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World's best bridge? Grand Canyon Skywalk, travel magazine says

February 07, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • The Grand Canyon Skywalk, shown here around its 2007 opening, cost $40 million to build.
The Grand Canyon Skywalk, shown here around its 2007 opening, cost $40 million… (David McNew / Getty Images )

It's hard to say what makes something a landmark -- and how long it takes to earn such status. For the Grand Canyon Skywalk in Arizona, it took just five years. The glass walkway built as a tourist attraction over the western part of the Grand Canyon recently was selected by Travel + Leisure readers as the world's top new bridge.

New? The bridge that's 120 miles east of Las Vegas opened in 2007. Travel + Leisure explains that readers were asked in an online survey last fall to select the world's "new" landmarks, meaning anything built in the last 15 years. Anything built before 1996 would be considered a "classic" landmark. So the Grand Canyon Skywalk made the cut.

Skywalk, which allows tourists to walk out about 70 feet over the canyon in booties that won't scratch the glass, was the only U.S. span to make the Top 5. (The very modern Zakim bridge across the Charles River in Boston ranked seventh.) Runners-up for top bridge include the Henderson Waves Pedestrian Bridge in Singapore; the Millau Viaduct in Millau, France; the Ponte della Costituzione in Venice; and the Langkawi Sky Bridge in Malaysia.

Other top landmarks on the list are Museo Soumaya in Mexico City (top new museum), National September 11 Memorial in New York City (top new parks and public space) and the residential New York by Gehry (as in architect Frank Gehry), also in the city, (top new skyscraper), which edged out the iconic Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

So what about the classics? The Eiffel Tower in Paris topped the list, followed by the Statue of Liberty in New York/New Jersey, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Colosseum in Rome and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, which happens to turn 75 this year.

Check out the full list of readers' landmark picks.

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