There are at least 600,000 bridges in the United States, and millions of people cross these structures for anything from a daily commute to a cross-country roadtrip, according to Bridge Masters.
Bridges have been an integral component of global transportation for more than 3,000 years, but have changed drastically since the ancient Roman era, when people were dependent on the model of a traditional arch bridge made out of stone. Today, there are seven major designs: arch bridges, beam bridges, truss bridges, cantilever bridges, tied arch bridges, suspension bridges, and cable-stayed bridges. The most common type is a beam bridge, owing to its simplicity.
Stacker has compiled a list of favorite photographs of America’s bridges in all 50 states, from the country’s highest suspension bridge to what may be the last wire-supported bridge in the United States.
Read on to see which extraordinary pictures define bridges in America today.
The Kymulga Covered Bridge is a historic landmark in Childersburg, Alabama. It was constructed in the 1860s, and is one of three remaining covered bridges in the state. Before it was closed to traffic, it carried the Old Georgia Road over Talladega Creek.
Old Knik River Bridge in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough of Alaska was a through bridge on Old Glenn Highway before it was abandoned in 1975. It’s a Pennsylvania through truss bridge with a Camelback profile.
Glen Canyon Bridge located in the Glen Canyon Dam was constructed in 1959, and at the time of completion, was the highest arch bridge in the world. The bridge is made of steel and spans 1,271 feet.
Once known as the Rock Island Railroad Bridge, the Little Rock bridge, built in 1899 was renovated and renamed the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, dedicated by President Bill Clinton in 2011. The bridge is one of the city’s three downtown river crossings and features environmentally friendly LED lights.
Rocky Creek Bridge in Carmel, California, was completed and opened to the public in 1932. A beach of the same name lies beneath the bridge, but it is private property.
Royal Gorge Bridge in Canon City, Colorado, is the country’s highest suspension bridge. The bridge is 956 feet above the Arkansas River.
The East Haddam Swing Bridge in Haddam, Connecticut, was built in 1913 and designed by engineer Alfred Boller. The bridge was one of the first two in Connecticut to be paid for directly by the state.
Construction on the Indian River Inlet Bridge in Sussex County, Delaware was renovated in 2008 and completed in 2012. The bridge is 2,600 feet long and supported by four 249-foot-tall pylon towers.
The Dames Point Bridge opened in 1987 in Jacksonville, Florida. It was the longest cable-stayed bridge in the United States until 2005.
Talmadge Memorial Bridge in Savannah, Georgia, was completed in 1990 and cost almost $80 million. The bridge spans a total of 1.9 miles and carries two lanes of traffic.
Liliuokalani Park and Gardens in Hilo, Hawaii, is a Japanese garden adorned with arched bridges and stone sculptures. The park was opened in 1919.
The 1,500-foot-long Perrine Bridge spans the Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho. It has pedestrian walkways with views of the river, lakes, and waterfalls.
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Bridge near La Salle, Illinois, was built in 1987 and today, about 18,000 people daily traverse the bridge. The steel through arch bridge crosses the Illinois River.
The Bridgeton Covered Bridge in Bridgeton, Indiana, was built in 1868 as part of the Indiana Coal Railroad, and is located in a town that is known as the covered bridge capital of the world. It runs over Big Raccoon Creek and is 245 feet long.
High Trestle Trail Bridge runs for 25 miles across five towns and four counties in the Des Moines River Valley. An Iowan artist was consulted during the construction of the bridge to develop and design concepts inspired by other artistic trail bridges.
The Keeper of the Plains Bridge in Wichita, Kansas, is a pedestrian bridge that surrounds the city’s Keeper of the Plains statue and Ring of Fire. The statue of an Indian chief is accessible through the pedestrian bridge, where visitors can watch the nightly Ring of Fire.
Located in Covington, Kentucky, the John. A. Roebling Suspension Bridge connects the state to Cincinnati, Ohio. It originally opened in 1866, and today 9,000 people use the bridge as part of their daily commute.
