Bridges are the connective tissues of cities and countries. They’re crucial to the infrastructure of a country. They’re also (sometimes) very beautiful and (often) incredibly expensive. Here are some of the world’s most expensive bridges. (All the prices have been adjusted to their value today.)
The Golden Gate Bridge, USA
When you ask someone to think of a famous bridge they’re bound to think of one of these three: Tower Bridge in London, Brooklyn Bridge in New York, or the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Surprisingly, none of these bridges are that expensive. The Golden Gate Bridge cost $677 million to build, and it barely makes the list of the top 30 most expensive bridges. Barely as in – it’s the 30th. So money isn’t everything when it comes to building world-famous bridges.
But let’s move on to something more expensive now, shall we?
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, USA
The Arthur Ravenel bridge might not be as popular as the Golden Gate, but it is (without doubt) at least as beautiful. It’s a gorgeous looking bridge, especially at night, when it’s lit up. It cost $902 million to build.
George Washington Bridge, USA
Another bridge from the United States (and the last one on this list), the George Washington Bridge was built to link Manhattan to New Jersey and cost $1 billion to build. It was built at the start of the Great Depression as part of the “New Deal” that would give people jobs and boost the suffering US economy. Double whammy!
Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge, Malaysia
The Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge (say that five times fast!) is the longest bridge in Malaysia. It was completed in 2004 and is 24 kilometers long. It cost $1.2 billion to construct.
Bang Na Expressway, Thailand
We’re getting into the territory of bridges that are ridiculously long, and long bridges are (obviously) more expensive. Even without the extra flash and grandeur of a beautiful bridge, a long bridge, like the Bang Na Expressway can be incredibly expensive. This 54km-long bridge located in Thailand was the longest bridge until the Malaysian one was built. It’s now the sixth. It cost $1.5 billion to build.
Donghai Bridge, China
This bridge connects the mainland Shanghai and Yangshan Deep-Water Port. It is notable as one of the most narrow bridges on this list. It cost slightly over $2.1 billion to build and was open to the first traffic in 2005. Its use is, obviously, limited to trucks and cars that need to access the port.
New Champlain Bridge, Canada
This is the newest bridge on the list. Just the other week the first drivers were allowed to cross the bridge during their rush hour commutes. It’s a replacement for the old Champlain Bridge which was getting old and required constant maintenance. The cost of this Canadian bridge is $3.2 US dollars.
Öresund Bridge, Sweden/Denmark
This bridge is the longest (8km) bridge that combines both roads for cars and train tracks for (you guessed it) trains. It connects Sweden and Denmark. It was completed in 2000 and cost $4.4 billion to build.
Great Seto Bridge, Japan
Not the longest bridge on the list, but this Japanese bridge (which connects and spans five islands) is 13.1km long. It was opened in 1988 and accounting for inflation, the bridge’s cost in dollars is $15 billion!
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, Hong Kong/China/Macau
Here we are, with this insane, 55km-long mega-bridge that was completed last year. It connects Hong Kong to mainland China. It’s actually 3 bridges and one tunnel interconnected to make one giant structure. This bridge set the government back $20 billion!