Bridge to nowhere

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A highway bridge near Castrop-Rauxel, Germany – built 1978 but not connected on either end
An overpass to nowhere in Summit, New Jersey: Brantwood Terrace Overpass,[1] walled off on both ends
A former railway bridge over the Váci út in Újpest, Budapest, Hungary – with its rail line defunct in the early 1990s, the cityside approach of the bridge was demolished to create space for construction.

A bridge to nowhere is a bridge where one or both ends are broken, incomplete, or unconnected to any roads. If it is an overpass or an interchange, the term overpass to nowhere or interchange to nowhere may be used respectively.[2][3]


There are five main origins for these bridges:

  • The bridge was never completed for reasons such as cost or disputed property rights.
  • One or both of the bridge's ends have collapsed or have been destroyed, for example, by earthquake, storm, flood, or war.
  • The bridge is no longer used, but was not demolished because of the cost; for example, the bridges on an abandoned railway line.
  • The bridge is completed, but the streets connecting the bridge are not completed.
  • The bridge or any other part of the construction can be regarded as a pork barrel project aimed at useless fund spending or money laundering with minor or negligible public usefulness.

Metaphoric use[edit]

Further, the term "bridge to nowhere" may be used by political opponents to describe a bridge (or proposed bridge) that serves low-population areas at high cost, a symbol of pork barrel spending.[4]

It may also be used to describe a useless construction in overall.

It can simply mean as well "dead end" or "useless" in that way without referring to a construction.

Incomplete and damaged bridges[edit]


  • The two-lane elevated concrete vehicle bridge across the Cosquin River in Cosquin, province of Cordoba, Argentina, that was intended to connect Calle Pedro Ortiz, to the west, to Avenida Capitan Aviador Omar Castillo, to the east, was never opened. The span of the bridge itself was complete, but it was never connected to the road system on either end, and the ends of the span remained blocked by steep piles of rubble. In lieu of the elevated vehicle bridge, the small, low Onofre Marimon Bridge connected the two streets for small volumes of pedestrian traffic. In 2020 it was finally connected at both ends and open to vehicle traffic,[5] and the lower bridge was demolished. The remains of the bridge can still be seen at Puente Mercedes Sosa.


  • Rue Emile Pathé/Emile Pathéstraat in Forest, Brussels (50°47′59″N 4°18′24″E / 50.7996°N 4.3067°E / 50.7996; 4.3067), was originally intended to be part of the southern arc of the R0 Brussels motorway ring, which was never built owing to opposition from local residents. It now functions mostly as a car park.


  • Port Nelson Bridge, an isolated rail bridge near Port Nelson, Manitoba. The connecting rail line was never finished due to labour and material shortages, a lack of financial or political support, and high cost. The envisioned port was also poorly designed and was found to require excessive dredging due to significant sand bars. The project was greatly criticized by several politicians (the media calling it a "gigantic blunder").[6]
  • Ontario Highway 69 south of Ontario Highway 522 near Grundy Provincial Park. The 2 bridges are for the southbound and northbound lanes of the future Ontario Highway 400 connecting Greater Sudbury and Toronto.
  • Gaglardi Way in Burnaby, British Columbia, ended suddenly at the south end at just a forest, due to a residential subdivision beyond the point with two cloverleaf ramps that were blocked off, now removed along with the dead end peculiarity in the 2000's.


Czech Republic[edit]


Pont Saint-Bénezet in Avignon, France


Soda-Brücke Euskirchen

The colloquial name for a bridge to nowhere in Germany is "Soda-Brücke" (a pun on "so da" = "just there"). Many of the bridges were built in the 1970s as part of the Autobahn network, but the oil crisis and rising environmental consciousness slowed many highway extensions.


  • The Bridge of Rising Sun in Choluteca, completed in 1998, became a bridge to nowhere the same year when Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras. While the bridge itself survived with minor damage, the roads on either end got entirely washed away and the Choluteca River had carved itself a new channel on the side, leaving the bridge to span dry ground. It eventually got reconnected to the highway in 2003.