The Crescent City Connection—formerly the Greater New Orleans Bridge—are twin cantilever bridges that cross over the Mississippi River and lead to the parishes of Orleans, Jefferson, and St. Bernard. The bridge is the fifth-most traveled toll bridge in the United States.
The New Portland Wire Bridge in New Portland, Maine, is the last wire-supported bridge in Maine, and also likely the last of its kind in the United States as well, according to Atlas Obscura. The history of the bridge is vague, but it was likely constructed before 1866.
The Pocomoke City Bridge is a 97-year-old bridge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and for many years was a link between Maryland and the lower Delmarva peninsula. Since a nearby four-lane bridge was constructed in the 1960s, the Pocomoke City Bridge is now mostly used by local residents.
The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge in Boston is one of the widest cable-stayed bridges in the world and serves as a northern entrance and exit to the city. The bridge is named after a civil rights activist as well as Americans who fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill, according to the bridge’s website.
Mackinac Bridge in St. Ignace, Michigan, is the fifth-longest suspension bridge in the world and the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere. The bridge had a number of supporters, leading to the largest bridge construction fleet ever assembled to complete the bridge in 1954, according to the Mackinac Bridge Authority.
The Milan Bridge in Milan, Minnesota, was built in 1938 as part of an effort to control flooding among the Upper Minnesota River Valley. At the height of the Great Depression, many local men found jobs through this effort and worked on the Milan Bridge as well as the Lac qui Parle dam.
The Natchez-Vidalia Bridge in Mississippi connects the town of Natchez, Mississippi, to Vidalia Louisiana. The bridge was built in 1940, and a twin bridge to accommodate traffic was opened in 1988.
Opened in July 1929—months before Black Friday and the ensuing Great Depression—the Chain of Rocks Bridge was an iconic Route 66 waypoint for nearly three decades. A nearly 30-degree bend in the mile-long bridge serves is an iconic feature of this Missouri River crossing, which stretches between St. Louis, Missouri and Madison, Illinois.
After closing to motorists in 1967 following the construction of a newer bridge upstream, the original Chain of Rocks Bridge was largely abandoned for decades, reviving briefly as a central scene in the 1980 sci-fi thriller "Escape from New York." In 1999, the bridge was reopened to the public for use by walkers and bicyclists as part of a 300-mile trail system throughout the area.
Koocanusa Bridge spanning across Lake Koocanusa in Montana is both the tallest and the longest bridge in the state. It offers access on the west side to an Amish community, and the Yaak Valley on the other side.
Formerly known as the Chicago & North Western Railroad Bridge and sometimes known as the Cowboy Trail Bridge, the Valentine Railroad Bridge in Valentine, Nebraska, is the state’s most famous and most recognizable bridge, according to a book on the subject. It is the tallest railroad bridge in Nebraska at 140 feet above the Niobrara River.
The Hoover Dam River Bridge—also known as the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge—was completed in 2010 after five years of construction. It is suspended by a 1,060-foot twin-rib concrete arch, the largest of its kind in North America.
The Honeymoon Covered Bridge in Jackson, New Hampshire, was built in 1876, and is a popular location for marriage proposals as well as a backdrop for engagement and wedding pictures. The inside bridge walls are reportedly inscribed with the initials of hundreds of couples.
The Lower Trenton Bridge in Trenton, New Jersey, opened in 1806 as the first bridge to span the Delaware River. The truss of the bridge displays the sign saying, “Trenton Makes The World Takes,” which was first mounted to the bridge in 1935.
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in Taos, New Mexico, is the second-highest bridge on the U.S. Highway System and the fifth-highest bridge in the United States. The bridge has appeared in several movies, including "Wild Hogs," "Paul," and "Terminator Salvation."
The Robert F. Kennedy Bridge—formerly known as the Triborough Bridge—connects New York City’s boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. It opened in 1936 and now contains a total of three bridges, a viaduct, and 14 miles of approach roads.
