The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge has been completed in northern Portugal inside the Unesco-recognised Arouca Geopark. It has 516 meters (1,700 feet) and hangs 175 meters above the fast-flowing River Paiva. The bridge hangs on heavy steel cables strung between V-shaped concrete towers. Its floor and side railings are made of metal grids. It takes about 10 minutes to cross. The structure, baptised “Arouca 516”, crosses the steep Paiva River gorge, which is already strung with 8km (5 miles) of wooden walkways. It’s also located near the Paiva Walkways, a wooden pathway that winds through 8 km (5 miles) of the natural landscape.The official opening ceremony is scheduled for Sunday but people from the nearby town of Arouca were on Thursday allowed to walk over. It will be open for public on Monday.
„A unique experience, an adrenaline rush,” some of them described their sensations. “The inauguration is important because it will enable us to resume our tourist activities,” Arouca’s mayor, Margarida Belem, told media. The bridge took around two years to build. It was designed by Portuguese studio Itecons and constructed by a company called Conduril. “It is a breath of fresh air for our land because it will attract more investment, more people,” said a local tour guide named Emanuel. Arouca 516 breaks the record for the longest pedestrian suspension bridge, held since 2017 by the Charles Kuonen Bridge at Randa, in the Swiss Alps. Officials hope that the new structure will bring more tourists to the area and give the economy a boost.