Portugal Opens World’s Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge

Arouca, Portugal, suspension bridge, travel
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Portugal is now home to the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge.

This new suspension bridge is called Arouca 516, because it’s located in the town of Arouca, and because it’s a ridiculous 516 metres (1693 feet) long. The bridge connects Aguieiras Waterfall and Paiva Gorge and hangs a vertigo-inducing 176 meters (576 feet) above the roiling waters of the River Paiva. Visitors are kept safe by a rigid net railing.

The bridge takes roughly 10 minutes to walk across if you’re taking your time, and less than five for those in a rush to make it to the other side. We certainly can’t blame you if you fall into the latter category.

516 Arouca was built by Portuguese firm Itecons over a span of three years, with construction finally concluding in July of 2020.

“This bridge aims at targeting the interest of different types of people: engineering lovers, nature connoisseurs, people who are fond of extreme experiences,” said the local council, Arouca Municipality, in a statement released shortly after construction concluded.

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According to CNN, the record for the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world previously belonged to Switzerland’s Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, which stretches 1,621 feet and looks out over the Matterhorn, Weisshorn and Bernese Alps. The longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the United States, meanwhile, remains the SkyBridge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which spans 680 feet across a valley in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Portugal is currently in the midst of easing pandemic-related restrictions, while the larger European Union is taking steps to welcome back international tourists.

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