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20 Terrifying Bridges People Actually Use

Photo credit:   Daily News Dig

Photo credit: Daily News Dig

To paraphrase “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, “the goal of every good engineer is to do very little in their careers, and if you must build something, just hope it doesn’t hurt anyone.”

Of course, that’s selling short some very talented engineers who should be given great credit for figuring out innovative ways of getting us to cross previously un-crossable terrain like large bodies of water or deep, deep canyons.

If they and their team did their job right, they’ve created something that stands the test of time. But there are other structures that most of us agree could have used some better engineering, or at the very least a few more handholds.

Check out some of these bridges which make some us want to consider finding an alternate route.

1. Montenegro Bridge, Costa Rica

For a country known for beautiful tropical scenery, this pedestrian bridge is a perfect way to see a bird’s-eye view of the Montenegro rainforest. That would certainly be a lovely plan if the bridge were modern and intact and, well, safe for all sorts of sightseers.

Unfortunately, visitors report that the wooden span has limited handholds and missing floorboards, and crossing it definitely is in line with the other adventures you’re supposed to be having in this Central American destination.

This bridge is actually part of a system of forest structures high up in the forest’s canopy called the Arenal Hanging Bridges. Many tourist packages include visits to them which are a good way to spot wildlife and study plants from close up.

  • Bill Anthony

    Been over 7 mile bridge tons of times. Nothing scary about it. Just absolutely stunning.

    • Justan Averageguy

      The 7 Mile bridge, Terrifying?? That’s hilarious… I used to ride the School bus across it Every Day to get from Big Pine Key to Marathon High School… Think of it!!! We were JUST KIDS!!! Oh, the HUMANITY!!!! LOL

      • Roller Rider

        It was a little creepy driving over it on a moonless night in the middle of the night when there was no other traffic.
        Of course, I don’t live in the Keys. I’m up in Miami.

  • cashlandoo

    There is no boat back from Carrick-a-Rede. it’s a rock off the coast upon which a salmon fishery is located. A good article, but stick to the facts, don’t just make stuff up.

    • KevinLawson

      Don’t just make stuff up? Don’t be ridiculous. Where would my prince and my princess live? We’ve got like three bedrooms here, no parapets, no waterfalls on the estate, and we don’t even have cable TV. Please. Get serious.

  • Stephen Ritger

    The Capilano in BC is a bit bouncy, but the scenery is breathtaking. Highly recommended!

    • emjayay

      Years ago I was walking across it with my small dog, not on a leash (probably illegal, but she always followed closely). We heard a plaintive bark from way behind and she was about thirty feet behind us crawling on her belly. Awwwwwwww poor doggy! I went back and picked her up and carried her of course.

      • KevinLawson

        What a coincidence. I just found a tick crawling on my belly. Will you pick me up and carry me?

  • Dave_TX

    Those “tall masted sailboats” going under the Deception Pass bridge had better go through at high tide. The Pass is indeed deceptive. I don’t understand why the bridge itself is considered “terrifying”.

  • RedMeatState

    Nothing scary about the O’Callahan/Tillman Bridge over Hoover Dam. It’s all freeway with walls on each side, you don’t even know you’re going over a bridge other than the sign tells you so.

    • emjayay

      True, but walking across it is what’s scary. In a fun way. From the walkway you do have a view of what’s below.

      • RedMeatState

        it is very cool indeed. Doesn’t the yellow stained concrete on Hoover Dam look really ooooooooollllllldd compared to the O’C/T bridge??

  • RedMeatState

    The Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River isn’t on the list!! That is one scaryASS bridge!! Ask my wife!
    Of course, I was driving at the time.

    • KevinLawson

      I would ask your wife, but she has her mouth full of red meat.

      • RedMeatState

        not all the time.

    • Lori Miller

      I’ve been over that bridge a bunch and it isn’t pleasant!

      • RedMeatState

        the bridge at Hood River is scary,too!! Skinny little bridge, big ol’ wide river!

        • Lori Miller

          Yeah, I had to go across that several times last fall. It’s real narrow!

  • Katrena Peralez King

    I cant believe they left out the Huey P. Long bridge in New Orleans. Before they ‘fixed’ it over a period of several years, it was 4 lanes (2 one way; 2 another) with a train track inbetween and above the lanes. When a train was going by, the bridge would shake and there wasnt much guardrails to mention of. Plus, you could not put two semi’s side by side on it.

  • Bambi Lewis

    I’ve driven the Mackinac Bridge and Deception Pass bridge. Cars are only doing 30mph over Deception Pass, so while they’re “fast” they’re not that fast.

