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When most people think of bridges, they envision them as a practical way to connect two sites by bridging a river or valley. However, several of these bridges holds ranks for the beauty of their design and view. Here are the top ten most magnificent bridges ever constructed.

1.      Millau Viaduct bridge

The Millau Viaduct bridge
The Millau Viaduct bridge (By Sies Kranen)

The 343-meter-high Millau Viaduct bridge is one of the world’s tallest bridges. It is world-renowned for its magnificent design, which was originally thought to be impossible to realize when its construction was announced.

The viaduct was built using 127,000 cubic meters of concrete and 19,000 tons of steel reinforcement. Moreover, 5,000 tons of pre-stressed steel were used for the cables and shrouds.

Why was it built?

The Millau Viaduct bridge, like any other civil engineering project, was built to solve a problem. It frequently resulted in high traffic and significant disturbance for residents. Something had to be done, thus in 1991, an announcement was made to build the viaduct to relieve congestion on nearby highways. The Viaduct bridge cost more than 300 million Euros to construct. It first opened for business in 2004.

2.      The Ponte Vecchio

The Ponte Vecchio
The Ponte Vecchio (By Daniel Seßler)

Until 1218, the Ponte Vecchio, or Old Bridge, was Florence’s only bridge across the Arno. After a flood in 1345, the existing bridge was erected. This bridge is notable for being the only structure that was not destroyed by retreating Germans during World War II. Even though Taddeo Gaddi was assigned to the bridge by Giorgio Vasari, an artist from the 1500s, the structure appears to hint more towards the involvement of the Dominican friars with their great sense of proportion, harmony, and use of numbers.

Why was it built?

The Ponte Vecchio bridge was constructed as a defense system, and the windows and decorative components were added after the stores were sold to merchants.

3.      The golden gate bridge in the USA

The golden gate bridge
The golden gate bridge (By Maarten van den Heuvel)

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco’s most iconic landmark, opened in 1937 after a four-year battle against unrelenting winds, fog, and more. It is one among the contemporary world’s seven wonders. The International Orange hue of this spectacular bridge instantly distinguishes it. The bridge cost $35 million in capital and $39 million in interest to build. Two cables, each more than 7,000 feet long and comprising 80,000 miles of wire, run over the tops of the towers and are anchored in concrete anchorages onshore to support the suspended highway.

Why was It built?

The need was to build a bridge between San Francisco and Marin County. San Francisco was the largest American city that was still largely supplied by ferry boats. The city’s growth rate was lower than the national average since it did not have a permanent relationship with settlements around the bay.

More than 1,400 individuals have died by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. The state of California took steps to construct a suicide barrier in the hope that the suicides would stop. Moreover, it is predicted to cost $76 million and will be a massive net that stretches 20 feet below and 20 feet out from the bridge’s pedestrian-friendly section.

4.      The Charles Bridge in Prague

The Charles bridge
The Charles bridge (By Ahmed Essam Haroun)

Emperor Charles IV commissioned the Charles bridge in the 17th century. The bridge was designed by architect Peter Parler with 16 arches supported by pier gridirons oriented north. The bridge has gained a mishmash of architectural styles throughout the years because of repairs, and extensions.

Why was it built?

The oldest bridge in Prague was erected to replace the Judith Bridge, which had been severely destroyed by floods in 1342. However, the rebuilt bridge’s construction began in 1357 under the supervision of Charles IV and was completed in 1402. It is made of sandstone blocks and is surrounded by defensive towers at either end.

5.      The Sydney harbor bridge

The Sydney harbor bridge
The Sydney harbor bridge (By Photologic)

This bridge is the world’s highest steel arch bridge, standing 440 feet over the water. It also spans one of the world’s most beautiful natural harbors and has become an internationally recognized emblem of Australia. Moreover, the renowned bridge was built in 1932 with 53,000 tonnes of steel and six million hand-driven rivets.

Why was it built?

The Sydney harbor bridge is the principal transportation link between Sydney and its northern suburbs.

Read here about the The top, most sustainable constructions of 2021: https://engineerinc.io/the-top-most-sustainable-constructions-of-2021/

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