Photo: 516 Arouca/Facebook

The Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge in the World Just Opened in Portugal

Porto News Art + Architecture
by Eben Diskin Apr 30, 2021

A new pedestrian suspension bridge just opened 37 miles southeast of Porto, Portugal, and it’s the world’s longest at 1,692 feet long. The 516 Arouca is certainly not for the faint of heart as it’s located 576 feet above the Paiva River canyon.

The bridge was constructed using steel cables and an open metal grid. It’s suspended between two V-shaped concrete towers and would take a pedestrian from five to 10 minutes to cross. Maybe a bit longer if you stop to admire the stunning views or if the slight swaying slows you down. It doesn’t have a transparent bottom, so walking across will be slightly less terrifying than crossing the latest glass-bottomed bridges in China (also the longest in the world), but you can still see through the open metal grid flooring.

516 Arouca officially opened on Sunday, which was celebrated with a small opening ceremony. Earlier in the week, people from Arouca were allowed to walk across. “It was extraordinary, a unique experience, an adrenaline rush,” local Rui Brandao told The Guardian. “It is a breath of fresh air for our land because it will attract more investment, more people. It will bring a new dynamic to Arouca,” remarked Emanuel, a local tour guide.

A version of this article was previously published on October 8, 2020, and was updated on April 30, 2021, with more information.

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