World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Portugal

Abbianca Makoni
·1-min read
<p>The new 516 Arouca bridge</p> (REUTERS)

The new 516 Arouca bridge


The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge will open to tourists in northern Portugal on Sunday.

The 1,700-foot bridge is hidden between rock-strewn mountains in the town of Arouca.

Residents believe the tourist attraction dubbed the ‘516 Arouca’ could help revive the region which has suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Locals were given the opportunity to walk the Tibetan-style hanging bridge ahead of the official opening ceremony on Sunday.

Hugo Xavier was the first person to muster the courage to make the crossing, the Guardian reported.

He described it as “extraordinary” and “a unique experience.”

The bridge, which is held up by steel cables and two huge V-shaped towers, stands above the River Paiva and takes an average of 10 minutes to complete.

It has ‘stolen’ the longest bridge title from the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge in Switzerland, which spans 1,621 feet and opened in 2017.

“The inauguration is important because it will enable us to resume our tourist activities,” Arouca’s mayor, Margarida Belem, told AFPTV.

The bridge, which took around two years to build, was a “fundamental attraction” for the region, she added.

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