The world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge opened in Portugal on April 29, 2021. The 516 Arouca bridge gets its name from its 516-meter length and can be covered in a 10-minute walk.
Located in the UNESCO-recognized Arouca Geopark in northern Portugal, the 516 Arouca bridge connects Aguieiras Waterfall and the Paiva Gorge. It is situated at the height of 576 feet above the Paiva River to offer breathtaking views of the waterfall, gorge, and river.
The design of the bridge is inspired by the Inca bridges that spanned the Andes mountain valleys. The bridge features a see-through metal grid walkway and is held up by steel cables and two huge V-shaped towers. Its floor and side railings are made of see-through metal grids, while the deck is made up of 127 four-meter long modules.
The construction of the bridge began in May 2018, and it cost about €2.3 million ($2.8 million). It was designed by Itecons and constructed by Conduril in about two years.
Though the iconic structure has already been opened to local residents, it is yet to be officially inaugurated on Sunday before opening to the general public from the following day. One of the visitors described the walk across the bridge as "extraordinary, a unique experience, an adrenaline rush."
The new bridge is expected to attract tourists to the region and boost its economy in the middle of the pandemic.
Following its opening, the 516 Arouca bridge overtook Switzerland's 1,621-foot-long Charles Kuonen suspension bridge (opened in 2017) as the longest pedestrian suspension bridge. On a similar note, the feat for the world's tallest glass-bottomed suspension bridge is held by China's Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, which is situated at the height of about 300 meters above the ground.
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