The Longest Bridge in Europe
Photograph by F Mira
The Vasco da Gama Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge flanked by viaducts and rangeviews that spans the Tagus River in Parque das Nações in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. It is the longest bridge in Europe (including viaducts), with a total length of 17.2 km (10.7 mi), including 0.829 km (0.5 mi) for the main bridge, 11.5 km (7.1 mi) in viaducts, and 4.8 km (3.0 mi) in dedicated access roads. Its purpose is to alleviate the congestion on Lisbon’s other bridge (25 de Abril Bridge), and to join previously unconnected motorways radiating from Lisbon.
Construction began on February 1995; the bridge was opened to traffic on 29 March 1998, just in time for Expo 98, the World’s Fair that celebrated the 500th anniversary of the discovery by Vasco da Gama of the sea route from Europe to India. The $1.1bn project was split in four parts, each one built by a different company, and supervised by an independent consortium. There were up to 3,300 workers simultaneously on the project, which took 18 months of preparation and 18 months of construction. [Source: Wikipedia]