What's the Longest Suspension Bridge in the World?

By: Austin Henderson  | 
Long suspension bridge over water at sunset
The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge bridge transformed a 45-minute ferry ride into a four-minute car trip. And it's still only the second longest suspension bridge in the world. Paul Freeborn / Getty Images

Suspension bridges, with their soaring towers and elegant spans, are more than just feats of engineering; even the ones that don't hold the title of "longest suspension bridge in the world" are symbols of human ingenuity and perseverance.

These massive structures, like the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan and the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge in Türkiye, stretch across vast expanses of water, connecting lands and cultures. The world's longest suspension bridges, each a marvel in its own right, represent the pinnacle of this architectural form.


This list covers the longest main spans of suspension bridges around the world, not longest total lengths, as those main central spans are where the real engineering magic happens.

1. 1915 Çanakkale Bridge, Türkiye

Spanning the historic Dardanelles Strait in northwestern Türkiye, the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge is a symbol of national pride. Officially the world's longest suspension bridge, it stretches a remarkable 2,023 meters (6,637 feet) in its main span.

This engineering marvel is not only a record holder for its length but also stands as the tallest bridge in Türkiye, with its towers reaching an impressive height of 334 meters (1,096 feet)​​.


The bridge's construction, which began in March 2017 and concluded in March 2022, was ambitious from the get-go. It was initially slated for completion in 2023 but was completed ahead of schedule.

The Çanakkale Bridge symbolizes not only a connection between the European and Asian sides of Türkiye but also commemorates a crucial Ottoman naval victory during World War I, as reflected in its name.

The cost of the bridge, according to President Erdoğan, was around 2.5 billion euros (approximately 2.7 billion U.S. dollars), but it's expected to save significant amounts in fuel consumption and carbon emissions annually​​​​.


2. Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, Japan

The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, also known as the Pearl Bridge, provides a crucial link between Iwaya on Awaji Island and Kobe on Honshu island. Completed in 1998, this Japanese suspension bridge spans the Akashi Strait, a busy shipping passageway notorious for its challenging weather conditions.

With a central span of 1,991 meters (6,532 feet), it held the title of the world's longest suspension bridge until the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge in Türkiye surpassed it in 2022​​.


The idea for the bridge emerged from the tragedies of the Sekirei Maru sinking in 1945 and the Shiun Maru disaster a decade later — events that underscored the need for a reliable, permanent connection across the Akashi Strait.

The bridge's construction began in April 1988, with an initial plan for a combination railway-road bridge, which was later modified to a six-lane road.

The construction process, which involved over 100 contractors, was an exemplary display of resilience, especially after the Great Hanshin Earthquake in January 1995. Remarkably, the earthquake shifted the bridge's towers but did not cause significant damage due to its anti-seismic design​​.


3. Yangsigang Yangtze River Bridge, China

Opened to traffic in October 2019, the Yangsigang Yangtze River Bridge in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, is the longest suspension bridge in the country and the third longest suspension in the world. It spans 1,700 meters (5,577 feet) across the famous Yangtze River.

The bridge notably boasts the world's longest double-deck bridge span, accommodating various forms of transportation on its two levels​​.


Stringing together the Hanyang and Wuchang districts, the bridge's upper deck features six lanes for motorized vehicles linked to the expressway system, complemented by pedestrian walkways on each side. The lower deck incorporates four additional lanes for motor vehicles, as well as pedestrian pathways and lanes for non-motorized transportation.

4. Nansha Bridge East, China

The Nansha Bridge in Guangdong, China, is a duo of suspension bridges spanning the Pearl River. These bridges are pivotal components of the Pearl River Delta expressway network, linking Shatian Town in Dongguan to the Nansha District in Guangzhou.

Integral to the region's infrastructure, the Nansha Bridge also marks the beginning of the Guangzhou–Longchuan Expressway​​.


Opening to traffic on April 2, 2019, the Nansha Bridge showcases China's expertise in modern bridge construction. The total length of the bridge is a staggering 12,891 meters (42,293 feet), with the longest span of the Nizhou Waterway Bridge measuring 1,688 meters (5,538 feet).

The bridge's impressive width of 54 meters (177 feet) accommodates multiple lanes of traffic, contributing significantly to the area's connectivity and transport efficiency.


5. Xihoumen Bridge, China

China's Xihoumen Bridge is a suspension bridge located in the Zhoushan Archipelago. As a part of an extensive bridging project started in 1999, this bridge, alongside the Jintang Bridge, connects Jintang and Cezi islands, playing a crucial role in integrating the vast Zhoushan Archipelago with mainland China.

The bridge is an essential component of the Yongzhou Expressway, underscoring its strategic significance in regional connectivity​​.


Constructed by the Zhejiang province at a cost of approximately 2.48 billion yuan (around 363 million U.S. dollars), the construction of the Xihoumen Bridge began in 2005, with the main span completed by December 2007.

The bridge initially opened for traffic on a test basis on December 25, 2009. This date marked a significant milestone in China's infrastructural development, though its opening was slightly delayed due to a ship collision that damaged the neighboring Jintang Bridge​​.

