Top 10 Oldest Bridges in America

In today’s journey, we are crossing some ancient bridges in America. The real story of the planning and designing of these bridges are fascinating. The top 10 oldest bridges and their details go like this.

10 The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

The Golden Gate Bridge

Golden gate bridge is one among the oldest suspension bridge in America. It connects the city of San Francisco to Marin Country. It carries US Route101 and California State Route across the river. The Golden gate bridge is one among the wonders of the modern world.

The architect of the bridge design was Irving Morrow. In 1872 Charles Crocker made the first proposal of the bridge to Marin Country representatives.  But the project didn’t take seriously till 1919. The initial design of the bridge was much tricky, and after modification, the war department issued a temporary permit for construction.

The supreme importance of the bridge was for security. The engineers took measures to avoid the risk of life during construction. But still, there were various accidents. The color initially proposed were carbon grey and navy black with yellow stripes. The architect selected the International Orange color for the bridge. The red primer is the steel beams.

The colors were highly specialized and pleasing for the structure. The opening ceremony of the bridge lasted for two weeks. It started from May 27 to June 2 in 1937. Initially, the weight of the bridge was  894,500 tons. Until 1964 the Golden Gate was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Interesting Facts About Golden Gate Bridge

  • Length: 8,981
  • Width: 90 ft
  • Height: 746 ft
  • Construction start: January 5, 1933
  • Construction end: April 19, 1937
  • Opened: May 27, 1937

9 Bixby Creek Bridge, Monterey County, California

Bixby Creek Bridge

credit of image: Ron W on Flickr

 

The Bixby Creek Bridge is one among the ancient bridges in America. As a result of its beauty and grace, the bridge is one of the most suitable places for photography. The arch bridge is in the northern part of Big Sur. This oldest bridge got its name from Charles Henry Bixby. He purchased the land and harvested the lumber. This reinforced concrete bridge is one among the tallest concrete bridges in the world.

The bridge budget was $199,861. The other names of the bridge include Rainbow Bridge, Mill Creek bridge or Bixby’s bridge. The name Rainbow bridge came as a result of the presence of Rainbow Lodge resort near to the bridge. This oldest bridge is the number one Instagram worthy destination for the 2019 travels. The website Travelpulse.com issued this honor.

The land in the north and south region of the bridge was private property till 1988 and 2001. Later local and federal government agencies acquired the ownership. The ancient bridge was famous before the introduction of the social media era. The bridge is the main destination during holidays. The only reported negative is the lack of amenities in the bridge region.

Interesting Facts About Bixby Creek Bridge

  • Length: 714 feet
  • Width: 24 feet
  • Height: 280 feet
  • Construction start: August 24, 1931
  • Construction end: October 15, 1932
  • Opened: November 27, 1932
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8 George Washington Bridge, Fort Lee, New Jersey

George Washington Bridge

George Washington Bridge is a suspension bridge over the Hudson River. It connects Washington Heights in Newyork city along with borough in New Jersey. This oldest bridge carried about 103million vehicles every year. As a result, it became the busiest motor vehicle bridge of the world. The port authority of Newyork and New Jersey solely owns the bridge.

The other names of the bridge include GW, The GWN, Fort Lee Bridge and Hudson River Bridge. The engineer of the bridge was Othmar Amman. He made use of the plate girders and durable steel. The clever building methods gave a simple and airy look to this ancient bridge of USA. The suspension system provides a delicate appearance in steel.

There are total 105,986 wires for the support of this American bridge. The two suspension towers are at a distance of 604 feet. At first, concrete and granite were about to use for the towers. However, the engineers found the steel to give better support. Since 1948 there was a big free-flying flag of America in the bridge. Another record of the bridge is on the matter of suicide attempts. Eighteen people jump together from the bridge in 2012. Anyhow, the ancient bridge of America is charming and waits to write the remaining saga.

