Bridges have changed a lot over the centuries, from being little more than fallen trees and conveniently arranged stepping stones to stunning examples of human engineering and safety. That being said, there are still some pretty dangerous bridges in the USA today for many different reasons.
Bridges are some of the most famous landmarks in the US and have been an integral part of humanity’s exploration of this ball of rock, grass, and water that we call home. Bridges are vastly unique in their functions, looks, and safety.
How unique, you may ask. Well, this article takes a stroll across some of the most dangerous bridges in America to help you explore exactly that.
15 Most Dangerous Bridges in the USA
Table of Contents
- 15 Most Dangerous Bridges in the USA
- 1. Deception Pass Bridge, Washington
- 2. Seven Mile Bridge, Florida
- 3. Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, Nevada
- 4. The Gold Brook Covered Bridge, Vermont
- 5. Norfolk Southern-Gregson Street Overpass, North Carolina
- 6. The Old Covered Bridge, Massachusetts
- 7. Captain William Moore Bridge, Alaska
- 8. Snow Creek Bridge, North Carolina
- 9. The Mackinac Bridge, Michigan
- 10. The George Washington Bridge, New York
- 11. Witches Bridge, Illinois
- 12. Calcasieu River Bridge, Louisiana
- 13. Old Alton Bridge, Texas
- 14. Brooklyn Bridge, New York
- 15. Golden Gate Bridge, California
- Final Thoughts on the Most Dangerous Bridges in USA
There are plenty of striking American bridges worth crossing on a road trip, don’t get me wrong. But, just before you do that, you should also note the 15 scariest bridges in Northern America that aren’t worth the trip across.
1. Deception Pass Bridge, Washington
Photo by Taisia Karaseva on Unsplash
The old saying ‘slow and steady wins the race’ has never been truer than when you are crossing the Deception Pass bridge. This mammoth overpass connects Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island in Washington. The bridge itself is very safe and sturdy even though it was constructed back in 1934.
Deception Pass is dangerous because of the incredibly strong water currents that reside beneath the pass and the tumultuous weather. While crossing this bridge, it is not uncommon to encounter gale-force cross winds or fog so thick you can’t see oncoming traffic.
2. Seven Mile Bridge, Florida
Seven Mile Bridge in the picturesque Florida Keys gives a unique view of the ocean on either side of the bridge. This alone can make the bridge a daunting objective during any road trip.
However, it is especially perilous because the bridge is narrow despite being a dual carriageway with traffic going in both directions. On top of this, neither lane has any extra space to run off into if something goes wrong.
The waters under the bridge are a popular fishing spot for locals and tourists alike. According to keysweekly.com, many fishermen report that debris falls from the bridge on a regular occasion.
Photo by maria kolmakova on Unsplash
3. Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, Nevada
Photo by BKN Photography on Unsplash
The Hoover Dam and the majestic Colorado River are just two of the sights you can take in while crossing the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge. The bridge sits a whopping 270m (886 ft) above the river and dam.
Naturally, being so high means there are some extremely strong crosswinds to deal with while crossing, as well as rain and other hazardous weather that can occur. The bridge is also well known for becoming congested with traffic, which makes crossing the bridge even harder.
4. The Gold Brook Covered Bridge, Vermont
Photo Provided by Canva
Also known as Emily’s Covered Bridge, the Gold Brook Bridge is perhaps one of the most haunted places in America. Well, if you believe in that sort of thing. The bridge’s nickname is derived from the ghost who allegedly haunts the bridge.
The legend of Emily’s demise is that she was in love with a wealthy local. The young lovers agreed to meet at the bridge at midnight to run away together. When the man of Emily’s dreams failed to show up, she lost all hope and jumped to her end. She has been known to scratch cars passing through the bridge and cause all sorts of other spooky occurrences.
5. Norfolk Southern-Gregson Street Overpass, North Carolina
Image by Mark Clifton on Flickr
This is a bridge that you have almost certainly seen on social media. Whether on a compilation video of bad drivers or a particular one where the bridge opens the top of a truck like a can of sardines.
The bridge allows trains to cross over the roads below it and has no shortage of signs warning truck drivers of the low clearance height. Yet, countless videos exist of this bridge destroying trucks as if it has a personal vendetta against them.
So, if you are travelling through North Carolina in an RV or with a trailer, it’s probably best to avoid this route.
6. The Old Covered Bridge, Massachusetts
Photo by Raymond Eichelberger on Unsplash
The Old Covered Bridge may be one of the most famous bridges on this list. Outside of the Golden Gate and Brooklyn bridges, respectfully. That is because it was heavily featured in a History Channel episode of Ancient Aliens.
The episode tells the story of how the Reeds family were abducted by aliens in 1969. Making the bridge a popular site for travellers to come and check out. There haven’t been any more alien abductions since then, but there has been the occasional wild animal attack.
Just remember, while you are exploring what could be out there, it may be a feral raccoon that can and will bite you.
7. Captain William Moore Bridge, Alaska
Image by DJHeini on Flickr
The Captain William Moore Bridge has some of the best views any road-tripping adventurer could come across. Breathtaking views from the bridge go hand in hand with some scary heights surrounding the bridge. But this in itself is not what makes this particular bridge dangerous.
