The Vasco Da Gama Bridge is the longest bridge in Europe with a total length of 17.2 km. It is located in Lisbon (Portugal) over Tagus River and is a a cable-stayed bridge flanked by viaducts and roads.
The bridge was constructed in 18 months and was opened to traffic on 29 March 1998. It was named Vasco Da Gama in memory of the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama.
The bridge has 6 road lens and maxim speed limit admitted is 120km/h, but in rainy or foggy days the speed limit is reduced to 90km/h. If the traffic reach an average of 52000 daily, the bridge will be enlarged with two other road lens.
In 1955, a devastating 8,7 degrees earthquake affect Lisbon. The Vasco Da Gama bridge was designed to resist to an earthquake 4,5 times bigger. It was built to resist for about 120 years.
- Bridge sections
- North access roads
- North viaduct – 488 m (1,601 ft)
- Expo viaduct – 672 m (2,205 ft); 12 sections
- Main bridge – main span: 420 m (1,378 ft); side spans: 203 m (666 ft) each (total length: 829 m/2,720 ft); cement pillars: 150 m (492 ft)-high; free height for navigation in high tides: 45 m (148 ft);
- Central viaduct – 6.351 m (20.84 ft); 80 pre-fabricated sections 78 m (256 ft)-long; 81 pillars up to 95 m (312 ft)-deep; height from 14 m (46 ft) to 30 m (98 ft)
- South viaduct – 3.825 m (12.55 ft); 45 m (148 ft) sections; 84 sections; 85 pillars
- South access roads – 3.895 m (12.78 ft); includes the toll plaza (18 gates) and two service areas
The hole project was build by four companies (the bridge was split in 4 sections). All four companies had 3500 employers during the construction (18 months for preparation and 18 months for construction).
The bridge’s life is expected to be about 120 years.
Click on panorama (above picture) to see it at its original dimensions. Credits Photo: Wikipedia.org