Ponte 516 Arouca bridge, Portugal

The measure of: the Ponte 516 Arouca bridge, Portugal

Image credit: Cover Images

The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge has recently opened in Portugal.

Stretching 516 metres, the 516 Arouca Bridge surpasses the 494m-long Charles Kuonen bridge in the Swiss Alps to become the world’s longest pedestrian bridge of its kind.

It was designed by Itecons, an institute for construction, energy and the environment at the University of Coimbra, and constructed by Portuguese contractor Conduril. It cost €2.3m (£2m) and took three years to build.

Ponte 516 Arouca bridge, Portugal - inline

Image credit: Cover Images

The structure is made of steel, supported by two V-shaped concrete towers. The designers chose to use a metal grid for the floor and side railings, to give unobstructed views of the verdant mountains and the rocky gorge.

The new bridge is part of an initiative set out by the Portuguese government to drive more tourists to the area. It connects into a 9km series of wooden walkways along the left bank of the Paiva River, where travellers can explore river beaches and quartz formations, besides viewing wildlife unique to Portugal.

Vital statistics

Overall length: 516m

Height above the Paiva River: 175m

Central span of bridge: 480m

Width of bridge deck: 1.2m

Average time to cross the bridge: 10 minutes

Number of modules used to construct the deck: 127

Length of each module: 4m

Capacity bridge can take simultaneously: 30 people

Bridge cost: €2.3m

Time it took to build: 3 years

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