Hong Kong[edit]







New Zealand[edit]


  • Eintveit Bridge, a 25 metres (82 ft)-long two-lane road bridge in Etne municipality in Hordaland county, was completed in 1962 and was intended to be part of a road on the northwestern side of Åkrafjorden. But the road was never built, and the bridge has remained unused except occasionally by hikers. In 2014 broadcaster NRK organized the "opening" of the bridge. Two cars were flown in by helicopter and then drove across the bridge.[9][10]


  • The Loboc Bridge in the town of Loboc, Bohol. A steel and concrete bridge which commenced construction in the 1970s but was left unfinished allegedly due to opposition from the Loboc parishioners since the bridge might destroy the 400-year old Loboc Church.[11]


near Lisowo, demolished 2019
  • Several structures on unfinished Olimpijka motorway. Its construction started in 1976 with the propaganda goal of completing it in time for the Moscow Olympics in 1980 (hence its unofficial name, as part of Berlin-Moscow connection). Because of the economic crisis which hit the country in the late 1970s and continued throughout the 1980s, only a small section was opened. Construction of another stretch resumed only in 2001, as a part of A2 motorway. Since 2010 the plan was to finish the whole link between the border with Germany and Warsaw, this time for the UEFA Euro 2012 football championships. This meant that weathered remains of 1970s structures had to be demolished in the 2010s.
  • Several structures on unfinished Berlinka, Nazi Germany's Reichsautobahn Berlin-Königsberg started in 1936. Some of them have been demolished as late as the 2010s.


  • Ciurel Bridge is an unfinished infrastructure project located in Bucharest, Romania. It gained significant attention and earned the nickname "Bridge to Nowhere" or "Bridge to Nothing" on social media. The construction was initiated as part of an expansion towards the A1 Highway, but the remaining section of the project, an 8.3-kilometer road, has not been built. Currently, the bridge only serves as a left turn and resolves the traffic issue for those traveling from Virtuții Road to Splaiul Independenței. Pro Infrastructura, an organization that monitors infrastructure projects, argues that the Bucharest City Hall should have made a decision regarding the continuation of the road to the A1 Highway, covering the distance of 8.3 kilometers. Without this connection, the Virtuții Junction (Ciurel Passage) does not effectively address the traffic congestion, as it was originally intended to alleviate the traffic on Iuliu Maniu Boulevard. Sorin Ioniță, an activist who has closely followed the project, criticized it, stating, "This passage will cross a T-intersection on a picturesque bridge with ramps, descend on the other side, and lead the cars to the exact same place as before, Virtuții Road. All at an impressive cost of over 400 million lei. This road passage in Sector 6 is probably the most useless and foolish investment in Romania since '89,". The construction of the passage began in 2010 and was initially scheduled for completion in December 2014. Delays in the project were caused by litigation and financial constraints.


The bridge of Vachevskaya Street in Pavlovsky Posad
  • A two-lane vehicle bridge in Pavlovsky Posad, completed in 2011, continues the minor Vachevskaya Street in the west across the Vokhna River. In the east, there is a dead end, as no vehicle road has been built there, with only a footpath branching off to another street. The bridge may become integrated into traffic once a new road tunnel under railway is completed nearby, and together they would replace a problematic level crossing.[12] The bridge was open for vehicle traffic in July 2015.[13]
The bridge in Porozovo


  • Viaduct in Kopráš, a never-used railway viaduct in the village of Kopráš near the town of Jelšava in south Slovakia. The viaduct is 120 metres (390 ft) long and 40 metres (130 ft) high. It was finished in 1945 but was never used, because the railway to the viaduct was never completed due to the events of World War II.[14] Next to the viaduct are two finished tunnels without any connection to railways. The tunnel near the village of Slavošovce is 2,800 metres (9,200 ft) long, and the tunnel near Kopráš is 350 metres (1,150 ft) long. These tunnels to nowhere were also never used, because railway construction ended in 1948 before its completion.[15]



United Kingdom[edit]

The former Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway bridge at Blandford Forum. Following closure of the line, the span over the river (right) was demolished, and the earth embankment on the left was reused for nearby flood defence work, leaving it as a "bridge to nowhere".

