The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge was opened to the public last week. The bridge is located in UNESCO-recognised Arouca Geopark in northern Portugal.
The 516 meter (1693ft) long bridge is named the 516 Arouca Bridge. It is suspended 175 meters above the fast-flowing River Paiva. It took two years to build the $ 2.8 million bridge.
The bridge connects the escarpment of the Aguieiras waterfall and the area of the Paiva Gorge, two of the 41 Geosites of the Geopark. Arouca Geopark is famous for its nature tourism and outdoor activities. Paiva River is a popular destination for kayaking and whitewater rafting. The bridge is located near the Paiva Walkways, an eight-kilometre wooden pathway that winds through the Arouca hills. The bridge and the nearby attractions would be ideal for adventure tourists.
The bridge was designed by Portuguese Studio Itecons and constructed by Conduril – Engenharia, S.A. The suspension bridge is supported by two ‘V’ shaped concrete towers on either side of the Paiva River. The pathway of the bridge is three feet wide. The pathway and the side railings of the bridge are made of open metal grids which give a breathtaking view of the landscape. It takes about 10 minutes to cross the bridge.
Officials hope the new attraction will bring more tourists to the region once the pandemic-related restrictions are over. This would give their economy a boost by attracting new investment and also encourage more people to settle down in the area.