Dare To Drive Across America’s Most Dangerous Bridges

The United States has over 614,000 bridges, and almost half of them are over 50 years old. While many are safe, others freak out drivers or threaten to cause wrecks. Some are too high for comfort, others are too narrow, and one has seen so many accidents that it earned the nickname “death highway.” Do you have the courage to drive across the most dangerous bridges in the U.S.?

Alaska’s Kuskulana Bridge Has Become A “Thrill Ride”

A person in a red jacket walks across Kuskulana Bridge, Alaska.
reddit/u/rstumpf
reddit/u/rstumpf

The Kuskulana Bridge, which rises 238 feet above the Kuskulana River in Alaska, is one of America’s “thrill rides.” The bridge soars over the treetops, which might unsettle people with a fear of heights. The narrow roads also overlook rushing rapids.

Although the speed limit is 15 miles per hour, many people will drive faster for the rush. Slow down on this drive, especially in snowy weather. Pedestrians will also walk along this narrow bridge for photos. Can you believe that Kuskulana Bridge didn’t always have guard rails?

Pulaski Skyway Is New Jersey’s “Death Highway”

The Pulaski Skyway is seen stretching over to Jersey City.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The Pulaski Skyway is one of the most beautiful bridges in New Jersey, but also one of the most dangerous. It has two 11-foot lanes on each side with a small breakdown lane in the middle, and no shoulders. This narrow drive has given it the nickname “death highway.”

Pulaski Skyway is 3.5 miles long and 135 feet over the Passaic and Hackensack rivers. Over 67,000 vehicles cross it every day, and many of them speed. Since it was built in 1930, the Pulaski Skyway has seen hundreds of crashes.

Deception Pass Bridge In Washington Is Too Narrow For Comfort

The Deception Pass Bridge stretches into fog.
Sheila Kelley/Pinterest
Sheila Kelley/Pinterest

Deception Pass Bridge connects Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island in Washington. It stands 180 feet above the water and crosses over a tiny island in the middle. Although beautiful, Deception Pass has only two lanes and a three-foot-wide pedestrian walkway, and 15,000 cars cross it every day.

To make matters worse, the area is often foggy. If anyone falls off, they’ll land in strong tides up to ten miles per hour. Because of the danger, people will often drive slowly across the bridge.

The Rainbow Bridge In Texas Looks Like A Roller Coaster

Cars travel up the Rainbow Bridge in Texas.
Debbie Sullivan/Pinterest
Debbie Sullivan/Pinterest

Although Texas has several troubling bridges, the most horrifying is the Rainbow Bridge along Texas Highway 73. With a steep ascent and descent, this bridge looks more like a roller coaster. If you’re afraid of heights, you might want to drive over it slowly.

The Rainbow Bridge is also 230 feet high, which is 20 stories above the Neches River. With only two lanes, drivers have little room for error. You can spot it from miles away, which only makes the Rainbow Bridge more daunting.

Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge Is 955 Feet High

The Royal Gorge Bridge is seen above a canyon in Colorado.
Kathryn Howard/Pinterest
Kathryn Howard/Pinterest

Colorado’s Royal Gorge Bridge is one of the most spectacular–and perilous–bridges in the United States. This bridge hangs 955 feet above the Arkansas River, and it held the world record for the highest bridge until 2001. People who fear heights should not drive across it.

Although you can drive across it, the Royal Gorge Bridge is not a thoroughfare. Once you cross the entire 1,260 feet, you’ll have to turn around and do it again. It also has low railings to further fascinate (and terrify) drivers.

The Emlenton Bridge In Pennsylvania Is One Of The Worst

Emlenton Bridge in Pennsylvania is covered in fog.
Stephanie Sandoval/Pinterest
Stephanie Sandoval/Pinterest

Pennsylvania has the second-worst bridges in the country, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association. Of these, the scariest is the Emlenton Bridge. As the tallest bridge in Pennsylvania, it stands 270 feet above the Allegheny River. Unfortunately, it is also the site of multiple crashes.

The Emlenton Bridge has four narrow lanes and rough weather in the autumn and winter. Combine that with its harrowing heights, and you have thousands of distracted drivers. If you drive it carefully, though, the Emlenton Bridge provides stunning views of the river.

