossible in many areas in the Olympic Peninsula. During a time when steel bridges were unusual compared to their wooden counterparts, the creators of the High Steel Bridge wanted something more permanent and durable. They achieved this by using steel and has made the bridge last since it was built in 1929.
13. Burro Creek Canyon Bridge
In Mohave County, Arizona, you’ll find a steel arch bridge that exemplifies many midcentury bridge builds. The Burro Creek Canyon Bridge stands 388 feet over Burro Creek and the surrounding peaceful Sonoran Desert in Arizona. This bridge was built in 1966 by the American Bridge Co. in New York. The Burro Creek Canyon Bridge is no longer as sufficient as it once was. There’s a newer Burro Creek Bridge that was built in 2005 just downstream from the 1966 bridge. Burro Creek Bridge 2 is much safer and more updated than the previous.
12. Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge
Connecting Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara, California is the Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge. It’s green; it’s 400 feet high above the canyon floor; and it sits high among the Santa Ynez Mountains. There are so many reasons to visit this bridge, but the fact that it’s currently the highest arch bridge in all of the US should be enough. Completed in 1964, the Cold Spring Canyon Arch Bridge has received many accolades for its engineering and design. However, the bridge has also had a dark history from the number of people that have committed suicide there since it was built—the latest one being in 2019.
11. Pine Valley Creek Bridge
Also known as the Nello Irwin Greer Memorial Bridge, the Pine Valley Creek Bridge is located in San Diego County, California. It stands at 450 feet over the valley floor. The bridge was named after a US Army Sergeant from World War II. This reinforced concrete boxed girder bridge is the busiest bridge in the county. When it was built in 1974, the Pine Valley Creek Bridge became the first in the US that was built using the segmental balanced cantilever method—where segments are lifted and put into place using cranes, lifters, or other mechanisms.
10. Moyie River Canyon Bridge
Built in 1965, the Moyie River Canyon Bridge stands at 464 feet over the Moyie River in Moyie Springs, Idaho. It’s a steel truss cantilever bridge that looks like an architectural marvel against the backdrop of the amazing Idaho country. This bridge was built to replace an older bridge built in 1923.
9. Navajo Bridge
If you’ve ever been to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park in Coconino County, Arizona, you probably have seen the Navajo Bridge. This bridge is actually comprised of 2 bridges, one built in 1929 and the other in 1995. The older bridge was originally named the Grand Canyon Bridge, which was changed in 1934. This bridge is only open now to pedestrian and equestrian use, while the newer bridge is still open to vehicular traffic. The newer bridge stands at 470 feet tall, while the older bridge stands at 467 feet tall.
8. Perrine Bridge
Yet another bridge from Twin Falls, Idaho, the Perrine Bridge stands over the Snake River at 486 feet. The bridge was named after I.B. Perrine, who is considered as one of the main founders of Twin Falls. With its four-lane truss arch, the Perrine Bridge is absolutely massive, and it is majestic against the beautiful rock face and blue waters of the river. Perrine Bridge has a visitor area worth checking out, and it even has some connection with the famous jumper Evel Knievel.
7. Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Some people call it the High Bridge; some locals refer to it at the Gorge Bridge. Regardless of what you decide to call it, there’s no denying the grandeur of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Many people dare to walk the length of the open-air bridge, a whopping 1,273 feet in length and standing roughly at 600 feet over the Rio Grande. You’ll find this architectural feat just 10 miles northwest of Taos, New Mexico. Right next to the overlook area, you can enjoy shopping for souvenirs and various items from local vendors.
6. Phil G. McDonald Bridge
Standing at 700 feet tall, the Phil G. McDonald Bridge is considered to be the highest bridge among the US Interstate Highways. Also known as the Glade Creek Bridge, you can find this spectacular deck truss in Raleigh County, West Virginia. You’ll get 4 lanes of interstate highway on this 1988 bridge and stunning views of Glade Creek. The bridge was named after Phil G. McDonald, a US Army soldier and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War.
5. Glen Canyon Dam Bridge
Crossing the Colorado River at 700 feet is the Glen Canyon Dam Bridge. Located in Coconino County, Arizona, this bridge is surrounded by nothing but colorful red rocks and cliffs. The Glen Canyon Dam Bridge was originally built to help with the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam. When it was completed in 1959, it held the title of being the highest arch bridge globally.
4. Foresthill Bridge
If you wanted to cross over the North Folk American River with style, the Foresthill Bridge is the way to go. Also known as the Auburn Foresthill, you’ll find this bridge in Placer County by the Sierra Nevada foothills. It’s quite a sight to behold as it stands at 730 feet tall above the river. The Foresthill Bridge is so magnificent that it’s been featured in a couple of films including 2002’s XXX featuring Vin Diesel. Unfortunately, this has been known as a popular suicide site due to the height of the bridge. Measures have been put in place during a renovation in order to prevent any further deaths.
3. New River Gorge Bridge
Completed in 1977, the New River Gorge Bridge solved a transportation problem for many people that traveled the area. The bridge reduced the drive time through narrow mountain passages and across the river from almost an hour to just a few minutes. Structurally, the New River Gorge Bridge is a true work of art. It also happens to be the third highest bridge in the US standing at an impressive 876 feet over the riverbed.
2. Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge
As long as its name is, you can simply refer to the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge as the Hoover Dam Bypass. It’s probably the best way to describe the bridge as well. It overlooks one of the most incredible sights over a bridge, and it also happens to be the second tallest bridge in the US. The Hoover Dam Bypass is a whopping 900 feet over the Colorado River. It connects the 1,900 feet distance between Nevada and Arizona.
1. Royal Gorge Bridge
It’s a bridge and an adventure all in one place. The Royal Gorge Bridge is exactly as it sounds. It’s an immaculate piece of architecture and design that stands 955 feet over the Arkansas River in Colorado. As America’s highest suspension bridge, the Royal Gorge Bridge attracts many thrill seekers and adventure hunters worldwide. The park by the bridge is home to incredible attractions, including the famous Via Ferrata. If there’s one bridge in the US that needs to be experienced, it would have to be the Royal Gorge Bridge.
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Written by Liz Flynn
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