The opposite sides of the gorge that this cabled bridge connects are extremely prone to earthquakes. The unique design of Captain William Moore Bridge does counteract earthquakes. That being said, you will still need to keep a calm head if you are caught on the bridge during one of Mother Nature’s tantrums.
Next Read: Check out these magical ice caves near Anchorage, Alaska.
8. Snow Creek Bridge, North Carolina
Image Provided by Canva
Snow Creek Bridge may be the most dangerous one on this list. Why? Because it doesn’t actually exist. The roads to the bridge are seemingly normal, leading to a dilapidated bridge that has been out of commission since 2013.
The bridge has become somewhat infamous in recent years due to a tragic accident caused by the lack of sufficient road signs declaring the bridge and road closed. The incident led the heartbroken family to sue Google as their Maps service did not list the road as closed.
9. The Mackinac Bridge, Michigan
Photo by Rudolph Arnstein on Unsplash
Lovingly, or perhaps out of fear, named “Mighty Mac” by locals, the Mackinac Bridge is a truly awe-inspiring example of engineering. The bridge is 8km (5 Miles) long and connects Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas.
Due to the intense Michigan winters, it is not uncommon to have ice falling onto the bridge’s deck from the cables above. There are also galeforce winds to contend with while driving across.
If you find yourself too afraid to attempt the crossing yourself, the Mackinac Bridge Authority has created a Drivers Assistance Program. For a mere $10, staff will drive your vehicle across for you.
10. The George Washington Bridge, New York
Photo by Mac Peters on Unsplash
The George Washington Bridge is more of a monument in New York than just a bridge. It has been featured in countless movies and TV series. What makes it so dangerous, though? The bridge itself is not the danger here. It is more about the sheer amount of traffic and close proximity to a densely populated city.
It sees around 1.4 million crossings in a year, earning it the title of the world’s busiest bridge, but this comes with the caveat of many traffic accidents. The bridge also struggles with a high volume of suicide attempts. Despite ushering in precautionary nets in 2017, the George Washington Bridge still sees at least one attempt every five days on average!
11. Witches Bridge, Illinois
Photo by Randy von Liski on Flickr
Allegedly, the bridge was built on the site where a woman was put to death for practising witchcraft, resulting in her cursing the area. The bridge is a popular spot for ghost hunters and content creators.
It is worth remembering that the bridge is in a densely wooded and secluded area. While investigating the bridge, you may be vulnerable to wild animals, unscrupulous people, or fall victim to one of the witch’s curses.
12. Calcasieu River Bridge, Louisiana
Photo was provided by Canva
In the words of American President Joe Biden, the Calcasieu River Bridge is “a perfect example how we’ve neglected as a nation to invest in the future of our economy and the future of our people”.
The bridge has been in and out of replacement and repair programs since 2018, just to be taken back out or brought to a halt. The bridge’s state prompted President Biden to take a photo op of the bridge where he released the above-quoted statement. It has served as the bedrock of his infrastructure bill.
However, its dilapidated state still makes it a fairly dangerous bridge to cross.
13. Old Alton Bridge, Texas
Photo by Nicolas Henderson on Flickr
Old Alton Bridge, better known as the Goatman’s Bridge, is another site that is guarded by a spirit that met an untimely demise. The tale of the Goatman is of the unjustly murdered Oscar Washburn.
The legend says he was murdered on the bridge and spends his afterlife haunting any motorist who dares cross his bridge without using headlights. Truly a ghost of convection and justice.
Besides unintentionally picking up a hitchhiker from beyond the grave, the bridge is known to have people jumping off for multiple reasons and has even been the scene of a murder. Maybe skip this one on your bridge tour.
14. Brooklyn Bridge, New York
Photo by Mac Peters on Unsplash
The Brooklyn Bridge is old but well-maintained. The weather can be an issue while crossing this American icon, but not as much as other contenders on this list. So, what makes this such a dangerous bridge? Unfortunately, due to the many tourists and visitors, it can be a hotspot for petty crime.
The other point of contention is the tourists themselves, as they can behave rather poorly. There are many reports of tourists attempting to climb the bridge for some reason, increasing the bridge’s status among the most dangerous in the US.
Next Read: Check out the best views of Brooklyn Bridge at night.
15. Golden Gate Bridge, California
Photo by Eric Carlson on Unsplash
Is there any bridge that is more iconic than the Golden Gate Bridge? This legendary red bridge is one of the best spots to watch sunsets in San Francisco. Yet, you still need to be aware of its dangers.
Despite its legendary status, the bridge still falls victim to many dangerous hazards, from mighty cross winds and treacherous weather to traffic congestion and suicide attempts. Sadly, this Californian celebrity has a dark side, but driving slowly and carefully over the bridge will almost guarantee a successful and unforgettably beautiful crossing experience.
Final Thoughts on the Most Dangerous Bridges in USA
What makes one bridge dangerous to some may not be a factor to others. Yet, it pays to be cautious. In the cases of bridges surrounded by inclement weather, it may be a good idea to do a weather forecast before your trip.
The good news is that most of these bridges are relatively safe to explore if you take the necessary precautions. So you can relax and enjoy the stunning sites during your USA road trip. Be it some of the best unknown vacation spots in the United States or all of the greatest bridges worth crossing.