The Longest Bridges In The UK
I’ll be honest, I was going to do an article about the longest bridges in the world, but it all got very confusing very quickly. So I set my sights lower; the longest bridges in the UK. Some detailed research (lit. half hour on Google) has taught me that not only are we missing a queryable data source for our infrastructure, we’re also not really sure how to define how long a bridge is.
For this list I’m settling on defining length as the length the structure is bridging something, rather than largest spans, or spanned obstacle, or one of the other millions of random statistics available about bridges. So without further ado, here are (possibly*) the five longest bridges in the UK.
5. The Forth Road Bridge
Of course, the Forth Road Bridge has to come in fifth! With a total length of 2512m. Unfortunately cable deterioration means it’s being replaced with the Queensferry Crossing (which at 2700m will knock it off this list also)!
4. The QE II Bridge
The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, or Dartford Toll, was built in 1991 at an impressive 2872m. Opening with the largest cable-stayed span in Europe; and interestingly the only bridge to span the Thames downstream of Tower Bridge.
3. Tay Rail Bridge
Our second Scottish entrant, the Tay Rail Bridge was the second built on that site; replacing the collapsed ‘light weight and low cost’ first attempt. Finished in 1883 it crosses the Firth of Tay with a total length of 3264m.
2. The Second Severn Crossing
In 1996 when the first Severn Bridge was full, they made a second. However the first had already taken the easy route, it had to take a wider, more meandering route, taking this cable stayed beauty to 5128m.
1. The Bromford Viaduct
Depressingly the longest bridge in the UK, weighing in at 5600m, spans Birmingham. The Bromford Viaduct, built in 1964-1972 allows the M6 to flow over the city from Castle Bromwich to Gravelly Hill; encompassing the original Spaghetti Junction!
Kudos to the runners up, the Forth Rail (2467m), Humber (2200m), Severn (1600m), Cromarty (1464m) and Eskine (1321m) Bridges, which aren’t exactly short. *I’m sure there’s a good bit of misinformation online about such things, so feel free to correct me in the comment section; especially if you think my top five are out!