15 Longest Bridges in the USA in 2023
Explore the USA's most impressive feats of engineering with our list of the 15 longest bridges. From coast to coast, these architectural wonders will leave you in awe.
For those who appreciate engineering marvels, bridges are captivating structures that perfectly embody human ingenuity and perseverance. They connect lands divided by waters and valleys, offering a breathtaking view and a practical function. This article will take you through the 15 longest bridges in the USA, showcasing their impressive lengths and highlighting their unique features. So buckle up and get ready to traverse these architectural wonders.
1. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana
Length: 24 miles (38.5 km)
At the top of our list sits the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana, reigning as the longest bridge in the USA. This monumental structure has also held the Guinness World Record for the longest bridge since 1969. The causeway connects the north and south of New Orleans, Louisiana, spanning an impressive 24 miles. Its continuous stretch over water sets this bridge apart, making it an extraordinary sight. With no land in sight except at the edges, it truly epitomizes the concept of a bridge over water.
2. Manchac Swamp Bridge, Louisiana
Length: 23 miles
Another remarkable bridge in Louisiana is the Manchac Swamp Bridge, which stretches across the Manchac Swamp for an astounding 23 miles. This twin concrete trestle bridge carries Interstate 55 and U.S. Route 51, making it an essential part of the Interstate Highway System. Notably, it is believed to be the world's longest toll-free road bridge, offering travelers a seamless and toll-free passage. Driving across this bridge is a surreal experience, with captivating views of the vast swamp below.
3. Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, Louisiana
Length: 18.2 miles (29 km)
Renamed the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge in 1989, the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge in Louisiana spans the largest swamp in the United States, the Atchafalaya Basin. This bridge, connecting Baton Rouge and Lafayette, carries Interstate 10, a vital transcontinental highway. Despite the challenging construction due to the swampy terrain and potential flooding, the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge stands tall as one of the longest bridges in the USA. It offers two exits, leading to Whiskey Bay and Butte La Rose, and merges as it crosses the Whiskey Bay Pilot Channel and the Atchafalaya River.
4. Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Virginia
Length: 17.6 miles (28.4 km)
A marvel of engineering, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel in Virginia was deemed "One of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World" upon its completion in 1964. This bridge tunnel directly links southeastern Virginia and Delaware, significantly reducing travel time between Virginia Beach and Wilmington, Delaware, by approximately 90 minutes. The bridge features a tunnel that extends underwater for more than a mile, accommodating the passage of ships without disrupting the traffic flow. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is a crucial transportation route and a captivating architectural masterpiece.
5.I-10 Bonnet Carré Spillway Bridge, Louisiana
Length: 11 miles (17 km)
Opened in 1972, the I-10 Bonnet Carré Spillway Bridge in Louisiana serves as a vital crossing point for Interstate 10, spanning the Bonnet Carré Spillway. The spillway acts as a flood control mechanism, diverting water from the Mississippi River into Lake Pontchartrain. This bridge significantly prevents flooding by channeling floodwaters away from the nearby New Orleans metropolitan area. With a total length of 11 miles, it ranks among the longest bridges globally and offers an uninterrupted view of the surrounding landscape.
6. Louisiana Highway 1 Bridge
Length: 8.26 miles (13.3 km)
Connecting Leeville to Port Fourchon, the Louisiana Highway 1 Bridge, also known as the Gateway to the Gulf Expressway, is an impressive concrete trestle toll bridge. With a total length of 8.26 miles, it secures its spot as one of the longest bridges in the world. Situated in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, this bridge offers a seamless passage over Bayou Lafourche and the captivating swamplands of southern Louisiana. Whether you're a local commuter or an adventurous traveler, crossing this bridge is an unforgettable experience.
7. Jubilee Parkway, Alabama
Length: 8 miles (12.9 km)
Spanning the picturesque Mobile Bay in Alabama, the Jubilee Parkway is a striking bridge consisting of two side-by-side bridges, each accommodating two lanes of traffic. This 8-mile bridge, formerly America's Junior Miss Bayway, seamlessly connects Spanish Forts and Baldwin County, Alabama. The Jubilee Parkway is a testament to architectural excellence, complementing the bay's natural beauty.
8. San Mateo–Hayward Bridge, California
Length: 7 miles (11 km)
As the longest bridge in California, the San Mateo–Hayward Bridge gracefully traverses the scenic San Francisco Bay. Initially constructed in 1929 and reconstructed in 1967, this bridge connects Foster City in San Mateo to Hayward, California. A daily traffic volume of approximately 80,000 vehicles is a crucial link between the San Francisco Peninsula and the East Bay. The San Mateo–Hayward Bridge is a vital transportation artery and an architectural masterpiece, boasting stunning bay views and beyond.
