Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Where: On the South Bank of England’s River Tyne, between Gateshead and Newcastle.
Stats: 413 feet wide; 164 tall when open.
Awe Factors: Powered by eight electric motors with more horsepower than a Lamborghini Diablo, this curved pedestrian and bike bridge turns on pivots and rises 164 feet above the water when ships need to pass. It’s become such a sensation, though, that the bridge—whose motion is likened to the opening and closing of a gigantic eye—puts on a show at least once a day at noon. Completed in 2001 after a design contest was held to add to the impressive lineup of artistic arches on the Tyne, the finalized bridge was carried down the river by one of the largest floating cranes (a 10,560-ton barge taller than the Big Ben) in Europe. The bridge has its own litter clean-up system: each time the bridge opens, garbage rolls into special traps, so that the garbage does not fall into the river.