China claims to have the longest suspension bridge.  However, that claim may not hold water.

If you've ever driven across the Mackinac Bridge you were probably blown away by the sheer engineering wonder of that very long bridge.  Or maybe you were terrified and wishing it wasn't quite so long.  The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's lower peninsula and upper peninsula.  And yes, it is one of the largest of its kind on the planet according to,

The Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere with 7,400 feet of roadway suspended in the air over the straits of Mackinac. Total length of the bridge, including its approaches, is approximately five miles.

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There are two important measurements used when comparing suspension bridges around the world.  The distance between towers is called the "main span length."  Then there is the total length or the "suspended length."  When comparing the Mackinac Bridge to other suspension bridges using the "main span" length, Michigan's iconic bridge is the 24th longest in the world and the 3rd longest in North America.  However, it's a completely different story when comparing suspension bridges around the world by total length.

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At first, it looked like Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere and the 3rd longest on the planet when comparing total bridge length.  There are two bridges in Dongguan, China listed as having a total length of 8 miles.  It turns out those two bridges, the Nizhou Waterway Bridge and the Dasha Waterway Bridge, are a part of the same bridge complex that totals 8 miles.  That technically makes the Mackinac Bridge the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Now that we've wet your whistle, here are more fun facts about the longest suspension bridge on the planet.

Connecting the State: Making the Mackinac Bridge

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

Five Abandoned Michigan Bridges


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