The Clark Fork River Bridge In Montana Is Unstable

The Clark Fork River Bridge in Montana is seen over the river.
Ellen Librizzi/Pinterest
Ellen Librizzi/Pinterest

The Clark Fork River Bridge is one mile north of Trout Creek in Montana. Although it is only 100 feet long, it has a poor structure. Since it was built in 1958, the Clark Fork River Bridge has declined in quality and become unsafe.

In April 2020, the Montana Department of Transportation closed the bridge for repairs. The bridge has now reopened after millions of dollars in repairs. If you want to cross this narrow bridge with 23,000 other people, you can. But many still don’t like it.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge In Virginia Frightens Firefighters

An aerial view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge shows how long it is.
Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images
Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge spans over four miles across the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. At its highest point, it’s 200 feet above the water. Terri Robinson, a driver for Kent Island Express, told Washingtonian that even policemen and firefighters get spooked while crossing the bridge.

The bridge’s height is exacerbated by its low railings. Drivers tend to get distracted by the height, only to drift and collide with another vehicle in the two-way traffic. With over 61,000 vehicles per day, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge sees a lot of distracted drivers.

Hawaii’s Kahekili Highway Bridge Is Notoriously Dangerous

Cars drive along the Kahekili Hwy. in Maui.
Eric Newman/YouTube
Eric Newman/YouTube

Kahekili Highway is so dangerous that Hawaiian rental companies refuse to cover drivers who go there, and its bridge is no exception. The bridge crosses Kahakuloa Stream, and it is so narrow that some cars might scrape the edges. That is typical for this area.

Kahekili is narrow, surrounded by steep cliffs that are prone to falling rocks. The area is also dark and can be difficult to navigate, even in the middle of the day. If you drive along this highway, the bridge will be the least of your problems.

Many Have Crashed On Fuller Warren Bridge In Florida

Cars travel up and down the Fuller Warren Bridge in Jacksonville, FL.
Big Ooooooooo/Pinterest
Big Ooooooooo/Pinterest

If you drive down the I-95 in Jacksonville, Florida, you’ll eventually cross the Fuller Warren Bridge. This concrete bridge is over 7,500 feet long with eight lanes. Although it sounds sturdy, the high traffic makes it statistically dangerous.

In 2017, Florida began working on widening the bridge. But this hasn’t stopped the accidents; in 2019, a massive crash left six people critically injured. Over 170,000 vehicles cross Fuller Warren Bridge every day, encouraging some drivers to avoid it altogether.

The “Can Opener” Wrecks Trucks In North Carolina

An 11-foot-eight-inch overpass is pictured in North Carolina.
Washuotaku/Wikipedia Commons
Washuotaku/Wikipedia Commons

The Norfolk Southern–Gregson Street Overpass has toppled more cars and trucks than any other in North Carolina, granting it the nickname “the Can Opener.” The bridge itself is for a railroad in Durham. The danger is not on top of the bridge; it’s under it!

The Norfolk Southern–Gregson Overpass is only 11-foot-8-inches high, which was standard when it was built in 1973. Since then, the standard height has risen to 14 feet. This has caused many trucks to ram into the bridge, resulting in many collisions. One hundred and one wrecks have happened there since 2008.

The Vicksburg Bridge Might Suffer From Floods

Vicksburg Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River, is seen from the ground.
Visions of America/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Visions of America/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Vicksburg Bridge is one of the many bridges that cross the Mississippi River in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Since the river tends to flood, all of these bridges are risky, especially for barges. But the Vicksburg Bridge is especially bad.

This bridge has been closed many times to make it strong enough for cars, the last time being in 1998. Part of this is due to the extreme weather that cracks the bridge. When the bridge freezes over, automobile accidents occur. And when the river floods, a boat can ram right into the bridge!

Florida’s Pensacola Bay Bridge Got Beaten By A Hurricane

The Pensacola Bay Bridge is being repaired after Hurricane Ivan.
Stephen Morton/Getty Images
Stephen Morton/Getty Images

The Pensacola Bay Bridge was relatively normal until Hurricane Sally hit in September 2020. This hurricane caused so much damage that the bridge closed for over a year. When officials first examined the bridge after Hurricane Sally, they found that four piers had been turned, one was cracked, and 30 spans were damaged.

