There are numerous famous bridges in the USA, but some stand out above the rest due to several aspects, including their appearance, history, spans, and views.
If you are looking for a breezy ride or beautiful views, look no further, we have compiled a list of 14 famous American bridges, detailing some interesting information such as their lengths, architecture, and which areas they connect.
Some bridges are rather old, and others are relatively new additions. Some stretch for miles into the distance, and others you can walk in a matter of minutes.
Yet, all of them have a unique quality that sets them apart and enables them to get the title of being some of the most famous bridges in the USA.
14 Famous Bridges in the USA
Here are some of the most iconic and famous bridges in the USA in no particular order.
1. Bixby Creek Bridge, California
If you seek an exemplary example of one of the famous bridges in the USA, Bixby Creek Bridge will steal your breath away.
This beautiful bridge extends 714 feet with a height of 218 feet and is one of the most photographed bridges in the USA.
Bixby Creek Bridge’s design follows a California entertainment-industry style and features graceful architecture, constructed out of 6,600 cubic yards of cement and 600,000 pounds of steel.
Stretching over Bixby Creek, the bridge gives the road connecting San Fransisco to Big Sur that extra touch and adds to the majestic nature of the journey.
Needless to say that this spot is one of the most beautiful places to visit in California, let alone in the US.
2. Brooklyn Bridge, New York
Another iconic bridge that falls into the category of famous USA bridges is the Brooklyn Bridge. It was built to span the East River and connect Brooklyn Heights to Lower Manhattan.
Designed by engineer John A. Roebling, the completion of the bridge took 14 years, culminating in its grand opening in 1883, and since 1964 it has been listed as a National Historic Landmark.
It is a feat of architecture, reaching a height of 276.5 feet and a total of 6,016 feet, with its longest span being 1,595 feet.
Besides being a pedestrian bridge, it also has six lanes of traffic.
When it comes to old suspension bridges, Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest. It encompasses 5,296 galvanized steel wires which form four gigantic cables that keep the bridge up.
3. London Bridge, Arizona
The London Bridge must have one of the oddest histories out of all the bridges in the United States.
The bridge used to span the River Thames in London, but in the 1960s, one of the London city councilors, Ivan Luckin, decided to sell the bridge to America. Once it arrived in Arizona, it was reinforced to ensure it was safe for traffic.
The construction in Arizona started in 1967 and was completed by 1971. London Bridge spans 930 feet across the Bridgewater Channel, connecting Lake Havasu City to an island that houses numerous restaurants, shops, resorts, hotels, and houses.
The bridge still features some ornate lampposts from its original placement in London.
All 10,276 of its exterior granite blocks were reused in its construction, although the interior blocks were swapped out for a steel framework which made the bridge lighter while at the same time strengthening it.
4. Golden Gate Bridge, California
If you have seen the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, you will understand why it is considered one of the most famous bridges in the USA.
The Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937 after being under construction for seven years. At that time, this San Francisco engineering marvel was the tallest suspension bridge in the world.
Designed by architect Joseph B. Strauss, the bridge spans over San Francisco Bay and connects the Marin Headlands to San Fransisco.
The Golden Gate Bridge reaches 746 feet high and includes 4,200 feet of Art Deco-styled architecture and dramatically sweeping main cables.
No wonder this historic bridge is such a famous attraction and iconic landmark in the US.
If you want the best viewpoint of the Golden Gate, head to Fort Point National Historic Site, which defended San Francisco Bay back in the Gold Rush.
Also, needless to say, crossing the Golden Gate on a bike is one of the best things to do in California.
5. Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida
The origin story of Sunshine Skyway Bridge is one of woe and tragedy, which culminated in a horrific accident on 9 May 1980 between the previous bridge and the Sumit Venturer, a freighter.
This accident brought about the construction of the new bridge seeing its completion in 1987.
The new Sunshine Skyway Bridge crosses Florida’s Tampa Bay and spans approximately 21,860 feet connecting St. Petersburg with Terra Ceia.
This cable-stayed bridge reaches a maximum height of 430 feet and comes equipped with a bike and pedestrian lane.
The bridge features two massive concrete goalposts with yellow cables, making it seem like it has sails flying in the wind.
6. New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia
As one of the famous bridges in the USA, the New River Gorge Bridge keeps up with its title.
It is the fifth-longest single-span bridge in the world, crossing the New River Gorge and allowing for a journey that used to take 40 minutes to become a one-minute trip.
The bridge was completed in 1977, taking only three years, spanning 3,030 feet across the river and reaching 876 feet high, arching gracefully over the river and providing beautiful and spectacular views.
7. Cornish Windsor Covered Bridge, New Hampshire
The Cornish Windsor Covered Bridge is one of the most spectacular USA bridges. It spans 460 feet and is a classic example of a 19th-century American wooden bridge building.
The bridge was completed in 1866, and today it is still one of the longest two-spanned covered bridges in the United States.
