Sunday, November 20, 2011

Top 10 Most Dangerous Bridges In The World

From sky high suspended bridges to dilapidated rope bridges, these structures don’t stop people from getting from one place to another. All bridges serve a purpose. Some bridges links places and enables people communicate and other bridges also give thrill and adrenaline to other people. Bridges exists in different shapes, sizes, and heights. But not all bridges are the same as the world renowned Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco. There are also bridges that are old, dilapidated, and most especially DANGEROUS. Here is the top 10 of the world’s most extreme bridges.

1. The Immortal Bridge – China

Immortality means the ability to live forever. This is probably the reason why it is named The Immortal Bridge. The Immortal Bridge is made up of three huge rocks and several smaller ones and they have been standing like this since the last ice age. Amazingly, no one quite knows how these rocks fell into place. Under the bridge is a seemingly endless abyss. The bridge is located on the upper part of Mount Tai in Shandon Province, China where the mountain has had cultural and religious significance. Mount Tai is associated with the dawn, birth, and renaissance.

2. The Old Bridge of Konitsa – Greece

Located on the river of Aoos, Kostas Frontzos and his 50 craftsmen made the Old Bridge of Konitsa in 1870 to replace a wooden bridge. The bridge’s cost of construction reached the amount of 120,000 piastres. The centuries-old bridge is perhaps the tallest and widest single-arched bridge of Greece. The construction of the bridge makes it dangerous to cross in case of strong winds. That is why old inhabitants of the town hung a small bell in order to warn the walkers. It is said that if the bell rings because of the winds, the bridge is dangerous to cross. The vast arch combined with the marvelous natural background makes the Old Bridge of Konitsa unique.

3. The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge – Ireland

The link of the tiny Carrick Island to the mainland is none other than the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. It is located near Ballintoy, Country Antrim, Northern Ireland. Carrick-a-Rede simply means “rock in the road”. 350 years ago, it is thought that the fishermen have been erecting bridges to the island to check on their salmon nets. The bridge today is now a wonderful vantage point for tourists to witness the beautiful view of the island. The bridge does not only provide a scenic view but also a thrilling experience especially during windy times. National trust replaced the single rope hand rail to a two hand railed bridge for the tourists’ safety.

4. The Royal Gorge Bridge – Colorado

Considered as a world wonder, the royal gorge in Colorado was created some three million years ago when a trickle of water slowly carve a canyon out of solid granite rock. This is the view that people will see when they pass the Royal Gorge Bridge. A tourist attraction near Canon City, Colorado, the Royal Gorge Bridge deck hangs 955 feet or 291 meters above the Arkansas River with a wooden walkway of 1292 planks. The bridge holds the record for the highest suspension bridge in the world until it was surpassed by the Beipanjang River Bridge of China in 2003.

5. Inca Rope Bridge – Inca Empire, Peru

A vital part of the Inca road system, the Inca Rope Bridge provided access for the vast Inca Empire. The rope bridges were the best way to transport livestock since the Empire did not use wheeled modes of transportation. This was an example of Inca innovation in engineering. Spaniards were astonished when they saw the Inca Rope Bridge since those kinds of bridges were not found in Europe. They were new to the Inca innovation with used natural fibers to build bridges. The cables of the rope bridge are replaced every year to keep the bridge’s strength and reliability.

6. Pulau Langkawi’s Suspended Bridge – Malaysia

The Langkawi Suspended Bridge is a 125 meter of 410 feet curved pedestrian cable-stayed bridge located in Pulau Langkawi, Malaysia. The bridge is suspended 687 meters above sea level and it offers magnificent views of the Andaman Sea and Thailand’s Tarutao Island. The last scene of Indian movie “Don:The Chase Begins Again” was filmed in the bridge. The bridge can be accessible by cable cars and the view from the top is really breathtaking. The Langkawi Suspended Bridge is one of the most spectacular bridges in the world.

7. Puente de Ojuela – Mexico

The Puente de Ojuela is the only surviving and functional structure left of the small mining settlement in Ojuela, Mexico. The Ojuela Bridge was designed by the famous Roebling brothers who also designed the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge was the longest suspension bridge at that time. The settlement is now known as a ghost town after the ore were exhausted. The bridge was made after the Spanish prospectors discovered a gold and silver mine area in Ojuela. The bridge linked the mining are and the settlement village so that workers can go to the operations easily.

8. Hussaini Hanging Bridge – Pakistan

Today’s world of super fast and commercialized ways of travelling make us forget how hard it was for people to travel before. In northern Pakistan, the residents’ only way to travel was by walking across mountain passes to get to the rest of Pakistan due to mountainous terrains and lack of roads. The Hussaini Hanging Bridge is considered the most dangerous bridge in the world. The bridge is dangerous because it is long and poorly maintained. Strong winds and missing planks give other tourists the adventure rush time and again.

9. Vitim River Bridge – Siberia

Surviving and crossing the Vitim River Bridge in Siberia, Russia is considered such an accomplishment because the bridge is made up of wood and not in a very good condition. It is barely enough for one car to pass and it is iced much of the year. There are also no railings to provide safety to the passers. The bridge is 1870 feet long and 50 feet above the water. A skilled driver can drive across the bridge in 3 minutes and the not so skilled drivers could be looking into a 15 meter drop into the chilly Vitim River waters. The 34 people that successfully crossed the river even created their own Facebook page to commemorate their accomplishment.

10. Bryce Canyon’s Natural Bridge – Utah, United States of America

The Natural Bridge caused a slight uproar in terms of the name since the structure is naturally an arch but it looks like a bridge. The Natural Bridge is one of the several natural arches in Bryce Canyon. The bridge is located 1.7 miles past Fairview Point and is visible from the Natural Bridge turn-out. This arch was sculpted from some of the reddest rock of the Claron Formation. The Natural Bridge is constantly at risk of destruction as the forces of erosion continue to wear the rock away.

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