Portugal’s New Bridge Breaks Record for the Longest Suspension Footbridge

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Suspending at a height of 175 meters and having a length of 516 meters (1,693 ft), the “Arouca 516” is the world’s longest suspension footbridge, connecting two canyon points above the Paiva river in Portugal. The footbridge has stolen the crown from the Charles Kuonen suspension bridge in Switzerland that was opened in July 2017, and which features a total length of 500 meters. 

The Arouca 516 started construction in May 2018, and it was inaugurated on May 2, 2021. For people to cross from the one side to the other, it takes approximately ten minutes, while its width is 1.2 meters, so this is a one-lane bridge. Of course, for a single lane, it is still comfortably wide no doubt. 

What the first people to walk on it report is that it isn’t for the fainthearted. The view down to the chasm is something to behold, and the two V-shaped concrete towers that hold the metallic structure are obviously leaving some margin for movement. That is not to say that the bridge is unsafe by any means, but it does feel “scary” when crossing, especially when you reach the middle section. 

The pedestrian bridge cost €2.3 million ($2.8 million), and the Portuguese authorities hope that it will play a pivotal role for the restart of tourism in the region (Aveiro). The Paiva river is classified as a Site of Community Importance in the Natura 2000 network, and it’s the location of the Arouca Geopark which encompasses a 20-kilometer wooden walkway that is built along the left bank of the river, and in the hydrographic basin. 

The Arouca 516 will hopefully re-spark the tourists’ interest in visiting the location, and the investment made sense as an extension of what was already available in the region.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Article source: Techxplore