United States[edit]

Fort Duquesne Bridge in 1966 before the ramps were completed
  • Arboretum "ghost ramps" (built 1960s), a set of ramps and bridges south of Marsh Island near Portage Bay in Seattle that were intended to be an interchange from Washington State Route 520 and the proposed R. H. Thomson Expressway. When plans for the expressway were scrapped following a citizens' freeway revolt, the interchange ramps and bridges remained in place and are mostly unused. On January 31, 2013, Washington state announced that the ghost ramps would be removed sometime between 2014 and 2016.[23] They were finally demolished in 2017, despite calls to preserve them in memory of the protests that cancelled the expressway project.[24]
  • Big Four Bridge (built 1895), a 2,530-foot (770 m) single-track railroad bridge over the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky, which was abandoned in 1968 and had both its approach spans removed and sold for scrap the following year. In February 2013, the bridge was reopened on one end for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.[25] In May 2014, the Jeffersonville, Indiana, ramp opened, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to travel between downtown Jeffersonville and Waterfront Park in Louisville.[26]
  • Bridge to Nowhere (San Gabriel Mountains) (built 1936), an isolated road bridge over the San Gabriel River in southern California. The connecting road was never built. The bridge is a popular destination for hikers.
  • A pair of unused overpasses near what is now the southern terminus of Connecticut State Route 11. These bridges were built as part of the original plan for Route 11, which would have seen it extend further south to I-95 in New London. Construction was halted in 1972 due to lack of funding.
  • Fort Duquesne Bridge (built 1963), a road bridge over the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which ended mid-air until the ramps were completed in 1969.
  • Miles Glacier Bridge (built 1910), also known as the "Million Dollar Bridge", was converted from railroad use to motor vehicle use; It is at the northern end of the unfinished Copper River Highway near Cordova, Alaska. Construction stopped in 1964 when an earthquake damaged the 1,549-foot (472 m) bridge. Although since repaired and reopened, the bridge is nonetheless currently of limited utility due to damage at other points along the route.
  • Hoan Bridge (built 1973), a 2-mile (3 km) road bridge over the Milwaukee River in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which was unused until access roads were completed in 1977, was lacking freeway connections at the southern end until 1998, and was "going nowhere again" for two months while closed for major repairs after a span partially collapsed in December 2000.
  • Mebane's Bridge is a road bridge over the Dan River in Rockingham County on the outskirts of the town of Eden, North Carolina, which was at the center of the landmark Luten Bridge Co. vs. Rockingham County lawsuit that made jurisprudence in 1929 when the contractor continued work on it well after the contract to build it was rescinded and subsequently sued to be reimbursed for this work.
  • Pier 19 (demolished 2012) of a proposed second span of the Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan. No second span had ever been approved for this privately owned bridge, largely because the proposal would dump excessive traffic onto Windsor city surface streets, but its owners built ramps for the proposed span in an attempt to counter an internationally supported proposal for a Detroit River International Crossing to the Windsor-Essex Parkway further downriver.[27] The unauthorized ramp was removed in 2012 by court order.[28]
  • An interchange on US 160 southeast of Durango, Colorado completed in November 2011.[29] The bridge was intended to connect to a relocated US 550, but disputes arose over the new US 550 alignment's potential effect on wetlands, archaeological sites, and property fragmentation.[30] The Colorado Department of Transportation signed an agreement with the Federal Highway Administration in spring 2015 regarding the final alignment of US 550, and is now seeking construction funding.[31]
  • The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge bicycle and pedestrian path was opened in September 2013, but was only connected on the Oakland end of the bridge. In October 2016, the connection to Yerba Buena Island was opened, but as of 2018 there is no bicycle or pedestrian access across the western portion of the Bay Bridge to San Francisco.[32]
  • The Christine West Bridge on the King Coal Highway in Bluefield, West Virginia was built with two parallel high-level spans in 2009 but never connected on either end.
  • Near Greenville, Mississippi, there are several bridges to nowhere for the US 82 bypass that was built before construction halted for years before resuming in 2022.

Bridges to unpopulated or low-population areas[edit]


  • John Pirie Bridge in Port Pirie was built in the 1970s to encourage development of industry on the other side of Port Pirie Creek. No development ensued; the bridge leads only to a few gravel roads otherwise unconnected.[33]


  • In Jasper National Park, Alberta, at the outlet of Maligne Lake, there is a bridge that crosses the outlet river and proceeds about 300 metres (980 ft) to a parking lot and several hiking trails and a boat launch. The bridge cost millions of dollars to build and was part of a proposed route through the mountains that was never completed.
  • In the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, north-eastern Alberta, the Peter Lougheed Bridge crosses the Athabasca River, servicing industrial work sites and leading to the start of the winter road to Fort Chipewyan.[34] Nicknamed the bridge to nowhere due to lack of development at the time of construction.[35]


Harry Blaney Bridge, Ireland


  • The Bunting Island Bridge in Yan district, Kedah. The 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) bridge that connect from mainland to an uninhabited Bunting Island. Build around 2002–2005, the bridge cost MYR120 million.


