The damaged bridge linking Portland and Staunton Island in GTA III.

Bridges, have been a major transport link in all Grand Theft Auto games, especially since the series went 3D and adopted multiple-island-layouts for the locations in which it was set. As well as allowing the game's world to include multiple levels and distinct areas, bridges (and their temporary closure) also provide a simple way of detaining the player in a small section of the game's world and preventing them from exploring too much too soon. This in turn carries with it gameplay incentive, as access to new areas will only be granted upon the completion of a predetermined portion of the main storyline.

As the player could not swim in early games (specifically GTA III, GTA Vice City and GTA LCS), blocked or destroyed bridges provided an effective means of keeping the player in one area. However, w
San Andreas Bridges

All bridges in San Andreas are coloured red.

ith the inclusion of swimming in some more recent Grand Theft Auto games (GTA San Andreas and GTA IV, with the latter allowing the player to use a pedestrian walkway to cross one major bridge before it's unlocked) it became possible to bypass these travel restrictions; as a result a heavy wanted level was instantly awarded to the player if they strayed into an area they had yet to 'unlock', thereby encouraging them to wait for the area to become unlocked legitimately and making exploration markedly more difficult.