Bridges are pretty tremendous, guys. Let me put it this way: back when I was living on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River, I had to cross into Illinois everyday to teach. Without a bridge, my only options would have been to either swim to Illinois (In winter? No way!) or take a submarine, I suppose (which admittedly would have been pretty cool). While my daily journeys across the Centennial Bridge might not have been all that impressive, there are plenty of bridges that are so intimidating that you deserve a firm handshake and an autographed picture of me if you cross it successfully. Here is a list of 10 bridges that only the bravest of us should ever attempt to pass.
10. Royal Gorge Bridge, Cañon City, Colorado
Originally built in 1929, almost 90 years later it remains the highest suspension bridge in America at nearly 960 feet. At 1,280 feet (390 meters) long and suspended over the Arkansas River, it is part of a gorge-side amusement park where you can enjoy an aerial gondola ride, crap your pants on the Royal Rush Skycoaster or fly across the sky along the highest zipline in the country. Of course, if that’s too much for you, you can simply take a walk or drive across the chasm.
9. Aiguille du Midi Bridge, France
The Aiguille du Midi isn’t a particularly long bridge, but that doesn’t provide much comfort when you realize you’re 12,500 feet (3 810 meters) above sea level! It does offer amazing views in the direction of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe. But if you’re like “Bridge. Meh”, you can step onto a glass skywalk that places you over a 1000 foot (305 meters) precipice.
8. The Brave Men’s Bridge, China
If you’re afraid of heights, having your friends wrap you up in duct tape and haul you up Brave Man’s Bridge would probably not be the funniest prank. Or would it? This recently built all-glass suspension bridge in Shiniuzhai National Geological Park in China stands nearly 60 stories tall and is around 1000 feet (305 meters) long. Originally a wooden bridge (which was probably a pretty scary experience in its own right), engineers replaced a small section with glass. When they realized they had struck upon a pretty badass idea, they just went ahead and made the whole thing glass. While it looks scary, the designers insist that the steel frame that is used to support and encase the glass is strong enough to prevent a catastrophe even if the glass were to break. So I guess that means you should feel free to jump up and down on the bridge as you please! Please don’t.
7. Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, China
The Zhangjiajie is the longest (1,410 ft/430m) and highest (1,180 ft/360m) glass-bottomed bridge in the world. Crossing it might create some anxiety, but if you’re willing to show some courage your reward is a breathtaking panoramic view of the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Of course, you can also do the zipline and bungee jumping thing if you’d like to cross those off your bucket list.