By March 2020, officials found that Pensacola Bay Bridge was more damaged than previously thought. Despite its many repairs, it remains closed. Fortunately, drivers cannot cross the least safe bridge in the state.

Calcasieu River Bridge, The Most Perilous Bridge In Louisiana

Cars drive up the Calcasieu River Bridge in Louisiana.
Charlie Bourgeois/Pinterest
Charlie Bourgeois/Pinterest

The Calcasieu River Bridge is widely regarded as the most perilous bridge in Louisiana. This 6,605-foot bridge is the only major bridge for Lake Charles, but its design makes it difficult to drive. The bridge slowly rises before drastically dipping, like a large triangle.

Because the slope is so small, drivers might think they’re driving parallel to the lake. But then they suddenly go downhill and speed up. With 80,000 vehicles on it every day, the Calcasieu River Bridge is a hot spot for accidents.

River River Bridge, A Rickety Border Between Oklahoma And Texas

The entrance to the River River Bridge is seen from a driver's view.
Robin Robbins/Pinterest
Robin Robbins/Pinterest

The Red River Bridge sits on the borders of Oklahoma and Texas. Although it is only 1,500 feet long, its old wood and concrete structure dates back to 1938. This makes it incredibly unstable, especially in rough weather.

The Red River Bridge is rickety and susceptible to high winds. In 2015, a massive storm threatened to overtop the bridge. Although some residents wanted to replace it, the Red River Bridge remained open. Its weight limit is only three tons, so large vehicles will fall into the water below.

The Worst Bridge In North Carolina, Greensboro

Greensboro Bridge
Getty Images
Getty Images

The Greensboro Bridge, otherwise known as Bridge 299 along the I-40/I-85, is North Carolina’s most dangerous bridge. It is structurally unsound and potentially dangerous for drivers. In 2014, it was ranked as the state’s worst bridge for the third year in a row.

Despite being considered as “structurally deficient” by the North Carolina Department, over 134,000 vehicles cross Greensboro Bridge every day. In 2018, state officials considered rebuilding the bridge, which would cost around $12 million. But this has yet to happen, and Greensboro remains North Carolina’s worst bridge.

The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge Swings When You Drive Across

Cars drive across the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge in Maine in the snow.
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Maine is notorious for its dangerous bridges; it has the sixth-worst bridges in the nation, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. One of the worst–and most popular–is the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge that crosses the Piscataqua River. Drivers have reported a “wavy” feeling while crossing this unstable bridge.

In 2018, officials reopened it after repairs, claiming that it is now safe. But some people are still concerned about crossing this 2,800-foot-long bridge. The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge sees over 20,000 vehicles per day, and it stands 300 feet above the water.

Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge Has Rough Winds

A ship passes beneath the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan.
KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images
KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images

The Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas, might not seem as dangerous as other bridges. It has no hills or sharp turns. However, its danger factor comes from the wind, which whips by at 30 miles per hour.

These winds can easily push cars, which shocks many drivers. At 26,372 feet long and 200 feet high, the Mackinac Bridge is no cakewalk. Drivers have to grip the wheel and focus if they don’t want their car to slide over ten feet.

Connecticut’s Yankee Doodle Bridge Desperately Needs Repairs

An old bridge is pictured in an aerial view in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
KudzuVine/Wikipedia Commons
KudzuVine/Wikipedia Commons

In 2019, MSN conducted several studies on the bridges in America. Connecticut’s most dangerous bridge was the Yankee Doodle Bridge in Fairfield County. This bridge, which crosses the Norwalk River on Interstate 95, is in desperate need of repairs.

Connecticut has some of the worst bridge conditions in the country, and Yankee Doodle Bridge is the worst. Since 145,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day, some residents worry that it will eventually collapse. Fortunately, the state is working on repairing its many bridges.

Strong Winds Move The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge In New York

New York's Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is lit up at night.
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Truckers dread crossing the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, which connects New York City to Staten Island. This bridge has no fences, and strong winds make it sway back in forth. In 2020, officials had to close the bridge because it was swinging too much.

Drivers in trucks and other large vehicles worry about tipping over somewhere along the 13,700-foot bridge. In March 2021, New York finally worked to install security fencing that prevents people from falling off of Verrazzano-Narrows. But that doesn’t stop the swaying and violent winds.