The Cornish Windsor Covered Bridge crosses the Connecticut River and connects the towns of Windsor and Cornish, using a lattice truss design patented in 1820 and 1835 by Ithiel Town.
8. Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Maryland
When the Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened to the public in 1952, it was the longest steel structure running over continuous water in the world, spanning 22,704 feet and reaching a height of 186 feet.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge has earned the right to say it is one of the most famous bridges in the USA.
It connects the eastern and western Maryland shores with a two-lane bridge that is only open to pedestrians once a year on 1 May.
According to those with gephyrophobia (fear of bridges), Chesapeake Bay is considered one of the scariest bridges in the world due to the low visibility that happens during storms, creating a situation where you can’t see the land while crossing.
9. Skydance Bridge, Oklahoma
Skydance Bridge is slightly different from the previously discussed USA bridges, as it is not designed for vehicle traffic but foot traffic.
The bridge stretches over Interstate 40 for 380 feet providing pedestrians with a safe route over the highway.
The innovative design was inspired by the scissor-tailed flycatcher, Oklahoma’s state bird. It features a bridge and sculpture ensemble, with the sculpture measuring 200 feet tall, 60 feet wide, and 180 feet long.
The designers used a complex of stainless steel panels used in such a way that they created the idea of feathers.
10. Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Washington
In 1940 the original bridge opened, but unfortunately, it collapsed during strong winds only four months later.
The town planners put in a replacement in 1950, which featured open trusses and stiffened struts with openings to allow for airflow.
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge only carries westward traffic, but in 2007, a third bridge was constructed to carry the eastbound traffic.
The Tacoma Bridge connects the mainland of Washington to the Olympic Peninsula across the Narrows of Pudget Sound. The bridge’s total length is 5,400 feet, with its longest span reaching 2,800 feet.
11. Mackinac Bridge, Michigan
The construction of the Mackinac Bridge was a labor of love and took years to complete.
Still, in 1957 it opened its four lanes to traffic, and the result was a feat of architectural marvel, well worth the wait.
The bridge is 26,372 feet long, and the main span is a whopping 3,799 feet long, making it the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere.
Mackinac Bridge spans two of the Great Lakes, namely Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, connecting Mackinaw City and St Ignace.
Most of this suspension bridge is made of steel grating to allow for optimal airflow and decrease the risk of the bridge succumbing to high winds.
12. Rainbow Bridge, New York
Rainbow Bridge opened to traffic in 1941. It is a beautiful arch bridge that crosses the Niagra River gorge and connects Niagra Falls in the United States to Niagra Falls in Canada.
Even though this bridge technically lies on the border of two countries, you can still consider it one of the famous US bridges.
The bridge’s total length is 1,450 feet, with its longest span stretching 960 feet. It rises 202 feet at its highest point.
Whether you are taking pictures of the bridge with the falls in the background or the falls from the bridge, you can expect stunning views.
13. Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado
The Royal Gorge Bridge’s construction only took six months from beginning to end.
This steel suspension bridge opened in 1929 as a tourist attraction forming part of the Royal Bridge and Park amusement park near Cañon City.
You may enter the bridge from the north gate, but you can expect to turn around and return the same way as you will find the south end is blocked shortly beyond the bridge.
Royal Gorge was the tallest bridge in the world, reaching 955 feet, until 2001 when a Chinese bridge overtook its place.
Today it retains the title of the United State’s highest bridge. Its total length is 1,260 feet, and its longest span is 880 feet.
14. Benson Bridge, Oregon
Another spectacular addition to the list of famous bridges in the USA is Benson Bridge, constructed in 1914.
This impressive feat of architecture traverses Multnomah Creek between Multnomah Falls’s two cascades.
The foot bridge’s design encompasses a reinforced concrete deck arch that stretches 52 feet and is 5.8 feet wide, allowing the Multnomah Creek Trail to continue over the creek.
It reaches a height of 135 feet, and its graceful arch rises 105 feet above the lower portion of the Multnomah Falls.
More US Bridges Worth Checking Out
- Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana is 24 miles long.
- Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama is 1,248 feet long.
- Penobscot Narrows Bridge in Maine is 2,120 feet long and rises 135 feet above the Penobscot River.
- Walnut Street Bridge in Tennessee is 2,376 feet long.
- Michigan Avenue Bridge is a double-decker bridge in Illinois (also known as DuSable Bridge).
- George Washington Bridge connects Manhattan with Fort Lee in New Jersey.
- Roebling Suspension Bridge is 1,642 feet long and is known as the Cincinnati-Covington Bridge.
- Glen Canyon Dam Bridge is 1,271 feet long. This arch bridge carries US Route 89 across the Colorado River.
Final Thoughts On Famous Bridges In The USA
There are numerous fantastic famous bridges in the USA, some of which are predominantly for cars to get from one point to another, and others are for foot traffic.
Each of these American bridges has unique qualities which make them famous in their own right.
Some span only a short distance, while others are so long that visibility gets difficult in extreme weather conditions.
Did you enjoy reading about these famous bridges in the USA? Then share it with your social media friends!