This bridge in the US is the longest over water

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Louisiana, through its people and its places, publishes some entries in the Guinness Book of World Records that are fascinating and intriguing. For starters, the longest bridge over water in the world is the awe-inspiring Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana. It is a bridge known to cause anxiety and excitement in the breasts of would-be crossers in almost equal measure. But Pelican State has a few other entries that may come as a surprise to many.


For example, Sunkist Growers and Rouses Markets in January 2022 took the Guinness Book World Record for the largest display of citrus fruits – not in the state – but in the world. And in 2010, New Orleans set the world record for the largest Halloween gathering. But it is the bridge, the focus of this article, that surprises. Further on, we’ll discover fascinating facts about the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway that, among others, make it such a tempting destination.


Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the longest bridge over water

For starters, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is 23.8 miles long. For perspective, that’s a distance that someone driving at 65 miles per hour will take 22 minutes to complete.

Someone walking at moderate speed might leave at 8 am – and arrive on the other side by 4 pm. No other bridge in the world comes close.

Of course, mention can be made of the great 102-mile Danyang-Kunshan Bridge in China or other sea bridges in the world known for their remarkable length. However, with all these other bridges, the specific part that runs above the water is what really counts.

The bridges can therefore be long, but the above-water portion generally falls short of the 23.8 miles that the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway has laid out.

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Via FreeImages

Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana

However, known simply as The Causeway, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is not one bridge, but actually two parallel bridges that cross Lake Pontchartrain in southeastern Louisiana – and which run parallel to each other.

But the length of the bridges is practically the same. Just a paltry 0.01 mile makes a difference. And, of course, a bridge and a bridge are technically different structures.

But it is unnecessary to raise a storm. The main distinction between a bridge and a bridge is that the latter typically has little or no openings underneath. Nothing would diminish the glory of one of Louisiana’s historic landmarks.

Related: Beautiful bridges from around the world

Why adrenaline junkies will enjoy driving along the Lake Pontchartrain causeway

Crossing the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is one of the most exotic experiences anyone can have. With nothing but water on one side, even more water on the other, and miles and miles of endless bridge, crossing the longest bridge over water will be both exhilarating and terrifying.

For perspective, just picture this. Someone drove to the middle of the bridge. On either side there is no land in sight as far as the eye can see. Instead, the deep blue-green of the lake’s surface is all you’re faced with – and, of course, the sound of lapping water.

While Lake Pontchartrain has a depth of only about 14 feet on average, nothing compared to Oregon’s Crater Lake, imagining what could go wrong here will make even the bravest heart beat faster.

The feeling of being suspended between heaven and earth, with nothing but beautiful views, is a difficult experience to write about.

Related: 20 Bridges from Around the World (Locals Advise Tourists Not to Cross)

For many people, just getting where no land can be seen is inconceivable. No story about Columbus, Magellan or Francis Drake will be able to soothe the heart. But for others, it’s an exhilarating experience that can’t be traded for anything in the world.

Other Fascinating Facts About the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

Besides the fact that, when crossing this bridge, drivers lose sight of the land for an unsettling (or thrilling) 8-mile stretch, there are other fascinating facts and factoids about the longest bridge in the world.

Of course, one of the most famous is the duel with China’s Jiaozhou Bay Bridge for a page in the Guinness Book of World Records.

  • Where does the Lake Pontchartrain causeway begin and end? The south terminal is in Metairie, while the north terminal is in Mandeville.

In July 2011, Guinness announced that China’s Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, which had just been completed, would replace the Lake Pontchartrain Bridge as the longest bridge over water.

Alarmed Louisianans would point out that China’s Jiaozhou Bay Bridge had sections that, strictly speaking, were not over water. Perplexed but convinced, Guinness would create two categories, a decision that satisfied each of the two protagonists.

The truth is, Guinness-titled properties like Virginia Beach get a lot of attention because of these awards. And today, drivers crossing the Causeway will feel like they’re in the middle of the ocean for what seems like forever.

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