Residents of Vancouver are wondering whether their brand new $2.4 billion "Port Mann Bridge" is somehow cursed. Shortly after its grand opening in Dec/12, large ice chunks fell from the support wires during a mild snow storm, causing damage to 60 cars and a temporary closure of the bridge. Two weeks later, unsalted icy patches led to a 40-car pileup during the morning rush hour. To this point, no lives have been lost on the Port Mann Bridge but 2 highly publicized events are calling the bridge's safety into question.
- Structurally Unsound - being in poor repair or badly designed adds an element of danger. Suspension and ladder bridges are the least safe of all. There is a deep crevasse on Mt. Everest that can only be crossed by linking 5 ladders together - most climbers choose to take the half hour detour to avoid crossing this particular bridge.
- Collapses - stories of bridge collapses are always frightening because of their randomness. They can happen for a number of reasons, not the least of which are earthquakes, deferred maintenance, or structural deficiencies. Railway bridge collapses account for the 5 deadliest bridge incidents of all time. This particular image was taken in the aftermath of the 2007 collapse of the I-35W over the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul that killed 4 people.
- Suicide - the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has developed a very dark reputation as the world's preeminent "suicide bridge". Should you wish to know more about this subject, a 2006 documentary entitled "The Bridge" explores the topic in an honest and straightforward manner.
The 5 Scariest Bridges
In my opinion, here are the 5 Scariest Bridges in the World:
5) Trift Bridge - Switzerland
Switzerland's Trift Bridge is the Alps' longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge. It is 560 feet long and, in the middle, represents a height of 330 feet. The bridge was opened on June 12, 2009 after a mere 6 weeks of construction. To get to this bridge, you must hike or take a cable car.
4) Husseini Bridge, Borith Lake - Pakistan
3) Langkawi Sky Bridge - Malaysia
Built in 2004, this suspension bridge is on top of Malaysia's Machinchang mountain. The serpentine shaped bridge is suspended from cables from a crooked 250 foot pillar. The unique shape results in a vertical of 300 feet at midspan. The walkway itself is nearly 400 feet and can only be accessed after taking a cable car ride.
2) Titlis Suspension Bridge - Switzerland
Opened in Dec/12, the Titlis Suspension Bridge is the highest in the Alps (9,977 feet above sea level). At 3 feet wide and 300 feet long, the midspan of the bridge is 1,600 feet above ground.