The first bridge under water was built in early 17 hundreds. Of course, it did not survive till now. There were many attempts to build another one in 18th and even 19th century, but all of these projects failed! And many people died during the process.
First bridge under water that still exists
But in the late 20th century, they finally made it and the bridge still stands today. And this is not just a bridge, this is the bridge! This one is 28.341 kilometers long ( 17.61 miles), only this part would make it a spectacle. But not only that it is almost 30 km long, in certain places it is 28.956 meters underwater (95 feet).
The construction began at the beginning of the year 1960. But the work on this project started over 20 years earlier. Johnson was working on this concept since his late 30s and this was his baby. And finally 20 years and some later this project is coming to life. Their estimate was that it will be built within 4 years. Which is quite a crazy estimate in today’s standards. But at that time thousands of workers were on this job, so at the time the estimate seemed possible.
Why is the Chesapeake Bay so long and its effect on the environment
The Chesapeake Bay tunnel is almost 30 kilometers long. If the tunnel continued by a straight path to the other bank, the tunnel would be half shorter. Maybe even more. But to be honest, we would not be able to build it in this day and age. And for sure not 55 years ago, let alone 75 years ago, when they started working on this project.
The reason for that is, that they have to found soil in which they could build it up. And that soil needs to meet certain criteria. Which is a good thing, since thousands of people travel through this bridge-tunnel every day for more than half a century. That is the main reason why the tunnel is over 28 km long and curvy. If they took a straight line, they might have saved over $100 million in construction fees and every driver would save more than half a bill on petrol. But if they would not do the way they did, they wouldn’t save lives, because this bridge would be a ticking bomb in that case. It would be only a matter of time when this bridge would collapse and kill thousands of people in a matter of a few seconds.
This photo was taken just a few minutes of walk away from Chesapeake Bay Tunnel-Bridge. So if anyone tells you how this ruined the surrounding environment is straight out liar. Btw: if you are in this area during fishing season, you should definitely go fishing, I have heard great stories about this place.
What is the hardest part of building bridge under water
The hardest part of constructing a bridge under water is finding out most dense soil under the water. If you fail to do that, you can’t build one. This is the main reason why all the builders from the 18th to 20th century failed. Almost at the end of 1964, the construction was done and Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel came to life! Even though the construction cost almost $50 million more than was their estimate. They made it in time and $200 million investment was well worth it because the tunnel is still working now in 2019.