Top 10 Most Unique Bridges in the World
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
Getting from one place to another has never been so much fun. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Unique Bridges in the World.
For this list, we'll be taking a look at some of the coolest bridges from across the planet. All bridges will be included, with the sole criteria being that they must offer up a unique take on the age-old necessity of getting from one place to another.
Top 10 Most Unique Bridges In The World
Getting from one place to another has never been so much fun. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Unique Bridges In The World.
For this list, we’ll be taking a look at some of the coolest bridges from across the planet. All bridges will be included, with the sole criteria being that they must offer up a unique take on the age-old necessity of getting from one place to another.
#10: Banpo Bridge
Few bridges are as entertaining as this one, which spans the Han River connecting the Seocho and Yongsan districts in Seoul. It’s a double decker bridge, as it’s built atop the previously existing Jamsu Bridge – which is unique in that it can be submerged in water during periods of heavy rainfall. Plus, the city decided to add a fountain to both sides of the structure in 2009. Dubbed the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain, it currently holds the title of longest bridge fountain in the world, stretching for thousands of feet and expelling 190 tons of water per minute. It also, for much of the year features an amazing nighttime light show.
#9: Helix Bridge
Completed in 2010, this astonishing pedestrian bridge in the Marina Bay area of Singapore was inspired by the natural double-helix design of a strand of DNA. Stretching about a thousand feet long, the bridge is primarily comprised of stainless steel, and features a handful of viewing platforms so that people may stop and take in the picturesque Singapore skyline. A wonder to behold during the day, Helix Bridge is doubly impressive at night, as it is then that hundreds of LED lights illuminate its seemingly endless strands of twisted steel beams. This is one bridge we’d love to walk across and around.
#8: Chengyang Bridge
This marvel of beauty and architecture has provided safe passage for the citizens of Sanjiang County across the Linxi River for more for than a century. Including three floors and five pavilions, each with their own viewing porches, the covered structure has been nicknamed the Wind and Rain Bridge due to its ability to effectively protect from the region’s turbulent weather conditions. However, what truly earns this bridge “unique” status is the fact that no nails were used during its construction. Instead, builders had to rely on the practice of dovetailing the wood to hold the pieces together. Today the bridge is one of the area’s most popular tourist attractions!
#7: Sundial Bridge
This pedestrian bridge can be found in Redding, California and spans the over 700-foot distance between the two shores of the Sacramento River. Its most distinctive attribute is quite easily the 217-foot tall tower that majestically juts into the sky. However, it’s not just a tower, it’s also a gnomon, a.k.a the part of a sundial that casts a shadow. You see Sundial Bridge is, wait for it, actually a sundial! The tower casts a shadow onto a large dial just north of the structure but is only 100% accurate on the summer solstice. Additionally, the bridge features a glass deck so that as you cross, you may observe the river below.
#6: Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Occasionally referred to as the “Blinking Eye Bridge”, this bridge was completed in 2001 and comes fully equipped with six hydraulic rams that allow it to swing upwards in order to let ships and other rivercraft pass. When it isn’t terrifying the local bird population, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge serves as a passage across the River Tyne for both pedestrians and cyclists. For its unique design, the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering awarded the bridge its Outstanding Structure Award in 2005, and it doesn’t get any better than that for a bridge.
#5: Falkirk Wheel
The world’s first, and to date only, rotating boatlift; the Falkirk Wheel is truly a sight to behold. Connecting two of central Scotland’s canals (the Forth and Clyde with the Union), the Falkirk Wheel raises boats 79 feet into the air in order to get them where they need to go. A seriously impressive feat of engineering, the Falkirk Wheel features two caissons, or lifts, that can hoist up a combined water-and-boat weight of 500 tons. Unique is definitely the word to describe this rotating bridge, with its futuristic design light-years ahead of most anything else currently in operation.
#4: Henderson Waves
Singapore isn’t giant place in geographic terms, but, as we’ve already seen, boy, do they ever know how to build a unique bridge. Much like Helix Bridge, Henderson Waves features a twisting design that is instantly recognizable from a distance. The nearly 900-foot long structure was completed in 2008 and has since become a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike. Its trademark “waves” double as shelters for pedestrians, complete with seats and one hell of a view! At night, the bridge is lit with LED lamps (we sense a trend), which give it a quasi-supernatural appearance. Surf’s up!
#3: Øresund Bridge
Denmark and Sweden
Part bridge, part tunnel, and part artificial island, this unique construction was completed in 2000 and connects the Scandinavian countries of Sweden and Denmark. From a distance the Øresund Bridge looks like something out of a sci-fi flick, as one end appears to descend into the depths of the Øresund strait. However, this is merely the tunnel portion of the bridge dipping into the water and feeding cars and trains into Denmark. An artificial island was built to ensure no water gets in while also allowing ships to continue to cross. The entire project cost the two countries around 3 billion dollars. And you thought your bridge was expensive!
#2: Dragon Bridge
You’ve never seen a bridge quite like this before. Dragon Bridge is located in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang and is far and away the country’s coolest way of getting from one side of the River Hàn to the other. An enormous yellow dragon spans the length of the bridge; and every weekend locals and tourists gather to watch the head spew fire. This is accompanied by a dazzling water and light show. Dragons have long been considered symbols of power and luck in various Asian cultures, so the fact that this bridge is adorned with a giant one must keep people in pretty good spirits as they move across.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
Octávio Frias de Oliveira Bridge
Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge)
#1: The Rolling Bridge
This may be the smallest bridge on our list, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in sheer inventiveness. Rolling Bridge is a 39-foot long movable bridge, located in London’s Paddington Basin, that was completed in 2004. Thanks to a built-in hydraulic system, the pedestrian walkway can retract around itself, almost like a scorpion’s tail, in order to allow boats to pass through the canal underneath. This could perhaps be more accurately be described as a curling bridge, seeing as how it winds upwards and inwards to form an octagon; and is a most unique and clever human-designed structure.