The Washington Post

Mexico’s Baluarte bridge is the highest in North America

When the Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge in Mexico, which joined the states of Durango and Sinaloa some 1,320 feet above the Baluarte River was completed this month, it became the highest bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

As The Washington Post’s Nick Miroff reports, the bridge’s road deck is so high that the Eiffel Tower, or two Washington Monuments stacked end to end, could fit beneath it.

A general view of the Baluarte Bicentennial Bridge, the highest cable-stayed bridge in the world, which connects the northwestern Mexican states of Durango and Sinaloa. (Reuters)

How does the newest and the highest bridge in Mexico compare with some of the infrastructure in the United States?

Once the highest suspension bridge in the world, the Royal Gorge Bridge above the Arkansas River is now the tallest in the United States. Built in 1929, the Colorado bridge’s height was unmatched for more than 70 years, until after 2001, when China would build nine suspension bridges, all of which pushed the Royal Gorge Bridge down the list of the world’s highest.

The Royal Gorge Bridge, near Canon City, Colo. (Jay Janner/AP)

In 2010, the United States opened a four-lane-highway bridge about 890 feet above the Colorado River. Now referred to as the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, it is the second highest in the United States and was built as a part of the Hoover Dam Bypass.

The Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, which spans the Colorado River, is part of the Hoover Dam Bypass. (David Wallace/AP)

The third-highest bridge in the United States, the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia, was the highest and longest arch bridge (876 feet) when it opened in 1977. Tucked inside the Appalachian Mountains, the bridge was also the highest vehicular bridge in the world until the Millau Viaduct opened in France in 2004. And after the construction of almost a dozen suspension and steel-arch bridges in China since 2001, the New River Gorge Bridge does not hold any official records.

An aerial view of the New River Gorge Bridge, once the longest arch bridge. (Lawrence Pierce/AP)

The highest bridge in the world today is the Siduhe River Bridge in China’s Hubei province. It rises 1,627 feet above water.

Anup Kaphle is the Post's digital foreign editor. He has an M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


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