Interesting Facts About George Washington Bridge

  • Length: 4760 feet
  • Width: 119 feet
  • Height: 604 feet
  • Construction start: September 21, 1927
  • Opened: October 24, 1931 (upper level)
  • August: 29, 1962; (lower level)

7 Royal Gorge Bridge, Fremont County, Colorado

Royal Gorge Bridge

credit of image: Wasif Malik on Flickr

 

Royal Gorge Bridge is one among the ancient bridges of the United States of America. This is a famous tourist location in Colorado. The bridge is at a super height of 955 feet above the Arkansas River. It was the highest bridge in the world until 2001. It remains the highest bridge in the united states.

The construction of the bridge costs $350,000. The main aim of the bridge was to promote tourism, rather than transportation purpose. So the bridge act as an entire amusement park in the region. More than500,000 people visit the bridge every day.  George E Cole, a bridge engineer was the main head of the development.

The bridge allows only limited vehicles other than heavy trucks. The pedestrians are mostly using the bridge. The entire history of the bridge started when the federal government donated the Royal George to the Canon city. The project proposed was a municipal park in the area. Then the need for a bridge to cross two highest peaks came.

The initial part of the plan was the construction of pillars. This acts as a base for steel towers, which supports suspension cables. It took seven months for the completion. The bridge does not have a history of any fatal incidents. Even today this tourist place invites a large number of travelers to feel the actual height of happiness.

Interesting Facts About Royal Gorge Bridge

  • Length:1,260 ft
  • Width: 18 ft
  • Construction start: June 5, 1929
  • Construction end: November 1929
  • Opened: December 8, 1929

6 Ambassador Bridge 1929, Detroit, Michigan

Ambassador Bridge

credit of image: alyssa BLACK on Flickr

 

Ambassador Bridge is another member in the list of oldest bridges in the USA. This suspension bridge connects regions such as Detroit, United States, Michigan with Windsor, Ontario, and Canada. The river spans over the Detroit River. Joseph A Bower was the financer in New York, who made the project possible.

The heat treated cable wires were used in the construction of the bridge. This was a new technology of the time. For security, the cables changed later. The total cost of construction is $23.5 million. The bridge work came to an end on November 11, 1929. Four days later it was open to the public.

The initial name of the bridge was the Detroit River Bridge. This ancient bridge is still reflecting the healthy relations within the United States of America and Canada. The bridge was the longest suspension style bridge in the universe at that time. George Washington bridge in new york took the crown later.

The bridge became a famous place for weddings and other functions. Some say the marital bliss will not be valid in the bridge. However, the area was a military transportation way during world war II. The bridge thus remains as the visible symbol of friendship between different places.

Interesting Facts About Ambassador Bridge

  • Length: 7,500 feet
  • Longest Span: 1,850 feet
  • Construction start: August 16, 1927
  • Construction end: November 6, 1929
  • Opened: November 15, 1929

5 The Francis Scott Key Bridge, Washington, D.C.

The Francis Scott Key Bridge

credit of image: jeff covey on Flickr

 

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The Francis Scott Key Bridge often known as the key bridge is one among the oldest bridge in America. This is a six-lane arch bridge holding U.S route 29. In 1923 the bridge was open to the public. The bridge replaced the older Aqueduct Bridge in the region.

The new bridge got its name in 1916. It is the Army corps of engineers who proposed the name in honor of a writer in the neighborhood. The south terminal of the bridge is in Virginia state. The bridge gets people from Rosslyn to George Town. The pedestrians walkways are on either side of the bridge. As a result, it provides safety to pedestrians.

This American bridge is a part of Maryland Route 29. The style of the bridge is a classical revival style. It was renovated in the year 1955 and 1987. During the alterations, some new modifications included. The bridge is listed in the National Historic Places in 1996. The designer of the bridge was Nathan Wyeth. The C & O Canal is running beneath the Key Bridge in Washington.

Interesting Facts About Key Bridge

  • Length: 1,450 feet
  • Width: 85 feet
  • Opened: 1923

4 Seven Mile Bridge 1909-1912, Monroe County, Florida

Seven Mile Bridge

credit of image: Milan Boers on Flickr

 

Seven Mile Bridge is the oldest bridge in Florida of United States. The bridge connects Knight’s Key to the Lower keys region. This iconic bridge is one among the longest bridge of America. The exact history connects two bridges here. The old bridge starts with a railroad. The name was Florida East Coast Railway. The railway begins to expand then.