  • MimiB

    The 7 mile bridge in the Keys is actually two bridges, one of which is closed, that’s the bridge on the right. You can access that span by foot or bike. But the open span is not 100 years old as it opened in 1980. It’s not scary either. If there’s an accident, however, traffic comes to a complete halt and there’s no easy access for emergency vehicles, so that is kind of scary.

    I’ve also been on the Bay Bridge… and yes, it’s really really scary in bad weather.

    • Jon

      The older eastbound span’s worse than the westbound, since the newer bridge has three lanes, allowing nervous drivers to stay in the center lane (the eastbound span also has the metal see-through grill work in the middle of both lanes, between the tires, so you can kind of peek down at the water when you drive. The metal also can make changing lanes interesting in rainy or icy weather).

    • hmastercylinder

      Did I miss something in the article? Perhaps I did, but, broad and majestic as it certainly is, the Delaware Memorial Bridge scares the ooze out of me, still, and I’ve driven a few million miles, a few hundred thousand in trucks. I’ve been over almost every bridge East of the Mississippi and that’s the only one that still makes my skin crawl.
      I think its height and especially its grade (they give you quite a long ramp on each side, but I can’t tell you how many times I only topped it in super granny, with the Cummins whining out at the top end), especially coming back down.
      Fun fact. If you top it going 25 MPH, and just take it out of gear and let ‘er rip, you can be doing a hundred at the bottom. Just watch for the Trooper who always sits at the bottom. He has NO sense of humor.

  • laura

    Remote?? Are you serious? A little over two hours to MIAMI and you call it remote?

    • KevinLawson

      Dahling, we call anything in the flyover states remote. Ohio is just so….well actually, I have no clue.

  • Glock H. Palin, Esq.

    Though there are handholds on the bridge and related structures, it’s
    certainly high on the risk factor. In 2012, a hiker fell from one of the
    Cliffwalk platforms supposedly while trying to retrieve a dropped debit
    card, and in 2010, a student fell after he decided to climb over a
    guard rail, and lost his balance.

    By that metric every bridge with a guardrail that can be climbed over has a ‘high risk factor’.

  • Paul Reid

    northern Ireland has a capital ‘N’. Look on a map if you don’t believe me.

    • KevinLawson

      I believe you….so I won’t.

  • Tuulia

    Germany, Neuscwanstein castle, cross the Mariebrucke to get great pictures of the castle. The brige swings over a 100m gorge.

    • KevinLawson

      Neuscwanstein, Tchermahny. Ach mein Gottttt!

  • Timothy Turnstone

    All I really saw were some lines on a road when I drove across the Mackinac Bridge because it was pouring down rain with a bit of wind, so I can not really answer for the Mackinac Bridge. When I drove across the sunshine filled 7 Mile Bridge we rolled down the windows and pretended we were in a boat since we were really only like 10 feet above the water.

  • Guest

    The current bridge is a piece of cake compared to the old one which was barely wide enough for two cars to pass each other going in opposite directions!

  • Kerry Lytle

    The current Seven Mile Bridge across the Keys is a piece of cake compared to the old one which was barely wide enough for two cars to pass each other going in opposite directions!

    • hmastercylinder

      They used the old railroad track (all those old Key bridges were built by the railroad) as the guardrail, two lines a side, mounted on H-beam columns.
      I used to love driving that route in the early ’70s. Come to think of it, I still love it.
      When I go fishing in Key West, I fly to Miami and drive. When you finally get through the swamps and glimpse the first hints of azure, you might feel just like the Israelites coming into the Land of Milk and Honey.
      I know I do.

  • Christopher Benson

    NOW I know why they call them suspension bridges. You have to suspend your belief system while reading this article. The Mackinac Bridge isn’t the fifth longest world, or the longest in the Western Hemisphere or even in the USA by any civil engineering measure at all. There are longer suspensions, longer spans between anchorages, and just plain obviously longer bridges in the USA. And their weird preocupation with which side of a suburb of London a bridge is located is so childish. Western hemisphere? There is a southern hemisphere and a northern hemisphere that are innate qualities of this planet and are of undisputed approximate position. But Western? Meaning west of a 17th century royal observatory in England?
    Even so, the Humber Bridge is larger than the Mackinac in every measure – AND it is west of King Charles II’s observatory, which apparently pleases Americans Way to go Hull!
    Or if you use the North American definition of “world” (baseball series style), there are a couple of longer suspension bridges tucked away in obscure corners of the half-continent like New York City and the San Francisco Bay. By the way, the San Francisco Oakland is nowhere near the longest bridge across that bay.
    And Americans won’t even consider Swedish or Danish bridges because of their planetary location compared to some charlie on the English throne nearly 340 years ago?

