I love to take road trips, so it probably doesn’t surprise you that I also enjoy driving over some of the famous bridges in the United States.
I am lucky to live near one of the most famous bridges in the world – the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Florida, which I talk about below – and I often include a trek over it during my leisurely Sunday drives.
There are also a few other bridges that I’ve had the privilege of driving over, and several others that I’ve not been able to cross yet but hope to someday.
The following list of 10 bridges includes many that you have heard of and probably a few that you are less familiar with. Chances are, you’ve crossed over 1 or 2 of these famous bridges yourself. You might want to add some of the others to your bucket list.
#1 – Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge, which was completed in 1883 and connects Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River in New York City, is arguably one of the most famous bridges in the eastern United States.
The Brooklyn Bridge is a suspension bridge that measures 5,988 feet long, and its longest span is 1,595 feet.
Little-Known Facts About Brooklyn Bridge:
- All About The Brooklyn Bridge
- How Many Calories Can You Burn Walking Across The Brooklyn Bridge?
- Brooklyn Bridge Trivia
#2 – George Washington Bridge
Another New York City bridge that is a must-see for all road travelers, the George Washington Bridge spans the Hudson River and connects New Jersey and the borough of Manhattan.
This bridge has a total length of 4,757 feet and a maximum single span of 3,609 feet.
Originally, when the double-decker suspension bridge opened in 1931, it had just 1 level. However, as the U.S. interstate system was being developed, a second level was added to the George Washington Bridge in 1962 and the bridge became part of Interstate 95, which connects Florida to Maine.
The last time I traveled over this bridge, which was in 2000, the World Trade Center and Empire State Building could be seen peeking over the Manhattan skyline to the east and south. The world’s largest free-flying American flag, measuring 90 feet long by 60 feet wide, now hangs off the George Washington Bridge in honor of 9/11.
Little-Known Facts About George Washington Bridge:
- Fun Trivia About The George Washington
- Bridge Data & Historical Images Of The George Washington Bridge
- George Washington Bridge Anniversary Special Report
#3 – Delaware Memorial Bridge
Crossing the Delaware River and connecting Wilmington, Delaware to south New Jersey, the Delaware Memorial Bridge is another grand bridge that, like the George Washington Bridge, belongs to Interstate 95.
The Delaware Memorial Bridge was originally opened in 1951 as a single span, but in 1968 the current westbound span was completed. This steel suspension bridge has a maximum span of 2,150 feet and is 10,796 feet long.
Little-Known Facts About Delaware Memorial Bridge:
- History Of The Delaware Memorial Bridge
- Fear Of Heights? Acrophobia Escorts Take You Across The Delaware Memorial Bridge
- Key Facts About The Delaware Memorial Bridge
#4 – The Chesapeake Bay Bridge
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge was first built in 1952 and is also called William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge, in honor of the man who served as Maryland’s governor when the span was originally dedicated.
The bridge connects the eastern and western shores of Maryland and was expanded in 1973, when the current westbound span was constructed.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which is roughly 5 miles long and 186 feet at its highest point, has long been considered as one of the scariest bridges in the world. Why? When it storms there (and violent storms aren’t uncommon in eastern Maryland), it can be nearly impossible to see any land when you’re on top of the bridge! Thankfully, there is a Chesapeake Bay Bridge driving assistance service available for those with gephyrophobia – the fear of bridges.
Little-Known Facts About Chesapeake Bay Bridge:
- Chesapeake Bay Bridge Facts
- All About The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
- Chesapeake Bay Bridge: An Engineering Challenge
#5 – Golden Gate Bridge
If the Brooklyn Bridge is the most popular span on the East Coast, then the Golden Gate Bridge easily takes the top spot among the most famous bridges on the West Coast.
The Golden Gate Bridge was opened in 1937 and has been designated as one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The main span of the bridge measures an impressive 4,200 feet and has the longest main span of any suspension bridge in the world until 1964.
One irony that many people note about the Golden Gate Bridge is that, despite its name, the bridge isn’t actually golden. Why’s that? The bridge spans the Golden Gate strait, which is a 1-mile wide channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. For the record, the Golden Gate Bridge is painted in a color called International Orange.
