standard Ponte Vasco da Gama , amazing bridge in Lisbon

Vasco da Gama bridge is the ninth longest bridge in the world , situated near Lisbon , Portugal’s capital .It’s name in Portugal is Ponte Vasco da Gama . The bridge is a cable-stayed bridge and is the longest bridge in Europe with a total length of 17.2 km (10.7 miles) . It was constructed to reduce the traffic on 25 de Abril Bridge , another bridge in Lisbon , and connect some other motorways .

It’s grand opening was on  March 29 , 1998 and is was finished in just 18 months – just to be ready for Expo 98 – which celebrated it’s 500th anniversary of the discovery  of the sea route from Europe to India by Vasco da Gama .

Vasco da Gama Bridge photo

Vasco da Gama Bridge photo

Ponte Vasco da Gama  description

Bridge sections

–  North acces roads
–  North viaduct – 488m
–  Expo viaduct – 672m
–  Main bridge (including main span(420m) , side spans(203m) , cement pillars(150m) , free height for navigation in high tides(45m))
–  Central viaduct
–  South viaduct
–  South access roads

There are six road lanes on the bridge , every one with a limit of 120 km/h (75mph) , excepting on section where the speed is limited to 100km/h (60mph) . Of course , on bad weather days the limits are lower . The number of lanes is expected to be enlarged to eight when the traffic reaches a certain daily average (authorities said 52,000).

Construction and Cost

The construction took only 18 months because the project was split in 4 parts , each one offered to a different company – thing that got even 3300 workers participating simultaneously to it’s construction .

The cost of the bridge was zero to the state because it was built in the build-operate-transfer system by Lusoponte , a private consortium that  got a 40-year concession on the tolls of both Lisbon bridges. Lusponte is a giant on the market , it’s capital is 50.4% from Portuguese companies .

Ponte Vasco da Gama picture

Ponte Vasco da Gama picture

The Vasco da Gama bridge has a life expectancy of 120 years and it was designed to resist to 250km/h (155mph) winds . Due to it’s length,  it was necessary to take in consideration the Earth curvature to avoid a deviation at either end of the bridge .

The tax is starting at €2.35 per passenger car and only the traffic into Lisbon is taxed , there is no tax for cars that use the Vasco da Gama bridge to leave Lisbon .

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