Hussaini Hanging Bridge, Pakistan
It is one of the rope bridges that cry menace once you see it. Forget traversing.
Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan is cut off from the rest of the country. A highway later on came up connecting the region but inter-region communication still consisted of rope bridges and rock terrain. One such bridge is the Hussaini Bridge crossing the Borit lake.
This bridge is made up of wooden planks sewn together with cables and many planks are missing. It sways precariously while crossing. Although, the bridge looks weak, it is not so. We can also see the older bridge hanging in tatters next to this new one.
Bridge of Sighs, Venice, Italy
The Bridge of Sighs located in Venice. It was built by Antonio Contino. This Bridge is made up of white limestone and has windows with stone bars. It crosses Rio de Palazzo and creates a vestibule connecting New prison and interrogation room in Doge’s palace.
The name was coined by Lord Byron. The bridge overlooking Venice was the last view the convicts could relish of the beautiful Venice before being pushed into the cells, hence, the name.
Da Vinci Bridge, Norway
Leonardo da Vinci is credited with designing the layout for this Bridge back in 1502, proposed over natural inlet, Gold Horn. However, this bridge was not realized then and having a span 240m, impractical.
It remained unnoticed in the pages of his notebooks for the next 500 years until Vebjorn Sand fell in love with the structure and proposed to build it. It is now build over a highway and links Osla and Stockholm.
Had the structure been built then it would have been the longest bridge. It really was ahead of his time.
The Caravan Bridge, Turkey
The Caravan Bridge at first glance is nothing striking. Covering a span of forty two and a half feet over River Meles, it is a very humble structure. But its excellence lies not in structure but in its age.
The Caravan Bridge in Izmir Turkey was built in the year 850 BC. It is hence 2866 years old. It is the oldest functioning bridge which is still in form. It is an arch masonry bridge. It is the living testimony of the skills the people had then.
Rolling Bridge, London
As, is suggested by the name itself, the rolling bridge curls itself open when pedestrians need to traverse it and again rolls itself back on the deck when the water body is needed to be used. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick it is a truss bridge consisting of eight triangular sections which when open resembles an ordinary bridge.
The Hydraulic cylinders which are obscured by the parapet walls curl the bridge into an octagonal shape when not in use. When open it has a span of 12m.
Pont du Gard, France
Pont du Gard bridge was a part of an ancient Roman aqueduct which conducted water from spring Uzes to Roman city Nimes.
Constructed at around 40-60 AD, it is pretty old. This bridge is highly precise. The difference in elevations at both ends is only 2.5cm over a span of 275 m which is negligible. This reflects how precise the Roman engineers were.
Even after the fall of the Roman Empire when the aqueduct did lay unused the bridge continued to be in use as a Toll bridge. Apparently bishops and nobles extracted money from users for the upkeep of the bridge.
Bridge of Moses, Netherlands
Like Moses had split water in two parts helping the Israelites flee from the Egyptians, this bridge too spits the water in the moat literally. The entire aim of constructing and underground bridge was to make traversing the moat an obscured and safe event. The bridge being underwater makes it almost negligible and users are camouflaged.
Mackinac Bridge, Michigan
This bridge connecting the two ends of the peninsula over Mackinac strait is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges with a span of 8038m. Since it is a suspension bridge, Mackinac sways precariously. It is designed to give less resistance to the winds. It is therefore a scary bridge contributing to the nervous breakdown of many passengers.
However, the government has started a free service where the users can request for a free driving assistance if they are not comfortable to drive across all alone and this service is rendered for free. Bicyclists and pedestrians are not allowed. If at all they need to cross, they are transported by the authority to the other end.
The Glass Bottom Bridge, China
The longest and highest glass bottom bridge opened in China in Zhangjiajie Canyon. It is fairly a recent phenomena. It is 984 feet above the ground and stretches over a span of 1400 feet.
Zhangjiajie Canyon sports one of the most picturesque landscapes of the country. James Cameron had shot for Avatar here. The Glass bottom bridge designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, has very chivalrously used a glass bottom of the bridge to allow the tourists to fathom the depth below and have a blood churning experience.
Living Root Bridges, Cherrapunji, India
These bridges in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya are handmade by the local tribes there using roots of Rubber trees.
It is a technique of tree shaping. The roots of the tree are guided to the other side by using betel tree trunks which are placed across the banks. The roots bridges are strengthened by using stones and sticks. The bridges take around 15 years to build. The lifespan of these bridges are variable. However, under optimised conditions they can last up to hundred years. Being constructed of living roots they undergo self renewal.
Eshima Ohashi Bridge, Japan
A look at this bridge will tell you that it is not everybody’s cup of tea. Obviously, not everybody is on a look out for free roller coaster ride. It looks like as if it climbs up insane like a steep hill and goes down very steep again. However, you will be surprised to know that it is not as much a menace as it looks. It is mostly an optical illusion that comes to play when you view the bridge from a short distance. The bridge has a slope gradient of 6.1% which is not at all unsafe as per driving standards.
Eshima Ohashi Bridhe is a rigid frame bridge and it is the third largest of its kind in the world. It is designed this way so that it could accomodate the boat traffic in Lake Nakaumi.
Storseisundet Bridge, Norway
Often hailed locally as ‘the drunk bridge’, it is one the bridges which might make you think that it leads nowhere. It vanishes suddenly midway and drops off into the ocean. The bridge is structured so, that it can visually trick your eyes. However, this is not the only reason why this bridge is a tourist’s favourite.
The Storseisundet Bridge is a part of the Atlantic Road passing over an archipelago connecting the mainland Norway to the Island of Averoy. With the twists and turns, it is one of the most exhilarating road trips you can take. This trip over the bridge is made more exhilarating by the swirling hurricanes and monster waves underneath.