News and insights on the impact of data on smart cities, businesses and technologies. Curated by RList

Explainer on the Tallest Bridges in the World

Tallest Bridge/Viaduct
The world's tallest bridges have tower structures that stretch taller than a regular office buildings. Among these tallest bridges, there are at least 62 bridges that are taller than 200 meters and among them, 4 bridges tower above the 300-meter mark.

1. The Tallest Bridges

In this article, we present the tallest bridges in the world. We also explain the difference between the classification of the "tallest" bridges and the "highest" bridges.
Use this interactive table tool below to query and rank the 100+ tallest bridges in the world by country as well as continent.

2. Tallest vs Highest - What's the Difference?

Firstly, before we pry into the difference between "tall" and "high", let us explain away the two main types of height measurements relating to a bridge.
The structural height of a bridge is the maximum vertical distance between the uppermost point of a bridge to the lowermost exposed part of the bridge. The exposed portions can include towers or mast pylons that emerge from the ground or water surface.
The deck height is the maximum vertical distance between the deck of the bridge and the ground or water surface below the bridge span.
Measuring a structural height
Structural height and deck height measurements for a bridge sited at sea level
In the image above, the lowermost endpoints for the deck height and structural height measurements are at almost the same heights. However, the uppermost endpoint for the structural height is the top of the tower while the uppermost endpoint for the deck height is the bridge deck.
Measuring a deck height
Structural height and deck height measurements for a bridge sited on elevated terrain
The image above shows the acute difference between structural height and deck height. The lowermost endpoint for the structural height is the lowest point of the exposed structural arch along the slope, while the lowermost endpoint for the deck height is the ground or river surface directly below the bridge.
In other words, the tallest bridges are measured and ranked based on their structural heights, while the highest bridges are measured and ranked based on their deck heights. In this article, we cover the tallest bridges.

3. Types of Tall Bridges

Cable-stayed bridges support the bridge deck by connecting cables (or stays) directly to one or more towers or pylons sited along the bridge, giving rise to a fan-like pattern. In contrast, for suspension bridges, the bridge deck is connected by cables suspended vertically from a main cable that is anchored at both ends of the bridge and running through towers sited along the bridge.
Difference between suspension bridge and cable stayed bridge
Difference between a suspension bridge and a cable-stayed bridge
Concrete bridge
Example of a concrete bridge

4. Places with the Tallest Bridges

Millau Viaduct - tallest bridge in the world and Europe (France, 343 meters tall, cable-stayed)
Located in Millau, France, the Millau Viaduct currently stand as the world's tallest bridge with a structural height of 343 meters. A cable-stayed motorway bridge, the Millau Viaduct was designed by the English architect Lord Norman Foster and French structual engineer Michel Virlogeux with a design life of 120 years and is considered one of the great engineering achievements of all time.
Mezcala Bridge - tallest bridge in North America (Mexico, 336 meters tall, cable-stayed)
Standing at 236 meters, Mezcala Bridge is the tallest bridge in North America. Built in 1993 and sited in Mártir de Cuilapán, Mexico, the cable-stayed bridge serves as a motorway.
Pingtang Bridge - tallest bridge in Asia and China (332 meters tall, cable-stayed)
At a height of 332 meters, the Pingtang Bridge is the second tallest bridge in the world and the tallest bridge in Asia and china. Located in Pingtang, Guizhou, China, the cable-stayed bridge was opened on 30 December 2019 at a construction of 1.5 billion yuan (or 215 million USD).
Stonecutters Bridge - second-tallest bridge in Asia and tallest in Hong Kong (298 meters tall, cable-stayed)
Standing at 298 meters, the Stonecutters Bridge is the second-tallest bridge in Asia. It is a cable-stayed bridge and serves as a major expressway connecting Nam Wan Kok, Tsing Yi to Stonecutters Island in Hong Kong. The bridge was built at a cost of HK$2.76 billion and opened in 2009.

5. The Tallest Cable-stayed Bridges

The tallest cable-stayed bridge in the world is the Millau Viaduct of France at 343 meters. In close second, is the the Pingtang Bridge of Guizhou, Chia, with a height of 332 meters. At third, with a structural height of 320.9 meters, is the Russky Bridge of Vladivostok, Russia.
Russky Bridge - the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world (Russia, 320 meters tall, cable-stayed)
The Russky Bridge is also the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world with a central span of 1,104 meters. The Russky Bridge connects the Russky Island and the Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula sections of the city across the Eastern Bosphorus strait.

6. The Tallest Suspension Bridges

Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge (Turkey, 322 meters tall, suspension)
At 332 meters, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is the world's tallest suspension bridge. More accurately, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge is an hybrid cable-stayed, suspension bridge. Located in Istanbul, the bridge serves as a bridge for rail and motor vehicle transit over the Bosphorus strait.
Akashi Kaikyō Bridge - longest suspension bridge in the world (Japan, 282.8 meters tall, suspension)
The Akashi Kaikyō Bridge is the second tallest suspension bridge in the world with a height of 282.8 meters. It ihas the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world at 1,991 meters. Opened in 1998, the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge links the city of Kobe on the Japanese mainland of Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island.

7. The Tallest Concrete Bridges

Hezhang Concrete Bridge (China, 195 meters tall, suspension)
Locatedin Hezhang country, Guizhou, China, the Hezhang Bridge is one the world's tallest concrete bridges with a height of 195 meters.

More Bridge-related Resources