9. Seven Mile Bridge, Florida
Length: 6.7 miles (10.8 km)
Nestled in the beautiful Florida Keys, the Seven Mile Bridge connects Marathon, Florida, to Little Duck Key. With a length of 6.7 miles, it was once among the longest bridges globally. The Seven Mile Bridge comprises two separate structures, one dedicated to vehicular traffic and the other exclusively for cyclists and pedestrians. As you cross this iconic bridge, you'll be greeted by breathtaking views of the Florida Keys, evoking a sense of wonder and tranquility.
10. General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge, Alabama
Length: 6 miles (10 km)
Known affectionately as the Dolly Parton Bridge due to its arches adorned with red warning lights, the General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge gracefully spans the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, connecting Mobile, Alabama, to Baldwin County, Alabama. Carrying four lanes of traffic on Interstate 65, this bridge showcases the stunning natural landscape of the river delta and the surrounding verdant wetlands. Completed in 1978 and named after General W.K. Wilson Jr., a prominent figure in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, this bridge is a testament to engineering prowess and the region's natural beauty.
11. Frank Davis Memorial Bridge, Louisiana
Length: 5.4 miles (8.8 km)
Situated over Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, the Frank Davis Memorial Bridge, also known as the Twin Span Bridge, is a vital link between New Orleans and Slidell. This twin-span bridge consists of two parallel bridges that endured significant damage during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. However, it was rebuilt into the current twin span. In honor of Frank Joseph Davis, a local television personality and avid fisherman, the bridge was officially named in August 2014. The Frank Davis Memorial Bridge provides convenient transportation and stunning views of the Mississippi River.
12. Richmond–San Rafael Bridge, California
Length: 5.5 miles (8.85 km)
At the easternmost point of the San Francisco Bay in California, you'll find the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge, connecting the cities of Richmond and San Rafael. This 5.5-mile bridge offers a vital transportation link, facilitating the movement of people and goods between the East Bay and Marin County. It provides awe-inspiring views of the bay, creating a picturesque experience for those traversing its length. Named the John F. McCarthy Memorial Bridge after California State Senator John F. McCarthy, this bridge is a testament to his contributions to the region.
13. Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge, North Carolina
Length: 5 miles (8 km)
In Dare County, North Carolina, the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge carries Route 64 across the Croatan Sound, connecting Manns Harbor to Roanoke Island. Stretching for 5 miles entirely over water, this four-lane bridge offers a scenic route for residents and visitors alike. Its construction and design have made it a significant regional landmark, allowing for convenient and seamless travel between Manns Harbor and Manteo on Roanoke Island.
14. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Maryland
Length: 4.3 miles (6.9 km)
In Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge stands as a dual-span bridge, connecting the eastern and western shores of the state while spanning the stunning Chesapeake Bay. Opened in 1952, this architectural marvel comprises the original Chesapeake Bay Bridge, known as the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge, and a parallel span called the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. The bridge incorporates two tunnels that pass beneath the bay, allowing for the uninterrupted passage of ships. It serves as a vital transportation route, as part of the cross-country U.S. Route 50, while offering captivating views of the bay and its scenic surroundings.
15. Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Florida
Length: 4.1 miles (6.6 km)
Lastly, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Florida is an iconic cable-stayed bridge connecting St. Petersburg to Terra Ceia. Its unique cable-stayed design has become a symbol of Florida's infrastructure. The bridge was reconstructed and opened in 1987, overcoming various challenges and subsequent demolitions. Spanning Tampa Bay, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a vital transportation link and offers spectacular views of the bay and its surroundings. Its distinctive silhouette has made it a popular filming location, appearing in numerous movies and T.V. series.
As we conclude our journey through the 15 longest bridges in the USA, it becomes evident that these architectural wonders play a vital role in connecting communities and enabling seamless travel across waterways and scenic landscapes. From the iconic Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana to the captivating Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Florida, these bridges embody the expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness required to construct monumental structures. Whether you're an avid traveler or appreciate the marvels of human engineering, these bridges are worth visiting and admiring.
Which is the longest bridge in the USA?
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana is the longest bridge in the USA, spanning an impressive 24 miles (38.5 km).
Where is the Manchac Swamp Bridge located?
The Manchac Swamp Bridge is located in Louisiana and stretches for 23 miles, making it one of the longest bridges in the USA.
What is the purpose of the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge?
The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is a vital transportation link between Baton Rouge and Lafayette in Louisiana, crossing the largest swamp in the USA.
What is unique about the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel?
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel directly links southeastern Virginia and Delaware, featuring a tunnel that extends underwater for more than a mile, allowing ships to pass overhead.
Where is the San Mateo–Hayward Bridge located?
The San Mateo–Hayward Bridge is in California and spans the picturesque San Francisco Bay, connecting Foster City to Hayward.
Which bridge connects Marathon, Florida, to Little Duck Key?
The Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys connects Marathon, Florida, to Little Duck Key and is known for its captivating views and tranquil atmosphere.
Please note that the information provided in this article is based on research and may be subject to change. The lengths of bridges may vary due to maintenance, modifications, or new construction. It is always advisable to refer to reliable sources for the most up-to-date information regarding these bridges.