    • hmastercylinder

      You are seriously going to bring up engineering data on a website called, “destinationseekerdotcom”?
      Ok. I’ll make sure that the department this site has which triple checks every single fact gets the message, but don’t hold your breath. Someone told them yesterday that the Sun ALWAYS rises in the East, and they are all having nervous breakdowns.
      Don’t feel too bad for them. They still haven’t gotten over the fact that Barney wasn’t real.

      • Christopher Benson

        Actually, I didn’t bring up the engineering data, the article did, albeit incorrectly. I take it the triple checking consists of three cursory glances at the same Wikipedia entry, which is perpetuating the error. I see other comments making similarly short shrift of the accuracy (eye-witnesses from County Antrim , Northern Ireland and Florida, USA for example).

        Are these the same fact-checkers from a sister article, placing Chartres Cathedral 170 miles from its former location, advising us to go to Vézenay to see it?

        And they can easily determine that the sun does NOT rise due east by noting that its position CHANGES from one day to the next, so they cannot BOTH be at 90° east, Or they could visit the North Pole (not an actual pole) to discover that there is no east, yet the sun will still rise there (any month now).

        Who is Barney? One of the fictional fact checkers?

  • William Forbes

    Try driving over the Goethal’s Bridge, from Staten Island to New Jersey during moderate to heavy traffic. The bridge is old and rickety on a good day, and with a lot of vehicles on the bridge it sways and shakes and makes noises only heard in a scary movie. The fact it hasn’t fallen down is a huge testament to the Law of Inertia. Instead of paying a toll here, the officials should pay you to use it.

  • bamissfa

    Pakistan bridge figures

  • Lori Miller

    I walked across the Royal Gorge Bridge 20 years ago with some friends. Cars going across, too, and you could see through the slats below. Totally freaked me out.

    • Steve Carras

      That’s 1000, way above the norm. That is MUCH too high for anything lesser to be a poor second.,..500 or 400 foot high bridges could be built and still be records..and if they’re STEEP…

  • halfkidding

    The Mackinac Bridge is 200 feet above lake level, not sea level. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are the same 575 feet above sea level (nominal) and are hydro logically the same lake. I’m sure nobody cares.

    Say ya to da UP eh.

  • Bojorco

    The one in Arizona sucks. They built the side walls high so you can’t see down to the river below. I imagine they did that because of the wind, but it makes for a pretty uninteresting crossing.

  • GrimesGator

    These Bridges aren’t even in this country–I have to throw the who gives a shit flag on this article

    • Andy Frobig

      What country are you in? Is it the one where Florida, Colorado, Alaska, Washington, Nevada, Arizona and Maryland are? And if you never plan on going anyplace else, you’d better save that flag for yourself.

      • GrimesGator

        guess imissed something lol–anyway they didn’t show the WORST and most dangerous Bridge in America–the old 1920`s iron Bridge on IH 10 in Lake Charles La where I10 goes over the Lake Charles River–that SOB is gonna fall soon and take some souls into that murky river

  • RayOne

    Thank You for the tour, I’m going to open a beer and return to my Laz-E-Boy chair.

  • rsbsail

    The Rainbow bridge in Beaumont, Texas, is terrifying, at least if you are a kid.

    • Steve Carras

      Whew!! In 1995 I visited San Antonio and there was a similiarly high level (no arch or anyone on top, just open-air like the San Mateo or Lake Pontchartrain navigation spans) bridge..surprised no tolls…of course with low level ground, it’s bound to happen..:)SC

  • El_Tigre_Loco

    Hmm. Since Lake Michigan/Huron is 577′ above sea level, that would place this bridge 378′ below water!! I think they mean that the bridge is 199′ above Lake Michigan/Huron

  • @JacksonCheese

    #2 – NOPE!
    #16 – The Sunshine Skyway in Tampa is fantastic and lots of fun to drive over.

  • Amy Chastain

    They left out almost every other bridge in Costa Rica…lol…went over some that were one way & moving as the vehicle in front of you went over them…scary!

  • Karl

    Years ago St. Louis had the Chain of Rocks bridge across the Mississippi river. By the time I was old enough to drive they’d closed it, but I remember riding with my father over it. It was barely wide enough for 2 cars and there was a sharp 10 degree bend in the middle of it. I think they gave up trying to keep paint on the guard rails in that section. It was much more fun to ride on it than to drive on it.

  • dan

    I am afraid of heights I get scared getting on to a foot stool