The critical stretch of the railway is Seven Mile Bridge. The hurricane caused more damages to the bridge. The United States Government bought the bridge and rebuilt it. The bridge holds space for passing ships and automobile use. Because of the damage caused by Hurricane Donna, the need for a new bridge came.

The new Seven Mile Bridge is simple in layout. This oldest structure has got a girder style. The steel girders support concrete. The weight is distributed adequately because of this. The bridge has gained enough elevation for the ships to pass beneath. The beautiful bridge has attracted many filmmakers as well.  A fun event called ‘The seven-mile bridge run’ is held on the bridge on Saturdays. Thus the oldest bridge adds some more fun on the road.

Interesting Facts About Seven Mile Bridge

  • length: 10887.5 meters
  • Width: 11.58 meters
  • Duration: 1909-1912(Old Bridge)
  • Opening: May 24, 1982(New Bridge)

3 Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, New York

Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge was the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge. It is a hybrid cable suspension bridge in New York. Brooklyn Bridge links Manhattan and Brooklyn over New York City’s east river. In 1869 the Construction of the bridge started. It took long fourteen years.

John Augustus Roebling is the designer of the Brooklyn Bridge. He was the pioneer in the design of the steel suspension bridge. But just before construction of the bridge in 1869, he was fatally injured while taking a compass reading and a few weeks later he died. The Bridge opened for public on May 24, 1883. President Chester A Arthur inaugurated the bridge.

This bridge has a total length of 5989ft and width of 85ft. The bridge has a prestigious status as a National Historic Landmark in 1964. In May 2008, the 125th anniversary of the bridge celebrated. In the early days, the bridge was used for horse-drawn vehicles and elevated railway lines. Now it is open for vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

Interesting Facts About Brooklyn Bridge

Length: 5,989 ft
Width: 85 ft
Height: 276.5 ft
Opened: May 24, 1883

2 The Smithfield Street Bridge, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Smithfield Street Bridge

credit of image: Jon Dawson on Flickr

 

The Smithfield Street Bridge is one of the first bridges in the United States to use steel in its trusses. It is a truss bridge, which is a structure of connected elements forming a single unit. The bridge is above Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The two-span bridge (360 feet each) has a total length of 1184 feet and a clearance below of 42.5 feet. It took only two years to build this bridge, i.e., from 1881 to 1883. Smithfield Street Bridge got opened on March 19, 1883. This is the second oldest steel bridge in the United States. The designer of the bridge is Gustav Lindenthal.

It carries four lanes of roadways and two pedestrian walkways. In 1889 and 1911 the bridge was modified. In 1915 the cast steel replicas were placed instead of the iron portal. A renovation in 1933 replaced the bridge’s steel floor with aluminum beams and decking.

A second renovation, in 1996 increased the load limit from 3 tons to 23 tons. In 1974, Smithfield Street Bridge got included on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is a National Historic Landmark as well.

Interesting Facts About Smithfield Street Bridge

Length: 1,184 feet
Opened: March 19, 1883

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1 Frankford Avenue Bridge, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pennypack Creek Bridge

Frankford Avenue Bridge is the oldest stone bridge in the United States. The construction came to an end in 1697. It belongs to the Holmesburg section of Northeast Philadelphia. Frankford Avenue Bridge has four other different names such as Pennypack Creek Bridge, the Pennypack Bridge, the Holmesburg Bridge, and the King’s Highway Bridge. In the 1920s, the road was the main route from Philadelphia to Trenton and New York.

The three-span bridge was built just wide enough- about 37 feet to accommodate horse carriages and is 73 feet long.  William Penn had granted land to build the bridge to connect his Mansion with the new city of Philadelphia. The bridge is named in honor of monarch which became Frankford Avenue.

During the time of the bridge was built, all the men near the region must participate in the construction or else they have to pay taxes. Modern engineers estimate it would have taken two to five years to complete the construction. The bridge has undergone several repairs, one of the major reconstruction took place in 1893 and 2018.

Interesting Facts About Pennypack Creek Bridge

Three-span: 73 feet
Opened: 1697