The St. Elmo Bridge in Valletta, Malta has been called a bridge to nowhere since it only leads to a breakwater and a small lighthouse
  • The St Elmo Bridge leads from the foreshore of Valletta to the breakwater at the entrance of the Grand Harbour. Critics disapproved of the construction cost of €2.8 million and have called it a "bridge to nowhere".[40][41]


  • The Russky Bridge in Vladivostok was criticised as a "bridge to nowhere", costing about one billion US dollars and serving an island where only 5,000 people live.[42]
  • A four-lane vehicle overpass across the Moscow Ring Road at kilometer 83 (sometimes called the Molokovsky Overpass) continues Molokova Street in the Lianozovo District of Moscow outside the city. Molokova Street is in a gated community with only local traffic allowed; at the other end, the bridge serves only the Lianozovo Cemetery with a small parking lot next to it, coming to a dead end before a forest. As a result, the overpass only receives significant traffic on prayer for the dead days such as Saturday of Souls.

United States[edit]

Obsolete bridges and approaches[edit]

  • Ontario Highway 548 in Canada has a short stub of roadway (with double-yellow line still visible) next to a more recent bridge approach.
  • CN's Lachine Canal Swing Bridge in Montreal, Canada, an abandoned railway bridge that has been left in the 'open' position in the middle of the Lachine Canal between its successor rail bridge and the Wellington Bridge.[49]
United Arab Emirates
  • In the United Arab Emirates, a suspension bridge links Abu Dhabi city and Hodariyat island. The bridge was opened in 2012, but vehicles are not allowed to use it. It appeared to be a waste of money.[50][51] Recently the bridge has opened; the approach road has been extended on the island, and a parking lot has been paved. There are also some small cafes there.
United States
  • A bridge that once carried West Mound Street over I-70/I-71 in Columbus, Ohio was abandoned in the 1990s due to redevelopment projects that left West Mound Street with two discontinuous sections. The bridge subsequently became a homeless camp before being cleared by the city of Columbus for safety reasons. The bridge is slated to be demolished in 2022 by ODOT without a replacement as part of a widening project of the I-70/I-71 corridor in Downtown Columbus.[53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bridge to Nowhere – Summit, NJ". 2005-09-29.
  2. ^ Daniel, Mac (12 December 2004). "Work underway on Route 128 widening project". Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  3. ^ Rosen, Jill (2 November 1998). "I-95 Exit 'To Nowhere' Will Now Go Somewhere". Sun Sentinel. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  4. ^ Ou, Lingxiao (2012-08-10). "The Results Are In: Chinese Stimulus Fails". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 11 August 2012. The world's longest sea bridge, built in Qingdao, [the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge ] has few users, making it the Chinese version of the "Bridge to Nowhere".
  5. ^ "Nuevo puente: Mercedes Sosa en Cosquín". YouTube.
  6. ^ Malaher, David (Autumn 1984). "Port Nelson and the Hudson Bay Railway". Manitoba History (8). Manitoba Historical Society. ISSN 0226-5036. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
  7. ^ Wong, Sue-Lin (11 September 2016). "Bridge to nowhere shows China's failed efforts to engage North Korea". Reuters. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Hong Kong".
  9. ^ NRK: Ei 52 år forseinka bruopning (3 February 2014, retrieved 19 August 2014)
  10. ^ NRK: – Dette var ein vill reportasjeidé (7 February 2014, retrieved 19 August 2014)
  11. ^ Campo, Liv; Berondo, Wenna (9 September 2005). "Santiago inspects unfinished bridge in Loboc, Bohol". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  12. ^ Путепровод в Павловском Посаде (in Russian). Retrieved 2014-12-22.
  13. ^ Губернатор проинспектировал строительство поликлиники, открыл путепровод и встретился с жителями в Павловском Посаде (in Russian), 2015-07-22; Retrieved 2016-04-06
  14. ^ "Stratený viadukt | Košarník".
  15. ^ "Gemerské spojky". VLAKY.NET.
