Eight of the Most Dangerous Bridges in the World

By Todd Neikirk
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Eight of the Most Dangerous Bridges in the World

Todd Neikirk
 
Photo Credit: Ferozagulzar / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0
Photo Credit: Ferozagulzar / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0
 
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There are bridges all over the world, connecting points high and low. While the majority are safe to cross, there are some that are considered particularly dangerous. This can be because of the sheer distance between the two points or the result of the materials from which the bridges are made. One thing is clear, however: tourists can’t get enough of them.

Living root bridges – Meghalaya, India

Tourists posing for photos on a living root bridge
Tourists pose for a photo on a living root bridge in Meghalaya, India. (Photo Credit: David Talukdar / NurPhoto / Getty Images)

The living root bridges in Meghalaya, India are a strong example of people using the materials available to them to make everyday life easier. The Khasi and Jaintia tribes have taken the roots of trees and used them to create bridges over various bodies of water.

The living root bridges have become popular tourist attractions, despite the fact they aren’t necessarily the safest to walk across. While the platforms are structurally stable, they can be very slippery.

U Bein Bridge – Amarapura, Myanmar

People walking across the U Bein Bridge
Myanmar’s U Bein Bridge is the oldest known teakwood bridge in the world. (Photo Credit: MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP / Getty Images)

The U Bein Bridge runs over Taungthaman Lake in Myanmar. The bridge was built all the way back in 1850 and is the oldest known teakwood bridge in the world. While teakwood is quite strong, some of the structure’s pillars have decayed over the years, resulting in the addition of lateral bars to support them.

In the future, the country hopes to do a full repair of the popular, yet dangerous bridge.

Trift Bridge – Gadmen, Switzerland

People crossing the Trift Bridge
The Trift Bridge in Gadmen, Switzerland was built in 2004. (Photo Credit: BlueRed / REDA&CO / Universal Images Group / Getty Images)

Trift Bridge was built in Gadmen, Switzerland in 2004 and allows hikers to reach a higher incline than what was previously accessible. The bridge, however, is not for the faint of heart. The elements near it are extreme, and its span tends to swing wildly in blustery weather.

The bridge has since been reinforced, and those brave enough to cross it are treated to spectacular glacial views.

Royal Gorge Bridge – Colorado, United States

Multiple cars parked along the entrance to the Royal Gorge Bridge
The Royal Gorge Bridge runs over the Arkansas River. (Photo Credit: Denver Post / Getty Images)

The Royal Gorge Bridge opened in 1929 and is located approximately one hour outside of Colorado Springs. The popular tourist attraction draws tons of visitors each year, and sits some 955 feet above the Arkansas River.

In 2013, a fire forced the closure of Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, where the structure is located. While many of the surrounding buildings were destroyed, the bridge itself only suffered minor damage to its wooden deck. The park held a grand reopening in 2015, following extensive repairs and the addition of a new zip-line and gondolas.

Ghasa Hanging Bridge – Lete, Nepal

View across the Ghasa Hanging Bridge
Tourists have to share the Ghasa Hanging Bridge with local livestock. (Photo Credit: John Pavelka / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

A number of bridges that draw-in tourists have been reinforced over the years to create a safer environment. The Ghasa Hanging Bridge in Lete, Nepal, however, is more dangerous than most. It doesn’t just serve as a tourist attraction, and is an important crossing point for those living in the area.

If visitors opt to traverse the bridge’s span, they’ll likely be doing so alongside some really heavy livestock.

Carrick-a-Rede Bridge – Ballintoy, Northern Ireland

Two people crossing the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge
Previously a path for salmon fishermen, the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge is now a popular tourist attraction in Northern Ireland. (Photo Credit: DeAgostini / Getty Images)

People fishing for salmon in Ballintoy, Northern Ireland have been using rope bridges for decades, an example of which is the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge. The 65-foot long bridge stands over a 100-foot drop over jagged rocks and has become enormously popular – it’s estimated around 485,000 people visited the location in 2018.

Hussaini Suspension Bridge – Hussaini, Pakistan

Man crossing the Hussaini Suspension Bridge
The Hussaini Suspension Bridge is equal parts spectacular and dangerous. (Photo Credit: Abdullah Zulfiqar / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Hussaini Suspension Bridge in Pakistan is regularly noted as one of the most spectacular – and one of the most dangerous – bridges in the world. The exact age of the bridge, despite being built decades ago, is unknown, even by those who have lived in the area all their lives.

While planks have broken over the years, they haven’t been rebuilt like those making up other bridges on this list.

Ojuela Bridge – Mapimí, Mexico

People crossing the Ojuela Bridge
The Ojuela Bridge in Mexico connects an abandoned mine and ghost town. (Photo Credit: BlatZzz / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

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The Ojuela Bridge may be a popular tourist attraction, but the locations it connects aren’t necessarily thriving. Built in 1898, the structure stretches between an abandoned mine and a ghost town. Despite this, the bridge itself is breathtaking. The span is close to 1,000 feet long and stands over 300 feet above a ravine.

Once tourists walk across, they can explore the abandoned town.

 
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