Truss bridges became popular during the early 19th century and many of the world’s cities have famous truss bridges that also serve as local landmarks due to their peculiar design.
Truss bridges were widely used across America during the mid-to-late 1800s as they were capable of holding immense amounts of weight compared to other kinds of bridges.
Many of the truss bridges that were built during the 19th century have since become well-known in the towns and communities in which they were built.
This article details 10 of the most famous truss bridges ever constructed, along with the architects responsible for building each one.
Famous Truss Bridges
1. Ikitsuki Bridge
The Ikitsuki Bridge is a famous landmark in the Nagasaki metropolitan area, but it is recognized as the longest continuous truss bridge in the world.
This massive structure spans the length of the expanse between the city of Nagasaki and Hirado Island, which is separated by the Sea of Japan.
The bridge was designed by William Adair Bugge, a prominent engineer who is best-known for his work in creating truss bridges and other large structures.
Construction on the Ikitsuki Bridge started in 1893 and the project took nearly a decade before it was finished in 1991.
The bridge measures an astounding 1,300 feet in length and is longer than any other truss bridge in the world by nearly 100 feet.
The Ikitsuki Bridge is an iconic piece of history for many local residents in the area and it is easily recognizable thanks to the sky blue color of the far-reaching steel beams.
2. Taylor Southgate Bridge
Another truss bridge that is still standing today is the Taylor Southgate Bridge, which is located along the Ohio River.
The bridge connects the U.S. Route 27, which travels along a path that connects Newport, Kentucky to Cincinnati, Ohio.
The bridge is named after James Taylor, a famous early settler in midwestern America, and Richard Southgate, who was a well-known politician and attorney who held a number of public offices in Kentucky.
Also Read: Covered Bridges
Plans to complete were drawn up to construct the Taylor Southgate Bridge and work began on the project in the early 1990’s. It was finally finished in 1995 before being opened to the public.
It is one of the most-used truss bridges today as there are estimated to be more than a million travelers crossing it each year.
3. Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge
The Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge is one of the most well-known bridges in the New England region of the United States.
It is one of the largest and longest continuous under-deck truss toll bridges in the world and is located on the Hudson River where it connects the city of Kingston to Rhinecliff, New York.
The Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge was designed by David B. Steinman, a prominent American engineer who is best-known for designing the Mackinac Bridge and many others during the early-to-mid 1900s.
Construction on the Kingston-Rhinecliff Bridge began in 1954 and the project would be completed in just three years The bridge measures a total length of 7,793 feet and is officially known as the George Clinton Kingston–Rhinecliff Bridge.
4. Astoria-Megler Bridge
Another one of the world’s largest and longest continuous truss bridges is the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which is located on the western end of the United States in an area where crossing the Columbia River is especially difficult.
The bridge connects Astoria, Oregon to Pacific County, Washington and has since become a local landmark to those who live in the surrounding area. The Astoria-Megler Bridge was designed by architects from the state of Oregon and Washington transportation departments.
Work began on the bridge in November of 1962 and finally wrapped up in August of 1966. The Astoria-Megler Bridge measures an astounding 4.067 miles in length and is recognized as one of the greatest feats of architectural mastery found along the western coast of America.
The bridge measures an incredible 14 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean.
5. Quebec Bridge
One of the most famous bridges in Canada is the Quebec Bridge, which is located along Route 175 near Quebec City and Lévis, Quebec.
The bridge stretches across the St. Lawrence River and is capable of carrying travelers by road, rail car or train, as well as pedestrian traffic. It was a project that had been discussed for many decades in the city of Quebec as crossing the St. Lawrence was treacherous, at best, during the cold winter months.
The Quebec Bridge was designed by Theodore Cooper, a skilled beginner and consultant to the architects working on the project.
Construction began around 1903 and there was great difficulty in the many different groups working together to complete the massive and intricate process.
After a miscommunication in 1907, the bridge collapsed on one side, forcing workers to rebuild a large section of the Quebec Bridge. It was finally finished in 1916.
6. Braga Bridge
One of the most unique truss bridges in the world is known as the Braga Bridge, which is located near the cities of Somerset and Fall River, Massachusetts.
The bridge sits over the Taunton River and is known as one of the largest truss bridge structures in the United States that is still standing today.
The Braga Bridge was named after Charles M. Braga, who was a Fall River resident of Portuguese-American descent who was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.
The bridge’s construction began in 1959 and work dragged on for seven more years until it was finally finished in 1966.
The bridge was designed to carry traffic on I-95 across the Taunton River and many renovation and other construction projects have been done over the years to maintain the structural integrity of the bridge. The Braga Bridge measures a total of 5,780 feet from one end to the other.
7. Tokyo Gate Bridge
The Tokyo Gate Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in Japan and is built according to the truss bridge architectural style.
This bridge is located near Kōtō City, which is a section of Tokyo that rests between Chubo and Wakasu artificial islands).
The bridge was designed by Makoto Itoi, who is a notable architect that’s well-known for his work in creating and building bridges and many other types of structures.
Work began on the Tokyo Gate Bridge in 2002 after many years of planning and the project would be completed nearly a decade later in 2011. The bridge measures 8,589 feet from one end to the other and carries pedestrians, vehicles and any other forms of transportation across the Tokyo Bay each day.
8. Minato Bridge
Another one of the world’s most iconic truss bridges is located in Osaka, Japan, connecting travelers on Hanshin Expressway Route 16 Osakako Line on its upper deck portion, and Route 5 Bayshore Line on its lower deck.
The Minato Bridge is actually the third-longest cantilever truss bridge in the world behind the Quebec Bridge and the Forth Bridge, which is located in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Minato Bridge was designed by architects working within the Hanshin Expressway Company, Limited. Construction on the project began in 1973 and the bridge was fully completed just a year later in 1974.
This truss bridge is just one of many that have been built across Japan and it’s distinct in both appearance and significance to travelers alike.
9. Sewickley Bridge
The Sewickley Bridge is another worthy addition to our list of truss bridges, but it’s not necessarily known for the bridge’s length.
Instead, the Sewickley Bridge is famous due to the fact that the existing bridge was built in place of one that was constructed in 1911.
It’s an extremely well-known bridge to those living near Sewickley and Moon Township, Pennsylvania, where the bridge is located.
The old Sewickley Bridge began to experience significant structural issues around the beginning of the 1970s and it was determined that the bridge would need to be demolished and another on rebuilt in its place.
Construction on the Sewickley Bridge began in the late 1970’s and the project was completed in 1981. The Sewickley Bridge measures exactly 1,500 feet and remains a local landmark in southwestern Pennsylvania.
10. Tenmon Bridge
The nation of Japan is home to many of the most famous bridges in the world.
The Tenmon Bridge is located in Kumamoto prefecture and is widely recognized for its distinct structure and the fact that it’s the only roadway and bridge that connects the main island to the smaller Kumamoto prefecture island.
Work began on the Tenmon Bridge in the late 1950’s and the project would be completed by 1966.
Its construction helped carry pedestrians, vehicles and other means of transportation across Japan National Route 266.
The bridge itself spans the distance across the Misuminoseto Strait and measures 980 feet in total length, which is much shorter than many of the other bridges we’ve included in our list.