I was watching an odd movie last night, Romance and Cigarretes (more on this later perhaps) in which, at times, James Gandolfini sits on the Brooklyn Bridge making repairs. It got me thinking about our own iconic structure situated less than 500m from my front door. The Forth Road Bridge. We sometimes think of it as a miracle of construction but, when placed in context, it’s less of a deal.
These are the biggest suspension bridges in the world right now. Note the absence of the FRB.
- Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge (Japan) 1991 m – 1998
- Great Belt Bridge (Denmark) 1624 m – 1998
- Runyang Bridge (China) 1490 m – 2005
- Humber Bridge (England) 1410 m – 1981 (The largest from 1981 until 1998.)
- Jiangyin Suspension Bridge (China) 1385 m – 1997
- Tsing Ma Bridge (Hong Kong) 1377 m – 1997 (with road and metro)
- Verrazano Narrows Bridge (USA) 1298 m – 1964 (The largest from 1964 until 1981.)
- Golden Gate Bridge (USA) 1280 m – 1937 (The largest from 1937 until 1964.)
- Höga Kusten Bridge (Sweden) – 1210 m – 1997
- Mackinac Bridge (USA) 1158 m – 1958
- Minami Bisan-Seto Bridge (Great Seto Bridge) (Japan) 1118 m – 1988
- Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (Turkey) 1090 m – 1988
- Bosphorus Bridge (Turkey) 1074 m – 1973
- George Washington Bridge (USA) 1067 m – 1931 (The largest from 1931 until 1937.)
But what strikes me more than their size is their age The Golden Gate Bridge was built in 1937, The George Washington Bridge in 1931 (For the record the aforementioned Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883!).
This makes our own favourite suspension bridge, which is becoming unfit for purpose after only 40 years, a laughing stock. Let’s hope the Executive get the new one right And that we get something designed in such a way that it becomes not just a functional infrastructure boon, but a world class icon too.