Pedestrian bridges aren’t something one would associate the concepts of beauty and architectural marvels with. More often than not you simply cross over to the other side without so much as bothering to spare a second glance at the shape and design of the structure. A recently opened pedestrian bridge in Vietnam – yes, the one with a golden bridge structure suspended by two giant outstretched palms – changed that perception as it nearly sent the internet into a meltdown, leaving people from all over the world gaping at this gargantuan yet intricate structure. This 500-foot bridge at the Bà Nà Hills resort on the outskirts of the city of Da Nang gives visitors a perched view of the sweeping mountains at an altitude of about 4,600 feet. The beauty of the structure is enhanced by vibrant purple Lobelia Chrysanthemum flowers dotting its perimeter.
This stunner from Vietnam certainly isn’t the only of its kind. Here’s a look at the world’s seven most spectacular pedestrian bridges that are worth planning an entire holiday around them:
Gateshead Millennium Bridge
This curved bridge on the River Tyne has become a tourist attraction in its own right ever since it was thrown open to the public in 2001. Besides boasting of an impressive pedestrian bridge design, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge is also an architectural marvel with a blinking-eye-like tilt to facilitate the movement of ships underneath. The structure links Gateshead Quays to the north bank of Newcastle and was designed by Wilkinson Eyre.
Scale Lane Bridge
This pedestrian bridge design bears a striking resemblance to an apostrophe and its uniquely elevated structure certainly makes crossing over the River Hull an experience unto itself. The bridge located in Hull, England, has been designed to swing over a semi-circular trajectory to accommodate the river traffic. That’s a lot of firsts covered in a single structure. One of the highlights of the Scale Lane Bridge is an art installation that is also used to sound alert when the bridge is in motion.
The Peace Bridge spanning over the Bow River that runs through Calgary in the Canadian province of Alberta was built as the residential community’s link to the downtown area. The pedestrian bridge’s design is characterised by a helical structure encasing a bike lane running through the middle of pedestrian paths. The bridge borrows its colours from the Calgary and Canadian flags and is painted in alternating stripes of red and white.
Situated in Purmerend, Netherlands, the Melkwegbridge is an intriguing maze of a structure that connects the new district of the town to its historic city centre. The pedestrian bridge design is such that it accommodates pedestrians and cyclists on two distinct levels to prevent them from coming in the way of one another. While the lower deck has cycling tracks, an archway of steps going over it is meant for pedestrians. Interestingly the lower deck of the bridge can split into two halves that align to the sides to allow movement of boats on the Noordhollandsch Kanaal.
Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge
Crossing this pedestrian bridge built across a deep canyon in Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China is a mind-blowing adventure trip in itself. The glass base of the bridge offers vertigo-inducing views of the canyon below, often leaving visitors light-headed and bringing them down on their knees. The pedestrian bridge design rests on the concept of ‘invisibility’, brought to life with the use of steel beams and glass plates set in white steel base. This 430-metre-long structure resting between two cliffs hangs 300 metres above the ground.
Tigbao Hanging Bridge
This is another pedestrian bridge that puts the visitors’ nerves to test. The Tigbao Hanging Bridge located in Bohol, Philippines, however, looks a lot flimsier than it actually is. As you approach the structure, there is a constant fear of this wobbly bridge giving away, sending you crashing into the water below. The trick lies in this pedestrian bridge’s design. Even though it seems like a bamboo-made structure, it is actually made of metal. A layer of bamboo has been added on top to make the structure look more authentic, and in effect, scarier.
The Webb Bridge in Melbourne, Australia, is a fine example of the seamless amalgamation of art and architecture that results in the creation of a breathtakingly beautiful structure. The Webb Bridge the rests in the precinct of Melbourne Docklands is the outcome of collaboration between architecture firm Denton Corker Marshall and artist Robert Owen. The pedestrian bridge design comprises a newly ramped up steel-lattice like structure that links the southern bank of Yarra River to a decommissioned railway bridge to provide an access link to cyclists and pedestrians.