Which City Has the Most Bridges in the World?

Which city has the greatest number of bridges in the world? What exactly is a bridge? Does a log felled over a creek count? Probably not, and we hope you understand our point. What constitutes a bridge is not a question with a readily apparent answer. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for example, has long claimed to have the most bridges in the world and calls itself the City of Bridges; but, when compared to New York City, which has 789 bridges, this claim is questionable. According to one engineer, we should only list “well engineered bridges of significance,” which may give Pittsburgh an advantage over New York City.

Counting bridges is significant for a variety of reasons. In five years, the United States government will spend $27 billion fixing bridges. California is anticipated to receive $4.2 billion, and you can bet that Pittsburgh will receive the same amount.

will receive a disproportionate share. However, this city is not the only one with a substantial bridge maintenance budget. Let’s examine five cities with an abundance of bridges both within and outside of city limits.

Seattle, 124 United States

Even though Washington is not at the top of the list for the number of bridges, the state has an impressive collection of historic bridges, which is significant when considering both quantity and quality. Seattle has approximately 124 bridges, the most in the state of Washington. In 1984, the West Seattle Bridge was notably modernised to facilitate the efficient passage of ships via the Duwamish Waterway. In 2009, this bridge was renamed the Jeanette Williams Memorial Bridge to honour councilmember Jeanette Williams. She was instrumental in winning political backing for the construction of the bridge. Due to fractures, the bridge was tragically closed in March of 2020. The rehabilitation is expected to be completed by 2060 and cost approximately $107 million.

The 1911 Arboretum Sewer Trestle is a notable bridge that was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1982 and is also a city landmark. Although it was built to accommodate a sewer line that needed to traverse Washington Park, one resident wrote in a letter to the city that the bridge was lovely and “in every aspect much greater than the sewer itself.”

391 Venice, Italy

sunrise in Bridge Ponte dell’Accademia over Grand Canal in Venice. Italy

The Italian city of Venice contains more than 150 canals, necessitating 391 bridges. Historically, Italian bridges were constructed by laying wood over canals. Later, when they realised that boats were more efficient, they altered the bridge designs to add arches that boats could travel through.

The oldest of Venice’s 391 bridges is the Rialto Bridge. The building was completed in 1591 following three years of construction. The bridge’s stone arches are supported by 6,000 wooden piles. Consequently, it is regarded as an architectural and engineering triumph of the Renaissance.

The history of one of Venice’s most iconic bridges, Ponte dei Pugni, from the 17th century is intriguing. Throughout the 1600s, competing clans fought with their fists on the bridge, which was the site of the “War of the Fists.” The term Ponte dei Pugni derives from the practise of hurling losers into the sea beneath the bridge (the Bridge of Fists).

Ponte degli Scalzi is architecturally significant due to its slim yet graceful design, whilst Ponte dell’Accademia is renowned for its breathtaking views of Venice.

789 New York, United States

Sunrise, New York, United States

New York has 789 bridges, whereas Pittsburgh has 446. Why then is New York not known as the City of Bridges? It is fairly straightforward. In addition to the fact that “the Big Apple” is more catchy, the comparison is based on the city’s bridges. If only bridges in Manhattan were counted, the number would be less.
789 bridges and tunnels are owned, managed, and operated by the New York City Department of Transportation. And while it is nearly impossible for locals and visitors to be familiar with all of these bridges, you should be aware of those of cultural and historical significance. The most famous bridge is the Brooklyn Bridge. After 14 years of development, the building was completed in 1883. In current values, $320 million was spent by the developers. Sadly, they lost almost two dozen people, including the original designer. The bridge made history as the world’s first steel suspension bridge with the longest span from tower to tower, measuring 1,600 feet. Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge is also well-known for being the busiest bridge in New York, with over 5,000 cyclists, 145,500 automobiles, and 1,900 pedestrians using it every day.

Amsterdam, Netherlands-1,281

Historic district of Amsterdam

Similar to Venice, Amsterdam has numerous canals that are connected by bridges. There are reportedly 165 canals and 1,281 bridges in the city. The historical significance of the canals has contributed to the historical significance of these bridges. Since 2010, the Canal Ring (Grachtengordel) has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) is Amsterdam’s most iconic bridge, having been featured in numerous films. The Torensluis Bridge is the oldest and widest bridge, completed in 1648 and still in its original state. Modern history is worth a visit to Python Bridge. This complex of three bridges was constructed in 2001. In 2002, it won the International Footbridge Award. Nescio Bridge is the first suspension bridge in the Netherlands, about 10 meters above the water.

Hamburg, Germany- Over 2300

The German city of Hamburg, surrounded by water, necessitates the erection of bridges to ease transport. There are over 2,300 bridges in the city. This is inclusive of bridges without piers and stands. This makes Hamburg the city with the most bridges in the world within city limits.

Hamburg is an important German city with both tourist and historical significance. The Köhlbrandbrücke is an important landmark in the city. The 3,618-meter-long bridge was built in 1974 and is the second-longest road bridge in Germany. The Trostbrücke is the historical bridge of Hamburg. The small stone bridge built in 1881 features Count Adolf III Von Schauenburg and Bishop Ansgar sculptures. Count Von Schauenburg founded Neustädter, the merchant’s district, while Bishop Ansgar founded the Cathedral in the old part of the city. The Trostbrücke, also known as the comfort bridge, is historically significant. It was the last place for comfort for the accused while on their way to trial at the town hall.

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