The Scariest Bridges In The World. Part 1
Trift Suspension Bridge, Switzerland
Trift Bridge is the longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge in the world, totaling 170 metres (560 ft) in length and traversing a height of 100 metres (330 ft) while spanning the lake Triftsee, near Gadmen, Switzerland, in an area that receives approximately 20,000 visitors per year to see the Trift Glacier.
As one of the Alps’ longest and highest pedestrian suspension bridges, Trift was built in 2004 to reconnect hikers to a hut made inaccessible by a retreating glacier and a replacement bridge was opened on June 12, 2009, after being completed in only six weeks.
Standing at about 328 feet high near the town of Gadmen in the Swiss Alps, this made-made structure provides an adrenaline rush, even if the higher handrails and stabilizing cables prevent the bridge from swinging violently in the wind.
Aiguille du Midi Bridge, France
The Aiguille du Midi is a 3,842 m tall mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps, its name translating literally as “needle of midday” because the sun sits directly over the peak at noon, when viewed from Chamonix.
The summit of Aiguille du Midi in the Mont Blanc massif near Chamonix can be accessible for all the visitors via a cable car, the Téléphérique de l’Aiguille du Midi, built in 1955 and which held the title of the world’s highest cable car for about two decades, while still holding the record as the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world, from 1,035 m to 3,842 m.
With this cable car you can also reach a bridge located at about 12,605 feet above sea level, accessible via the cable car that climbs 9,200 vertical feet in just 20 minutes. The tramway travels from Chamonix to the top of the Aiguille du Midi and the visiting tours are divided into two sections: from Chamonix to Plan de l’Aiguille at 2,317 m and then directly, without any support pillar, to the upper station at 3,777 m, where an elevator can take you to the summit. An adult ticket from Chamonix, as of July 2010, costs approximately €41.
Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado
The Royal Gorge Bridge is a tourist attraction near Cañon City, Colorado, within a 360-acre (150 ha) theme park, and at 1,260 feet long and standing at about 969 feet above the gorge of Arkansas River, it is North America’s highest bridge. The bridge also held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929 until 2003, when it was surpassed by the Beipanjiang River 2003 Bridge in China.
Completed in 1929, the bridge didn’t have stabilizing wind cables until 1982, currently being suspended from towers that are 150 feet (46 m) high and while it features a wooden walkway with 1292 planks covering an area of 1,260 feet (384 m) long and 18 feet (5.5 m) wide. The bridge was built with the intent that it serve as a tourist attraction, and has continued to be one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Colorado since its construction, with the Royal Gorge Route Railroad running under the bridge along the base of Royal Gorge.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a rope suspension bridge near Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, linking the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island, while it is owned and maintained by the National Trust. Erected by fishermen who went to the island to catch salmon, the original bridge had only a single handrail and was scarier than today’s version that has a sturdier structure with two handrails; however, many visitors who walk across simply can’t handle the return and have to go by boat.
Carrick-a-rede means ‘rock in the road’ and since its initial construction 350 years ago, the bridge has taken many forms over the years, currently, spanning spans twenty metres and standing 100 feet above the rocks below.
The bridge is mainly a tourist attraction, attracting thousands of visitors every year, staying now open all year round; an admission fee is charged for crossing the bridge.
Capilano Suspension Bridge, Canada
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a simple suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River in the District of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, originally being built in 1889 by George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and park commissioner for Vancouver, as a very high, fairly narrow, and extremely shaky bridge with cedar planks that bounce on their steel cables as you walk across them and mad of hemp ropes replaced in 1903 with a wire cable bridge. In 1910 Edward Mahon purchased the Capilano Suspension Bridge and in 1935, “Mac” MacEachran purchased the Bridge from Mahon and invited local natives to place their totem poles in the park, adding a native theme; Nancy Stibbard, the current owner, bought the park in 1983 from Henri Aubeneau.
The Treetops Adventures was opened in 2004 and the new attraction consists of seven footbridges suspended between old-growth Douglas Fir trees on the west side of the canyon, forming a walkway up to 30 metres (98 ft) above the forest floor; cliffhanger attraction will also allow visitors to climb across a series of suspended walkways attached to a cliff.
The current bridge is 136 metres (446 ft) long and 70 metres (230 ft) above the river and attracts thousands of visitors annually; the bridge is part a private facility, with a charge for admission.
Mackinac Bridge, Michigan
The Mackinac Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Straits of Mackinac to connect the non-contiguous Upper and Lower peninsulas of the U.S. state of Michigan, its construction being completed in 1957 only after many decades of struggles to begin it.
This 5 miles long bridge was designed by engineer David B. Steinman, being the third longest in total suspension in the world, and connects the city of St. Ignace on the north end with the village of Mackinaw City on the south, while the Interstate 75 crosses it.
It is also the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western hemisphere and the constant threat for this structures stability has to be the wind, which often exceeds 30 miles per hour on the bridge. If you are to nervous to cross the bridge on your own ask for help to the Mackinac Bridge Authority which will drive your car or motorcycle for you for free.11