Little-Known Facts About Golden Gate Bridge:
- Golden Gate Bridge Video And Fun Facts
- Trivia & Tourist Info About The Golden Gate Bridge
- Golden Gate Bridge Infographic
#6 – Sunshine Skyway Bridge
It’s convenient for me that one of the most famous bridges in the United States stands in my proverbial backyard: Tampa, Florida. The current Sunshine Skyway Bridge was opened in 1987, but its construction was prompted by tragedy.
On May 9, 1980, the Summit Venture freighter crashed into the pylons of the old Sunshine Skyway Bridge, partly destroying the bridge and sending cars, trucks, and even a bus into Tampa Bay waters below. Sadly, 35 people died on that stormy, tragic day.
The newer Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a concrete cable-stayed bridge that is 29,040 feet long, has a 1,200-foot main span, and has been considered by the Travel Channel as one of the Top 10 bridges in the world.
Little-Known Facts About Sunshine Skyway Bridge:
- Sunshine Skyway Bridge Facts & Statistics
- Is The Sunshine Skyway Bridge Haunted?
- The Sunshine Skyway Bridge Yesterday And Today
#7 – Seven Mile Bridge
Connecting peninsular Florida with the Florida Keys, the Seven Mile Bridge is an iconic structure that is heavily traveled by tourists who want to visit the Conch Republic.
The original Seven Mile Bridge was built during 1909-1912, but the span used by motorists today was finished in 1982.
Most of the original bridge is still intact and is largely used as a fishing pier, though it is disintegrating at a rate faster than the State of Florida can afford to maintain it.
Little-Known Facts About Seven Mile Bridge:
- History Of The Overseas Highway & New Seven Mile Bridge
- A Key Part Of Florida Keys’ History Is In Trouble
- Amazing Photos Of The Iconic Seven Mile Bridge
#8 – Mackinac Bridge
Pronounced like “Mackinaw,” the Mackinac Bridge was opened in 1957 and connects the Lower and Upper peninsulas of Michigan.
This phenomenal suspension bridge is more than 26,000 feet long and has a main span of 3,799 feet.
While several bridges in the Eastern Hemisphere have since eclipsed the Mackinac Bridge’s anchor-to-anchor span distance, it still is the 3rd-longest suspension bridge in the United States and 15th longest in the world.
Little-Known Facts About Mackinac Bridge:
#9 – Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Remember that old film of a bridge flailing in the wind and collapsing into the water? That was the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and it collapsed only 4 months after its July 1940 opening in Washington state.
Several engineering flaws led to the bridge’s demise under 42 MPH winds that rocked the road deck, which wasn’t designed well enough for high-speed winds.
In 1950, a replacement bridge was constructed and now carries only westbound traffic; the eastbound span opened in 2007. Both main spans are 2,800 feet long and are the 5th-longest suspension bridges in the United States.
Little-Known Facts About Tacoma Narrows Bridge:
- The Collapse Of The Tacoma Narrows Bridge And Its Only Victim: A Dog
- Tacoma Narrows Bridge Facts
- Tubby The Dog That Fell Into Fame
#10 – Ambassador Bridge
Feel like taking an international road trip? Why not jump aboard the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, Michigan?
Opened in 1929, the Ambassador Bridge is a suspension bridge with a 1,850-foot-long main span. It actually takes those driving into the United States north.
Not only does the Ambassador Bridge make travel quicker between the United States and cities in eastern Canada, such as Toronto, but it is also a vital trade route between the states and Canada, and will usually see 10,000 commercial vehicles on a typical weekday.
Little-Known Facts About Ambassador Bridge:
- It’s The Only Privately Owned Border Crossing Between The U.S. & Canada
- Ambassador Bridge Facts
- Ambassador Bridge History And Statistics
Fun Facts About Other Famous Bridges
- 7 Scariest Bridges In The United States
- Interesting Engineering Facts About Bridges
- A Closer Look At South Jersey’s Interesting Bridges
- Scariest Bridges In The World
- Arkadiko Bridge in Greece: One Of The Oldest Arc Bridges Still In Use