The central span of the Xihoumen Bridge measures 1,650 meters (5,413 feet), making it one of the longest suspension bridges in the world at the time of its construction.


6. Great Belt Bridge East (Storebaelt), Denmark

The Great Belt Bridge, also known as the East Bridge, spans the Great Belt strait in Denmark, connecting the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen. The bridge is an integral part of the nation's transport network.

The suspension bridge segment of this multi-element fixed link has a total length of 6,790 meters (22,277 feet) and a central span of 1,624 meters (5,328 feet), making it the world's sixth longest main span — for now.


Designed by the Danish firms COWI, Ramboll, and the architecture firm Dissing+Weitling, the bridge was constructed between 1991 and 1998 by a consortium of companies including Hochtief, Skanska, Højgaard & Schultz, and Monberg & Thorsen.

The total construction cost in 1988 was estimated at 21.4 billion Danish krone (roughly 310 million U.S. dollars), making it the largest construction project ever recorded in Danish history.

The Great Belt Bridge not only replaced the Great Belt ferries service, significantly reducing travel times across the Belt, but also, along with the Øresund Bridge and the Little Belt Bridge, enabled a direct driving route from mainland Europe to Sweden through Denmark​​.


7. Osman Gazi Bridge, Türkiye

The Osman Gazi Bridge, also known as the İzmit Bay Bridge, is a spectacular suspension bridge spanning the Gulf of İzmit in Türkiye. This impressive structure, part of the O-5 motorway, connects the city of Gebze to the Yalova Province, significantly reducing travel times in the region.

The bridge was inaugurated on July 1, 2016, and at the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in Türkiye and the fourth longest in the world by the length of its central span, which measures 1,550 meters (5,090 feet)​​.


Construction of the bridge was a monumental undertaking, initiated by a consortium of five Turkish companies and the Italian company Astaldi following a tender in April 2009. With a total project cost estimated at 11 billion Turkish lira, the bridge represents a significant investment in the nation's infrastructure.

The Osman Gazi Bridge not only shortened the distance between Istanbul and İzmir by about 140 kilometers (87 miles), but it also helped bypass the lengthy route around the Gulf of İzmit, reducing travel time between these major cities from six hours to around five.

The bridge provides three lanes of traffic in each direction, enhancing connectivity and facilitating smoother transportation.


8. Yi Sun-sin Bridge, South Korea

The Yi Sun-sin Bridge, located in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, South Korea, is a vital part of the road to Yeosu Industrial Complex. Named after the revered Korean Admiral Yi Sun-sin, known for his naval prowess, the bridge represents a blend of historical homage and modern engineering.

Since its opening in 2012, the bridge has been recognized as the world's eighth longest suspension bridge, with a main span of 1,545 meters (5,069 feet). It provides a link between Gwangyang and the small island of Myodo-dong.


Notably, the bridge was designed by Yooshin Engineering Corporation and constructed by Daelim Industrial Company. This project marked a significant step in South Korean engineering, as it was one of the first times that a domestic company undertook the complete construction engineering of such a large-scale suspension bridge in the country.

The Yi Sun-sin Bridge was also a finalist in the Outstanding Structure Award in 2013, further cementing its status as an engineering marvel and a symbol of national pride and accomplishment​​.


9. Runyang Yangtze River Bridge, China

The Runyang Yangtze River Bridge is a striking bridge complex in Jiangsu Province, China, that crosses the Yangtze River just downstream of Nanjing. It connects Zhenjiang on the river's south bank with Yangzhou on the north. The bridge, a part of the Yangzhou–Liyang Expressway, plays a pivotal role in the regional transportation network.

The bridge complex's construction crew broke ground in October 2000 and, as was the case for a few other bridges on this list, saw construction wrap up ahead of schedule, opening to traffic on April 30, 2005.


The total cost of the bridge was around 5.8 billion yuan (about 700 million U.S. dollars), and the entire length of the bridge complex measures approximately 35.66 kilometers (22.16 miles)​​. The main span clocks in at 1,490 meters (4,889 feet).

Before the bridge's completion, all-day ferry service was the primary means of crossing this section of the Yangtze River, taking about 40 minutes to reach Zhenjiang Railway Station from Yangzhou. Even after the bridge's construction, this ferry service continues to operate, offering an alternative route that some locals consider quicker way to reach the city centers of Zhenjiang and Yangzhou​​.


10. Hangrui Dongting Bridge, China

The Hangrui Dongting Bridge, spanning Dongting Lake in Yueyang, northeastern Hunan Province, China, represents a massive engineering feat.

The bridge's innovative design includes the use of cable dampers that utilize magnetorheological fluid, capable of changing viscosity in response to an electromagnetic field. The bridge accommodates four lanes of traffic, with two lanes in each direction, thereby enhancing connectivity and facilitating transportation across this vital region​​​​.

A cable-stayed section has three towers creating support for center sections that measure 310 meters (1,017 feet) each, and there are two more side spans that each add another 130 meters (427 feet) to the massive suspension bridge. The total distance of the actual bridge's expanse comes out to 1,480 meters (4,856 feet).

This article was updated in conjunction with AI technology, then fact-checked and edited by a HowStuffWorks editor.