  16. ^ "Sign with facts about San Martín bridge". Archived from the original on 2013-07-04. Anales del Instituto de Estudios Históricos del Sur de Madrid "Jiménez de Gregorio", ISSN 1695-1514, Nº 1, 2000, pp. 87–110. Universidad Carlos III.
  17. ^ "Home". Colliers Wood Residents Association.
  18. ^ "Gam Gurung Bridge formally opened". Merton Council News Room. Merton London Borough Council. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-07.
  19. ^ Bordesley Station, Warwickshire Railways
  20. ^ Northwest Exploration (2009)
  21. ^ "'Ghost bridge' from 30 years ago could be used to link the A120 and A133". Daily Gazette (Colchester).
  22. ^ Mansfield, Ian (22 January 2020). "East London's unused heliport and unbuilt bridge". ianvisits.
  23. ^ Lindblom, Mike (January 25, 2013). "520 "ramps to nowhere" to come down". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on February 24, 2014. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
  24. ^ Lindblom, Mike (February 18, 2017). "An old Highway 520 crossbeam could be 'urban ruins' honoring anti-freeway activists". The Seattle Times. p. A1. Archived from the original on September 28, 2017. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  25. ^ Staff (7 February 2013). "Big Four bridge opens in Louisville". Business First of Louisville. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  26. ^ "FINALLY: Big Four Bridge opens to Fanfare in Jeffersonville". News and Tribune. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  27. ^ Dave Battagello (April 26, 2012). "Moroun's 'bridge to nowhere' dismantled". Windsor Star.
  28. ^ "Controversial ramp along Ambassador Bridge being removed | Detroit Free Press |". Archived from the original on 2014-01-06.
  29. ^ Mary Shinn (Feb 15, 2015). "Bridge to Nowhere to go places". Durango Herald. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  30. ^ "Bridge to Nowhere may link to 550". Three Springs.
  31. ^ Luke Perkins (Aug 11, 2016). "Bridge to Nowhere's sinking ramps need a face lift". Durango Herald.
  32. ^ "BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN PATH | Bay Bridge Info". 17 March 2021.
  33. ^ Ladgrove, Petria (7 Dec 2009). "Bridge To Nowhere". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  34. ^ "Transportation Infrastructure Management System - Existing Structures in the Provincial Highway Corridor" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. September 28, 2012.
  35. ^ "McMurray Milestones - Bridge To Nowhere". Archived from the original on 2021-12-21 – via
  36. ^ "Taoiseach opens 'the bridge to nowhere'".
  38. ^ Run, Clifton Coastal. "Clifton Coastal Run".
  40. ^ "Bridge to nowhere". Times of Malta. 1 April 2014. Archived from the original on 15 November 2018.
  41. ^ Micallef, Keith (1 January 2018). "Breakwater bridge to be brought back to light". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 1 January 2018.
  42. ^ "Bridge to Russky island starts working in Vladivostok". Siberian Times. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  43. ^ Kakesako, Gregg K. (2 September 2007). "A Reborn Ford Island Hosts Military Minds". Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  44. ^ Associated Press staff (September 23, 2007). "Alaska Seeks Alternative to Bridge Plan". New York Times. Retrieved April 3, 2009.
  45. ^ Dermot Cole (August 5, 2014). "Alaska's longest bridge completed across Tanana River". Alaska Dispatch News. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  46. ^ Tim Ellis (November 8, 2013). "State's Longest Bridge Nears Completion, but Budget Cuts May Limit Army's Ability to Use It". KUAC. Retrieved August 5, 2014.
  47. ^ "Trackside Treasure: CN's Millhaven Spur". 28 September 2010.
  48. ^ "New canal head may change hiring methods", Ottawa Citizen, Nov 8, 1983 (railway bridge is second-last paragraph)
  49. ^ "Railway Swing Bridge - Lachine Canal". Waymarking. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  50. ^ "The National – The Middle East. Explained". Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  51. ^ "Earthglance – Bridge to nowhere on an undeveloped island in Abu..." Earthglance. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  52. ^ "Illinois Central Drawbridge, Omaha, NE".
  53. ^ "Downtown Columbus Abandoned Overpass to Come Down in 2022". 6 July 2021.