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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

25 of April Bridge

25 of April Bridge
Originally uploaded by pedro vidigal
The 25 de Abril Bridge (translation: 25th of April Bridge, in Portuguese: Ponte 25 de Abril, is a suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon, capital of Portugal, to the left bank of the Tagus river (municipality of Almada). It was inaugurated on August 6, 1966 and enlarged in 1999. It is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA, due to their similarities and same construction company. With a total length of 2,277 m, it is the 17th largest suspension bridge in the world. The upper platform carries six car lanes, the lower platform two train tracks.

The 25 de Abril Bridge is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA and not just because it was built by the same company. The American Society of Civil Engineers says that "Like its sister bridge, the Golden Gate in San Francisco, the Tagus River Bridge is located in an area with a long history of earthquakes" and seismic data had to be taken into account in its construction.

Soon after the Carnation Revolution in 1974, the bridge was renamed the 25 de Abril Bridge, the day the revolution had occurred. A symbol of those times was captured on film, with populars removing the big "Salazar" brass sign from one of the main pillars of the bridge and painting a provisional "25 de Abril" in its place.

In 2006, a daily average of 150,000 cars cross the bridge, including 7,000 on the peak hour. Train traffic is also intensive, with a daily average of 157 trains. In all, around 380,000 people cross the bridge daily (190,000 if considering return trips).

Other numbers:

* 1012,88 m - length of main span
* 2277,64 m - length of truss
* 70 m - height from water to upper-platform
* 190,47 m - height of main towers (second tallest structure in Portugal)
* 58,6 cm - diameter of each of the two sets of main cables
* 11,248 - number of steel wire strand cables, each 4,87 mm in diameter, in each set of main cables
* 54,196 km - length of steel wire strand cables making up the two sets of main cables
* 79,3 m - depth (below water-level) of the foundation of the south pillar
* 30 km - length of access roads
* 32 - viaducts in the access roads

from wikipedia

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