Who doesn't like bridges? They're so useful at cutting travel times and eliminating the need to carry your vehicle across with a ferry. Today we are not going to talk about records because we are here to find out the 10 coolest bridges that cross borders.
It goes without saying that this list purely concentrates on ten of our picks, they aren't necessarily the best, biggest, or ones with the most expensive tolls, etc. And while doing so, we've tried to encompass a nice geographical spread.
So, in no particular order, here's our list of the 10 coolest bridges that cross borders. Enjoy.
1. Ambassador Bridge, US, and Canadian Border
Connecting Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, Ontario, Ambassador Bridge is the busiest international border crossing in North America. It is estimated that around 27% of all trade between these two nations passes over this bridge. The suspension bridge stretches over 7,545 feet (2,300 meters). Ambassador bridge is one of many other bridges that cross the US-Canada border, but we chose this one, just because.
2. Second Severn Crossing, English and Welsh Border
The author has spent a silly amount of time traversing this bridge, not to mention the costs of tolls. Rant over, it is one of a pair of bridges that cross the Severn Estuary. The Second Severn Crossing connects Aust, England with Bulwark, Wales. The bridge has a total length of just over 16,404 feet (5,000 meters) and is a part cable-stayed and part segmented construction bridge. It also passes "SuperTed Island" to the SW in the estuary. A fact my parents used to reliably inform me. But hang on, that's Cable Rock, my whole childhood was a lie!
3. Øresund Bridge, Danish and Swedish Border
Our next selection of bridges that cross borders is a combined railway and road bridge. It connects Copenhagen, Denmark with Malmo, Sweden. It crosses the Øresund strait between these two countries. The bridge spans 25,738 feet (7,845 meters). It is the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe, running nearly 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the Swedish coast to the artificial island Peberholm in the middle of the strait. It is another fine example of a cable-stayed bridge.
4. Three Countries Bridge, French-German (and almost Swiss) Border
Located near the tripoint of France, Germany, and Switzerland, the Three Countries Bridge crosses the Rhine between France and Germany. This arch bridge is actually quite beautiful and is for the exclusive use of pedestrians and cyclists. In fact, it's the world's longest single-span bridge dedicated exclusively to pedestrians and cyclists. It's a whopper, with a total length of 813 feet (248 meters).
5. Rainbow Bridge, US-Canadian Border
Yep, another US-Canadian one. The Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge, opened in 1941, stretches for 1,443 feet (440 meters), and is open to both vehicles and pedestrians. It crosses the Niagara River Gorge and connects Niagara Falls, USA with Niagara Falls, Canada. It also offers breathtaking views of the falls. The name comes from the regular appearance of rainbows seen over the falls.
6. New Europe Bridge, Bulgarian and Romanian Border
Our next selection for bridges that cross borders is another combined road and rail bridge that spans the Danube River. It connects Vidin, Bulgaria with Calafat, Romania. Opened in 2013, it is the second bridge to span the Danube across this border. The bridge has a span of 6,466 feet (1,971 meters) and is another cable-stayed road and rail bridge.
7. Victoria Falls Bridge, Zimbabwean-Zambian Border
Close to the magnificent Victoria Falls, this entry on our list is a road, rail, and pedestrian parabolic arch bridge. It connects Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to Livingstone in Zambia. It has a span of 429 feet (198 meters) and its deck bridges the gorge 420 feet (128 meters) above the Zambezi, over the Second Gorge of the falls. It took just over a year to construct this bridge, which was opened in 1905.
8. Allenby Bridge (King Hussein Bridge), Israeli/Palestinian-Jordanian Border
Whichever name you'd prefer to give it, this bridge crosses the Jordan River and connects the West Bank of Jordan with Jordanian/Israeli border control on either side. This bridge has a long and unique history. There was, originally, an Ottoman bridge was built here in 1885. This had fallen into disrepair and was replaced by the Brits in 1918. Then, that bridge collapsed in an earthquake in 1927 and was rebuilt. It was later destroyed in 1946 during the Jewish insurgency of the British Mandate period, and again during the Six-Day War of 1967. In 1968 a temporary wooden truss-type bridge was erected and in 1994, a new, modern paved crossing was constructed under the Jordan-Israeli Peace Treaty.
9. Bridge of No Return, North/South Korean Border
Let's head over now to a highly stable and peaceful part of the world for our next example. This bridge is located in the Joint Security Area and crosses the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. This isn't a typical border crossing.
It was used for prisoner exchanges at the end of the Korean War in 1953. Its name comes from the ultimatum given to prisoners of war before they crossed: They could stay in the country where they were formerly held captive or they could return to their homeland, but once they stepped over the line, there was no going back.
It was last used for this purpose in 1968. The bridge hasn't been used since 1976, when two United States soldiers went out to trim a poplar tree in the Joint Security Area, which was obscuring the view between checkpoints near the bridge, and were set upon and killed by axe-wielding North Korean soldiers.
The North Koreans built a new bridge following this incident. But in 1993, President Bill Clinton walked part of the way over the bridge. It is, to this day, still surrounded by checkpoints on both sides. You might be familiar with a depiction of this bridge if you've seen James Bond: Die Another Day.
10. The Tajikistan-Afghanistan Friendship bridge
Opened in 2007, this entry on our list spans the Panj River. You'll be surprised to learn that it crosses the Tajikistan and Afghanistan border and was financed by the United States. The bridge connects Panji Poyon, Tajikistan with Sherkhan Bandar, Afghanistan. It spans 2,204 feet (672 meters) and is an example of a girder bridge.
11. Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge, Canada-United States
The 1.5-mile (2.4 km) pale green Ogdensburg-Prescott suspension bridge is a popular border crossing for passenger vehicles. The bridge sits comfortably over the Saint Lawrence River and Saint Lawrence Seaway, an area that connects Ogdensburg, New York, in the United States to Johnstown, Ontario in Canada.
12. Guadiana International Bridge, Spain-Portugal
The Guadiana International Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge and a common route for travelers from southern Spain to Portugal. The bridge is 2,185 ft (666 meters) long and links Portugal’s A22 motorway to Spain’s A-49 Motorway.
So there ends our list of bridges that cross borders, well not quite, here is a bonus bridge.
13. Bosphorus Bridge, Turkey
Though technically it doesn't cross an internationally recognized border between countries, this bridge crosses the Bosphorus Strait. It connects Europe with Asia and was opened in 1973. It connects Ortaköy, Istanbul (in Europe) with Beylerbeyi, Istanbul, Turkey (in Asia). After the failed coup in July of 2016, the bridge was renamed as the 15 Temmuz Şehitler Köprüsü (15th July Martyrs Bridge). It is one of three bridges that cross the strait and is an example of a steel suspension bridge. On completion, it was the 4th longest in the world.
Tada, we hope you enjoyed it.