This left the people living near Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain feeling disappointed. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, you see, has long held the title of World's Longest Bridge Over Water with a span of 23.87 miles.
But there's a difference between the Jiaozhou Bridge and the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. The Chinese bridge has bends and turns that increase its length over water, but the distance between the shores it connects is only 16 miles. The causeway, however, is a straight shot, with its shores nearly 24 miles apart. Check the rendering above prepared by the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Commission to see what we mean.
Since Guinness creates new categories like we change socks, it went ahead and modified its record books based on this distinction: Longest Bridge Over Water (continuous) goes to the The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and Longest Bridge Over Water (aggregate) goes to the new Jiaozhou Bridge in China. Now everyone's happy again.