Fontana Dam in Asheville, North Carolina, is the highest dam east of the Rocky Mountains, and was constructed in the 1940s to provide electric power for the war effort. Today, the lake and dam are popular vacation spots, and are home to more than 400 houseboats.
The Sorlie Memorial Bridge was built in 1929 to connect the towns of East Grand Forks in Minnesota and Grand Forks in North Dakota. It was a joint construction project between the two states and was named in honor of former North Dakota Governor Arthur Gustav Sorlie.
The Detroit-Superior Bridge—also known as the Veterans Memorial Bridge—opened in 1917 and cost $5 million to build. Until the mid-1950s, the lower deck of the bridge carried streetcars while today it is home to a subway track.
The Skydance Bridge in Oklahoma City was inspired by the state’s bird, the scissor-tailed flycatcher. The 380-foot long pedestrian bridge is adorned with a 197-foot tall sculpture and is illuminated with LED lights each day.
The Ben Jones Bridge—also known as the Rocky Creek Bridge—is located on the Oregon Coast Highway and when it was completed in 1927, it was known as one of the most beautiful bridges in the state highway system. The bridge was named for Benjamin F. Jones, who is known as the Father of the Roosevelt Coast Highway and called for the construction of the Oregon Coast Highway.
The Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh was known as the Sixth Street Bridge when its most recent iteration opened in 1928 and was renamed for the Pittsburgh Pirates player in 1998. It is one of the bridges known as the Three Sisters in Pittsburgh, because it is nearly identical to its counterparts, the Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson Bridges.
The Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge in Newport, Rhode Island, opened in 1969 and today, it remains as the longest suspension bridge in New England. According to the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, the bridge is one of the most photographed landmarks in the state and an image of the bridge appears on Rhode Island’s version of the quarter.
Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina is one of the oldest estates in the state, dating to 1676. There are a total of seven bridges on the property, each allowing visitors to visit areas of one of the oldest public gardens in the country.
Beaver Creek Bridge in South Dakota was built in the 1920s to facilitate motor traffic to the Black Hills. At the time of completion, it represented a significant engineering achievement given its remote location.
The Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis was built in 1973 and is known for its iconic “M” shape. The bridge was lit with 200 sodium vapor lights in 1986 while a crowd of 200,000 gathered to watch.
The Pennybacker Bridge, which is also known as the 360 Bridge, in Austin opened in 1982 and was designed to avoid using support columns, because Lake Austin is popular with boaters and water skiers. Because of this bridge, the Capital of Texas Highway is known as one of the most scenic urban highways in Texas.
Rainbow Bridge in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Utah is one of the world’s largest known natural bridges. Native American tribes even consider the bridge to be sacred, and 85,000 people around the world travel to see it in person each year.
The Marble Bridge in Proctor, Vermont, was opened in 1915 and was built by Vermont Marble Company workers, who earned as little as 15 to 30 cents per hour for their work. The town claims to be the marble capital of the world, and even has a marble museum.
The 52-year-old Crim Dell Bridge is located on the campus of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. According to legend, if you walk across the bridge by yourself, you are destined to be alone forever, but if you kiss a significant other while on the middle of the bridge, you are destined to be together forever.
The Deception Pass Bridge between Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands in Washington was dedicated in 1935. It is located 180 feet above the water, and 200,000 cars traverse the bridge each day.
The New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia, was opened in 1977, and is the longest steel span bridge in the western hemisphere and the third highest in the United States. The bridge is one of the most photographed places in the state and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Grand Avenue Foot Bridge in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is a recently completed bridge along the Chippewa and Eau Claire Rivers. The bridge has a total of six overlooks that offer a number of sights of downtown Eau Claire.
The Fremont Canyon Bridge in Natrona County, Wyoming, was built in 1957 and connects two steep granite cliffs that measure up to 500 feet deep. Underneath the bridge and between the canyon lies the North Platte River.