With only 22 miles between the UK and France, Boris Johnson reportedly thinks it’s ‘crazy’ that the Channel Tunnel is the only connecting bridge.
Although it’s faced some mocking and controversy, a bridge connecting the two nations could, technically, exist.
Bridge designer and former president of the Institution of Structural Engineers Ian Firth said it was ‘absolutely possible’.
And while a 22 mile bridge might seem longer than your average water crossing, it’s by no means the longest bridge to ever exist.
These are the 10 longest bridges around the world.
10. Line 1 (Wuhan Metro) bridge
Line 1 is part of the Wuhan Metro, and is an elevated line in the city of Wuhan, Hubei, China. It opened in 2004 and was the first Metro line in China wrongly referred to as a light rail – as it is elevated. The length of the bridge is 37.788 km (23.48 mi) and an estimated 210,000 people use Line 1 every day.
When it was first built, Line 1 was only 9.769 km (6.07 mi) long. Since then, it’s been continually developed and extended. Some elements of the line (from the second phase of development) have not yet been opened.
9. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway consists of two parallel bridges crossing Lake Pontchartrain in southern Louisiana, United States. One bridge is slightly longer than the other at 23.83 miles (38.35 km). The pair of bridges are supported by 9,500 concrete pilings throughout, although a few of these were damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The bridge was first designed on the basis of building islands throughout the lake, where houses could be built. However, the islands were never built, but the making of the bridge continued.
8. Beijing Grand Bridge
Beijing Grand Bridge is 48.153 kilometres (29.921 mi) and runs as part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. It was completed in 2010 and opened in 2011.
7. Bang Na Expressway
The Bang Na Expressway is the short name for the bridge – it’s full name is actually the Bang Na – Bang Phli – Bang Pakong Expressway and the official name is Burapha Withi Expressway. At 55km long, it doesn’t quite make the top five longest bridges in the world, but remains firmly in the top 10. The entire highway is elevated and includes 1,800,000 cubic meters of concrete.
At its widest point, the bridge widens to 6 lanes of traffic. Until 2010, it was the longest bridge in the world, although it was excluded from some lists as it doesn’t cross a substantial body of water.
6. Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge
The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge (HKZMB) is made up of various cable-stayed bridges and one undersea tunnel. It connects Hong Kong with Macau and Zhuhai, the three major cities on the Pearl River Delta in China. Construction for the bridge began in 2009 and the last element of the crossing was completed in 2016.
However, the last stage of development was due to finish in December 2016 but was then pushed back until December 2017. It’s thought the bridge will open in 2018. The main bridge section is 22.9 kilometres (14.2 miles) long.
5. Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge
The Weinan Weihe Grand Bridge was completed in 2008 but didn’t officially open until 2010. It’s a part of the Zhengzhou–Xi’an High-Speed Railway which connects Zhengzhou and Xi’an, in China. The Wei River Bridge used to be the longest bridge in the world, at 79,732 metres (261,588 ft) (49.5 Miles). It crosses the river twice and also many other rivers, highways and railways.
4. Cangde Grand Bridge
The Cangde Grand Bridge is also part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway and was finished in 2010. It’s the third longest bridge on the railway path at a length of 105.81km. It also includes 3092 piers. Like other bridges in the area, it was built to withstand earthquakes.
3. Tianjin Grand Bridge
The world’s third longest bridge forms part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway between Langfang and Qingxian. It has a total length of about 113,700m, or 70.6 miles and was completed in 2011.
2. Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct
The Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct is the world’s second longest bridge and acts as part of the railway line for the Taiwan High Speed Rail network. It’s 157,317m (516,132 ft) or 97.8 miles in length and has carried around 200 million passengers since December 2012.
The bridge was designed to be resistant for earthquakes, allowing trains to stop safely in the event of one. It was also put together with the intention of being easy to fix, if damage was to occur from an earthquake. Like most bridges that run over known fault lines, it was designed with practicality in mind rather than aesthetics.
1. Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge
The Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge is the world’s longest bridge, running for 164.8-kilometres. (102.4 mi) The viaduct forms part of the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway. It was started in 2006, finished in 2010 and finally opened in 2011. The Grand Bridge cost an estimated $8.5 billion to complete and includes a 9-kilometre long (5.6 mi) section over open water.